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The Inventor of the Web

Boot Camp feature for Monday, October 18, 1999

The man who invented the World Wide Web. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Tim Berners-Lee is on Time magazine's list of the one hundred greatest minds of the century. But who knows what would have happened if he hadn't been so persistent....

"In 1989, I wrote a memo saying it would be great to make this totally linked information system which would include all information systems that I'd come across. I wrote a memo about it and I passed it around to some of the people I was working with. Nobody took any notice of it until even the following year I passed it around again...

Until finally his boss at CERN, an international physics lab in Switzerland, told him to go ahead and program it. The rest is history and is chronicled in a new book from Harpers titled Weaving the Web. In just a decade, Berners-Lee's idea has transformed us into a WWW dot com world...

"From the point of view of the richness of stuff out there, the sheer diversity of what you find on the web... that is amazing."

Today Berners-Lee is at MIT and is director of the World Wide Web Consortium, helping to guide its future. His biggest worry?

"The Internet becoming a biased concern. If you buy your Internet from a particular supplier, you buy your computer from somewhere and that determines whose software you get, and whose software you get determines what view of the Internet you see effectively, and that determines effectively where you buy your shoes and maybe even how you vote."

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web.