It's doubtful that any of the computer experts who set up the forerunner of the Internet by connecting four university computers together in 1969 could have visualized the explosive growth since then. The development of smaller, more affordable computers made Internet connection possible from homes and small busineses. The emergence of the World Wide Web meant that the Internet was no longer the realm of programmers who could retrieve information by punching in esoteric commands. Anyone who could point and click was suddenly able to navigate the vast amounts of available information. By 1998, there were more than three hundred fifty million Internet users, with thousands more being added every hour. No one knows exactly when this growth will slow down, but as long as information is important the Internet will remain a valuable resource.
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