On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet and Its Founders

Front Cover
Apress, Jul 24, 2008 - Computers - 215 pages
3 Reviews

On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet and Its Founders is an absorbing chronicle of the inventive, individualistic, and often cantankerous individuals who set the Internet free. Michael A. Banks describes how the online population created a new culture and turned a new frontier into their vision of the future.

This book will introduce you to the innovators who laid the foundation for the Internet and the World Wide Web, the man who invented online chat, and the people who invented the products all of us use online every day. Learn where, when, how and why the Internet came into being, and exactly what hundreds of thousands of people were doing online before the Web. See who was behind it all, and what inspired them.

What you’ll learnYou’ll find these stories of people and events on the way to the Web:

  • CIA agents in search of military hardware for sale online
  • The first online privacy scandal, three decades ago
  • The first instance of online censorship in 1979
  • How in 1980 the FBI demanded the ID of a CompuServe user who tried to sell 3,000 M16 rifles online
  • Early con artists
  • Online romance scams
  • Identify theft
  • Who really created AOL (Hint: it wasn’t Steve Case)
  • The wireless Internet that was built in 1978
  • Why the @ sign is used in email addresses
Who this book is for

On the Way to the Web is a book that will appeal to all readers, but one that computer enthusiasts will find especially interesting. Most readers will have played a part in the story it tells, and anyone who uses the Internet and Web on a day–to–day basis will find this book an absorbing read.

Table of Contents
  1. Looking Back: Where Did It All Begin?
  2. In the Money
  3. Making Contact with CompuServe
  4. The Source
  5. Dis-Content and Conflict
  6. Evolution
  7. Online Experiments
  8. Trials and Errors
  9. The Second Wave
  10. AOL Gestation
  11. The Third Wave
  12. In with the New, Out with the Old
  13. AOL Evolves: Expansion, Integration, and Success
  14. Prodigy: The Flat-Rate Pioneer Who Just Didn't Get It
  15. Moving to the Net

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet and Its Founders

User Review  - Dave Rockwell - Goodreads

This was cool. Not overly well written, but the facts rang true and it was well researched. I would recommend. Read full review

Review: On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet and Its Founders

User Review  - Joe Moraca - Goodreads

This was an interesting book for someone that has been using the internet since it first became available for "the rest of us" in the early 90's. It's the story of some of the small and large players ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Michael A. Banks is the author of more than 40 books, among them several titles that deal with Internet topics, including The eBay Survival Guide; Web Psychos, Stalkers, and Pranksters; The Modem Reference; PC Confidential; and Welcome to CompuServe. He is coauthor of CROSLEY: The Story of Two Brothers and the Business Empire that Transformed the Nation (Clerisy, 2006), the biography of twentieth-century industrialist/entrepreneur and communications magnate Powel Crosley, Jr. (This book made the New York Times extended bestseller list, the Wall Street Journal hardcover business book bestseller list, and the Business Week bestseller list. Having sold 45,000 copies during its first three months of existence, it received a full-page writeup in the February 12, 2007, issue of Publishers Weekly.) He has written hundreds of magazine articles and served as a contributing editor and columnist for Computer Shopper, Windows, and other magazines. Banks has been online since 1979, when he caught his first glimpse of CompuServe. During the 1980s, he was involved in a number of Internet firsts, including online book promotion. He has helped maintain bulletin board systems, was a special interest group (SIG) manager on DELPHI for a number of years, and worked in a consulting capacity for CompuServe and The Source. He wrote one of the first guides to online services, The Modem Reference (Brady/Simon & Schuster), which introduced hundreds of thousands of users to modems and the online world. Because of his reputation as a modem and telecommunications expert, GEnie and BIX (Byte Information Exchange) created special online forums for Banks early blogs. He has also advised a number of businesses in the area of online marketing.

Bibliographic information