History’s Mysteries: Birth of the Web

Pop question:

You wake up, yawn and stretch, then head for the bathroom and kitchen.

You flip on the computer and sit down to catch up on the latest.  You click on an interesting article to read.

Let me describe what you're seeing on the monitor:

— The page has a beautiful banner across the top and possibly a 'footer' across the bottom.

— The main area is laid out in two or three neat columns, or possibly one wide page with a sidebar.

— There's a large picture at the top of the article and some smaller pics word-wrapped within the text.

Highlighted words link to a related article.

— If you wish, there's a button in the sidebar that will play some mellow background music while you're reading.  Below the button is a small slideshow of thumbnail pics.  If you click on the appropriate thumbnail as it displays, it takes you to the article.  Below that is some annoying GIF animation which, thankfully, stopped playing after the 10th cycle, and below that are some links to related articles.

— At the end of the text is a video to watch.

What year is it?

The year is 1989, four years before the first browser hit the scene, and you're looking at the AmigaVision program on your Commodore Amiga 500 computer.

You downloaded the latest AmigaVision file from your favorite BBS overnight, just now loaded it into the program, and it looks like it's chock full of interesting articles, pics and vids.

And everything's just a click away using these magical new things called 'hyperlinks'.  Click on a word or pic and off you go to another article, a picture gallery, or more videos.  It was amazing, to say the least.  No other home computer could do anything even close to it.

How many CPUs did it have?  Four.  See that area in the casing in front of the keyboard?  That's the tower.

Four years later, when modern browsers arrived, the Web code was redesigned and it became what you see today, with banners and sidebars and pictures and videos and all the rest.  We heard that Timothy Berners-Lee, the main guy doing the reprogramming, was a big fan of the Amiga computer.

We could see why.