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The archaeology of communications' digital age

Linge, N 2013, 'The archaeology of communications' digital age' , Industrial Archaeology Review, 35 (1) , pp. 45-64.

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This paper reviews the history of the digital age of communications that began with the invention of the stored program computer in 1948 and is today realised by the World Wide Web, super fast broadband and the smart phone. Taking a predominantly UK focus, the paper examines the key technological advances that were made, where they occurred and what archaeological evidence remains of their existence. The paper begins by examining how digital technology was applied to the telephone network, how that network then provided the means by which early computers could be connected together, and from there to subsequently offer access to information services. Packet switching, the home computer, modems, optical fibre and the Internet are reviewed in terms of their importance in the creation of and growth in the World Wide Web. Finally, the application of digital technology to the mobile phone is discussed in terms of the development of mobile networks and the evolution of the handset into today’s smart phones. The paper concludes by recognising that much of the archaeological evidence of communication’s digital age has already been lost and that urgent action is needed to put in place appropriate preservation strategies.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Salford Innovation Research Centre (SIRC)
Journal or Publication Title: Industrial Archaeology Review
Publisher: Maney Publishing
ISSN: 0309-0728
Related URLs:
Funders: University of Salford
Depositing User: N Linge
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 15:44
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2016 15:44

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