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RW Cool Site of the Week

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Internet

No one will ever mistake The Living Internet Web site for a widgetized, Flash movie-laden social page or news/video aggregator. In fact its dry, almost text-only approach seems designed to scare away those with short attention spans seeking to be entertained rather than informed.

But the brave who push on will bookmark the page as a solid resource for all things that define the “Internet.”

Histories of how the Internet became the Internet are only the start. There are technical definitions and popular explanations of basic terms and Internet practices. What’s an MUD? Who have been the important people? Who are the important organizations? How does one get a domain name? How exactly does the Internet work and how does it differ from the World Wide Web? The Living Internet will tell you these things and more.

It even has lengthy sections on Internet associates such as e-mail and Internet dinosaurs such as Usenet.

The Living Internet claims to be the second book published on the Internet and the first to be published for the Internet. It was started in 1996 and much of the information reflects the 1996– 1999 time period when the majority of the material was collected, hence lengthy sections on things past such as MUDs. The site is, however, continuously updated.

It says it is 700 pages long (we didn’t count), offering 2,000 links. Contributors have included Tim Berners-Lee, Paul Baran, Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn. Chief of the whole operation is Bill Stewart.

Find it here.