Introduction to Cyberspace, Computer and Internet


Cyberspace is the electronic medium of computer networks, in which online communication takes place.

The term “cyberspace” was first used by the cyberpunk science fiction author William Gibson. Later Gibson himself would describe it as an “evocative and essentially meaningless” buzzword.

The term “cyberspace” stands for the global network of interdependent information technology infrastructures, telecommunications networks and computer processing systems.

According to Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer, cyberspace is defined more by the social interactions involved rather than its technical implementation.

The word “cyberspace” (from cybernetics and space) was coined by William Gibson in his 1982 story “Burning Chrome” and popularized by his 1984 novel Neuromancer. The portion of Neuromancer cited in this respect is usually the following:

Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.

While cyberspace should not be confused with the Internet, the term is often used to refer to objects and identities that exist largely within the communication network itself, so that a Website, for example, might be metaphorically said to “exist in cyberspace.” According to this interpretation, events taking place on the internet are not happening in the locations where participants or servers are physically located, but “in cyberspace”.

Cyberspace is the “place” where a telephone conversation appears to occur. Not inside your actual phone, the plastic device on your desk.

Computer crimes

Cyberspace also brings together every service and facility imaginable to expedite money laundering. One can purchase anonymous credit cards, bank accounts, encrypted global mobile telephones, and false passports.

  • Chat room abuse
  • Copyright violations
  • Fraud scams
  • Child pornography
  • Email Abuse
  • Stalking
  • Harassment / Threats
  • Hacking / Viruses
  • Online Terrorism

Terms used in Cyberspace:

  • Augmented browsing:
  • Augmented virtuality
  • Community Information Grid (CIG) 1.0
  • CyberEmotions
  • Cyberglove
  • Cybernetics
  • Cybercrime
  • Cyber law
  • Cyber Operations
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cyber-warfare
  • Cybersex
  • Cyberzine
  • Cipherspace
  • Crypto-anarchism
  • Digital pet
  • Electronic sports
  • Information highway
  • Infosphere
  • Internet art
  • Meatspace
  • Metaverse
  • Mixed reality
  • Noosphere
  • Simulated Reality
  • Social software
  • Telepresence
  • Virtual world
  • Virtuality Continuum
  • Virtual reality


A computer is a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a finite set of arithmetic or logical operations.

a computer consists of at least one processing element, typically a central processing unit (CPU) and some form of memory.

The first electronic digital computers were developed between 1940 and 1945 in the United Kingdom and United States. In this era mechanical analog computers were used for military applications.

Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space.

Simple computers are small enough to fit into mobile devices, and mobile computers can be powered by small batteries.

Personal computers in their various forms are icons of the Information Age and are what most people think of as “computers”. However, the embedded computers found in many devices from mp3 players to fighter aircraft and from toys to industrial robots are the most numerous.


The first use of the word “computer” was recorded in 1613, referring to a person who carried out calculations, or computations, and the word continued with the same meaning until the middle of the 20th century.

In 1801, Joseph Marie Jacquard made an improvement to the textile loom by introducing a series of punched paper cards as a template which allowed his loom to weave intricate patterns automatically.

In 1837, Charles Babbage was the first to conceptualize and design a fully programmable mechanical computer, his analytical engine.

Alan Turing is widely regarded as the father of modern computer science. In 1936 Turing provided an influential formalisation of the concept of the algorithm and computation with the Turing machine, providing a blueprint for the electronic digital computer.

The first program-controlled computer was invented by Konrad Zuse, who built the Z3, an electromechanical computing machine, in 1941. The first programmable electronic computer was the Colossus, built in 1943 by Tommy Flowers.

George Stibitz is internationally recognized as a father of the modern digital computer.

Machine Code

In most computers, individual instructions are stored as machine code with each instruction being given a unique number (its operation code or opcode for short).

Programming language

Low-level languages: Machine languages and the assembly languages
Higher-level languages: High level languages are usually “compiled” into machine language using another computer program called a compiler.

Features of Computer

  • Input/output (I/O)
  • Multitasking
  • Multiprocessing
  • Networking and the Internet


A computer does not need to be electronic, nor even have a processor, nor RAM, nor even a hard disk. While modern usage of the word “computer” is synonymous with a personal electronic computer, the definition of a computer is literally “A device that computes, especially a programmable [usually] electronic machine that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information”. Any device which processes information qualifies as a computer, especially if the processing is purposeful.


The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite.
It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies.
The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support email.

Birth of new services: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV).


The origins of the Internet reach back to research of the 1960s, commissioned by the United States government to build robust, fault-tolerant, and distributed computer networks. The funding of a new U.S. backbone by the National Science Foundation in the 1980s, as well as private funding for other commercial backbones, led to worldwide participation in the development of new networking technologies, and the merger of many networks.

The commercialization of what was by the 1990s an international network resulted in its popularization and incorporation into virtually every aspect of modern human life.

The Internet has no centralized governance in either technological implementation or policies for access and usage; each constituent network sets its own standards.

Definitions of the two principal name spaces in the Internet

  • the Internet Protocol address space
  • the Domain Name System, are directed by a maintainer organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Internet is a short form of the technical term internetwork, the result of interconnecting computer networks with special gateways or routers.
The terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used interchangeably in everyday speech

The Internet, referring to the specific entire global system of IP networks



  1. Application layer: HTTP, FTP, DNS, Telnet, SSH, SMTP
  2. Transport layer: TCP
  3. Routing protocols * belongs to either application or network layer: BGP, OSPF, RIP
  4. Internet layer: IP, IPv4, IPv6
  5. Link layer: Ethernet, DSL, ISDN


Internet Service Providers connect customers (thought of at the “bottom” of the routing hierarchy) to customers of other ISPs.

Internet exchange points create physical connections between multiple ISPs, often hosted in buildings owned by independent third parties.

Computers and routers use routing tables to direct IP packets among locally connected machines. Tables can be constructed manually or automatically via DHCP for an individual computer or a routing protocol for routers themselves.

Modern uses of Internet

  • Education
  • Sharing of ideas, knowledge, and skills
  • Work on shared sets of documents simultaneously
  • Remotely access other computers and information stores easily
  • File sharing is an example of transferring large amounts of data across the Internet.
  • Streaming media is the real-time delivery of digital media for the immediate consumption or enjoyment by end users.

Social impact

  • The Internet has enabled entirely new forms of social interaction, activities, and organizing
  • Use chat, messaging and email to make and stay in touch with friends worldwide,
  • Social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace have created new ways to socialize and interact.

Politics and Political revolutions

Politics and political revolutions
The Internet has achieved new relevance as a political tool. The presidential campaign of Howard Dean in 2004 in the United States was notable for its success in soliciting donation via the Internet. Many political groups use the Internet to achieve a new method of organizing in order to carry out their mission, having given rise to Internet activism, most notably practiced by rebels in the Arab Spring.

The New York Times suggested that social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter helped people organize the political revolutions in Egypt where it helped certain classes of protesters organize protests, communicate grievances, and disseminate information.

The potential of the Internet as a civic tool of communicative power was thoroughly explored by Simon R. B. Berdal in his thesis of 2004:

“As the globally evolving Internet provides ever new access points to virtual discourse forums, it also promotes new civic relations and associations within which communicative power may flow and accumulate. Thus, traditionally … national-embedded peripheries get entangled into greater, international peripheries, with stronger combined powers… The Internet, as a consequence, changes the topology of the “centre-periphery” model, by stimulating conventional peripheries to interlink into “super-periphery” structures, which enclose and “besiege” several centres at once.”


Source: Wikipedia