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Sir Tim Berners-Lee's Next Cube computer goes on display in London

Marks the 25th anniversary of the web
Wed Mar 12 2014, 11:33

THE COMPUTER used by Sir Tim Berners-Lee to write his proposal for the World Wide Web has gone on show at the Science Museum in London to mark the 25th anniversary of the web.

The Next Cube computer arrived at the Science Museum on Tuesday, having been shipped from CERN in Switzerland, where Berners-Lee used to work as a software engineer. Berners-Lee wrote his proposal for the World Wide Web that he submitted on 12 March 1989 on this computer.

Tim Berner's Lee computer at which the web was born

The paper entitled "Information Management: A Proposal" read, "The hope would be to allow a pool of information to develop which could grow and evolve with the organisation and the projects it describes."

With such an interesting back story, The INQUIRER headed to the Science Museum to get a look at the computer where the web began.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Next Cube was, rather that the machine itself, a message that Berners-Lee had scribbed on a sticker on its side, which reads, "This machine is a server: DO NOT POWER IT DOWN!!", marking the importance of the computer. Despite the machine having been knocking around for 25 years, the sticker and text remain fairly intact.

Sticker warning people not to turn off NeXT cube server

Beyond that, the Next Cube is not much to look at. Its boxy cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor is unlikely to make iMac owners green with envy, nor its clunky keyboard. However, we found ourselves quite taken by the colourful logo found on the Next Cube's mouse, which wouldn't look out of place on iOS 7.

The mouse at Sir Tim Berners-Lee computer

The Next Cube will soon be available for the general public to gawp at, with the Science Museum making it one of the key exhibits in its Information Age gallery that will open this autumn. µ


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