The History of Technical Analysis (FT Press Delivers Elements)

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In the early days of computing, computers were seen as devices for making calculations, storing data, and automating business processes. However, as the devices evolved, it became apparent that many of the functions of telecommunications could be integrated into the computer. During the s, many organizations began combining their once-separate telecommunications and information-systems departments into an information technology, or IT, department. This ability for computers to communicate with one another and, maybe more importantly, to facilitate communication between individuals and groups, has been an important factor in the growth of computing over the past several decades.

However, while the Internet and web were evolving, corporate networking was also taking shape in the form of local area networks and client-server computing. In the s, when the Internet came of age, Internet technologies began to pervade all areas of the organization. Now, with the Internet a global phenomenon, it would be unthinkable to have a computer that did not include communications capabilities.

This chapter will review the different technologies that have been put in place to enable this communications revolution.

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The story of the Internet, and networking in general, can be traced back to the late s. The US was in the depths of the Cold War with the USSR, and each nation closely watched the other to determine which would gain a military or intelligence advantage. In , the Soviets surprised the US with the launch of Sputnik , propelling us into the space age.

ARPA was the center of computing research in the s, but there was just one problem: many of the computers could not talk to each other. In , ARPA sent out a request for proposals for a communication technology that would allow different computers located around the country to be integrated together into one network. During this time, other networks also came into existence. Different organizations were connected to different networks.

This led to a problem: the networks could not talk to each other. Networking communication is full of some very technical concepts based on some simple principles. As we moved into the s, computers were added to the Internet at an increasing rate. These computers were primarily from government, academic, and research organizations. Much to the surprise of the engineers, the early popularity of the Internet was driven by the use of electronic mail see sidebar below.

Using the Internet in these early days was not easy. In order to access information on another server, you had to know how to type in the commands necessary to access it, as well as know the name of that device. That all changed in , when Tim Berners-Lee introduced his World Wide Web project, which provided an easy way to navigate the Internet through the use of linked text hypertext.

The World Wide Web gained even more steam with the release of the Mosaic browser in , which allowed graphics and text to be combined together as a way to present information and navigate the Internet.

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The Internet and the World Wide Web were now poised for growth. The chart below shows the growth in users from the early days until now. The NSF had restricted commercial ventures on the Internet, which meant that no one could buy or sell anything online. In , the NSF transferred its role to three other organizations, thus getting the US government out of direct control over the Internet and essentially opening up commerce online. This new commercialization of the Internet led to what is now known as the dot-com bubble. A frenzy of investment in new dot-com companies took place in the late s, running up the stock market to new highs on a daily basis.

This investment bubble was driven by the fact that investors knew that online commerce would change everything.

Unfortunately, many of these new companies had poor business models and ended up with little to show for all of the funds that were invested in them. In and , the bubble burst and many of these new companies went out of business. Many companies also survived, including the still-thriving Amazon started in and eBay After the dot-com bubble burst, a new reality became clear: in order to succeed online, e-business companies would need to develop real business models and show that they could survive financially using this new technology.

In the first few years of the World Wide Web, creating and putting up a website required a specific set of knowledge: you had to know how to set up a server on the World Wide Web, how to get a domain name, how to write web pages in HTML, and how to troubleshoot various technical issues as they came up. Someone who did these jobs for a website became known as a webmaster.

As the web gained in popularity, it became more and more apparent that those who did not have the skills to be a webmaster still wanted to create online content and have their own piece of the web. This need was met with new technologies that provided a website framework for those who wanted to put content online.

Blogger and Wikipedia are examples of these early Web 2. Starting in the early s, Web 2. It seemed that everyone wanted their own blog or photo-sharing site.

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Here are some of the companies that came of age during this time: MySpace , Photobucket , Flickr , Facebook , WordPress , Tumblr , and Twitter The ultimate indication that Web 2. When the personal computer was created, it was a great little toy for technology hobbyists and armchair programmers.

As soon as the spreadsheet was invented, however, businesses took notice, and the rest is history. The spreadsheet was the killer app for the personal computer: people bought PCs just so they could run spreadsheets. The Internet was originally designed as a way for scientists and researchers to share information and computing power among themselves.

However, as soon as electronic mail was invented, it began driving demand for the Internet. We are seeing this again today with social networks, specifically Facebook. The connections made between people using Web 2.

The Internet is an interconnected network of networks. Many services run across the Internet: electronic mail, voice and video, file transfers, and, yes, the World Wide Web. The World Wide Web is simply one piece of the Internet. It is made up of web servers that have HTML pages that are being viewed on devices with web browsers. It is really that simple.

In the early days of the Internet, most access was done via a modem over an analog telephone line. Speeds were measured in bits-per-second bps , with speeds growing from bps to 56, bps over the years. Connection to the Internet via these modems is called dial-up access.

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Dial-up was very inconvenient because it tied up the phone line. As the web became more and more interactive, dial-up also hindered usage, as users wanted to transfer more and more data. As a point of reference, downloading a typical 3.

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A broadband connection is defined as one that has speeds of at least , bps, though most connections today are much faster, measured in millions of bits per second megabits or mbps or even billions gigabits. For the home user, a broadband connection is usually accomplished via the cable television lines or phone lines DSL.

Both cable and DSL have similar prices and speeds, though each individual may find that one is better than the other for their specific area. Speeds for cable and DSL can vary during different times of the day or week, depending upon how much data traffic is being used.

In more remote areas, where cable and phone companies do not provide access, home Internet connections can be made via satellite. The average home broadband speed is anywhere between 3 mbps and 30 mbps. At 10 mbps, downloading a typical 3. For businesses who require more bandwidth and reliability, telecommunications companies can provide other options, such as T1 and T3 lines. Broadband access is important because it impacts how the Internet is used.

When a community has access to broadband, it allows them to interact more online and increases the usage of digital tools overall. Access to broadband is now considered a basic human right by the United Nations, as declared in their statement :.