Networks

America Online installation disk, 1990s

In the 1990s, most people accessed the Internet through dial-up modems and Internet providers like America OnLine, which became famous for “You’ve got mail.”

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Private networks and the Internet gave businesses more opportunities for commerce and consumers greater choices and access to better price information.  However, PCs, ATMs, and mobile devices also became vulnerable to cyber-criminals.

ATM instruction brochure, 1970

ATM instruction brochure, 1970

Automated teller machines (ATMs) working over private networks changed personal banking practice.

FBI most wanted poster, 2014

FBI most wanted poster, 2014

Sometimes cyber-crime was vandalism by youthful hackers. Sometimes it was organized criminals seeking to defraud. And sometimes it was the theft of industrial secrets authorized by foreign governments.

PC’s Limited computer, 1985

This machine was among the first made by Michael Dell. He and others pioneered low-cost computers that gave consumers desktop power and Internet access.

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Federal Express Super Tracker, 1993

Delivery of goods was a challenge for e-commerce. Organized in 1973, FedEx was one of several companies that provided fast, inexpensive, and trackable package delivery.

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Federal Express hat, 1993
Amazon.com warehouse, 2008

Amazon.com warehouse, 2008

Formed in 1994, Amazon.com quickly became one of the world’s largest e-tailers. Quick and inexpensive delivery was critical to the firm’s business model.

Courtesy of AP Images

Corkboard server, 1999

Corkboard server, 1999

Stanford graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin scrounged used parts to build servers, including this one, as they redefined web searching and created Google.

On loan from Google, Inc.

Electronic benefit card, 2004

Electronic benefit card, 2004

Electronic benefit cards replaced food stamps in 2004.

iTunes gift card, 2012

Peer-to-peer file sharing over the Internet, pioneered by Napster in 1999, increased music consumption, but also copyright infringements.

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