Simon’s Backup Weblog


Do Not Power Down This Machine: It Is The Internet

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on November 15, 2006

The message on the front of the first ever web server reads: “This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!”

I made a little pilgrimage while at CERN yesterday.

Sat in a glass case in their museum is a small black computer.

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s Tim Berners Lee’s NeXT cube. It’s the machine where he wrote the specifications for HTTP and HTML, and turned on the web.

This is the computer that changed the world.

This is the computer that changed my life.

Geneva, Switzerland
November 2006

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8 Responses to 'Do Not Power Down This Machine: It Is The Internet'

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  1. janetmiles said,

    Wow. Just, wow.

    Thanks. That made my day today. Wow.

  2. desperance said,

    Also, it’s a design classic. Ain’t it nice, that something this powerful was created on something that pretty?

  3. mdlbear said,

    Well, strictly speaking, that machine was not the Internet. At one point it was the World Wide Web (before it became world-wide), which isn’t the same thing at all.

    Even now, I cringe when people who ought to know better use “web” when they mean “internet”. I sometimes do it myself, but that doesn’t make it right.

  4. sbisson said,

    I know. Still thought it was funny, though…

    Never let reality get in the way of a good joke.

  5. marthawells said,

    That’s very cool.

  6. nmg said,

    If you don’t mind, I think that I shall print out that photo and stick it on my door (next to the Bubble 2.0 Meme Map)…

    (and I’ll see if TimBL notices it on his next flying visit)

  7. spride said,

    Yeah, but is it still up?

  8. sethop said,

    That’s awesome. A genuine holy relic. I certainly intend to make the same pilgrimage myself one day. I’d hate to think what the thing could fetch at auction if they decided to sell it in about a decade or so…I hope that glass has an alarm fitted 🙂


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