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Happy birthday to the world wide web - created with a bit of help from a DMU student

This week marks 25 years since the world’s first website went online – and a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) student was part of the project.

nicola and tim
CHANGING THE WORLD: Tim Berners-Lee (now Sir) with Nicola back in 1990, when they were working on the world wide web

Nicola Pellow was a Maths undergraduate at DMU, then known as Leicester Polytechnic, when she joined Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Henrik Nielssen to work on the world wide web project at CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, in November 1990.

Nicola developed the first cross-platform browser which allowed people to search on just about every major computer platform at the time.

Amazingly, she managed to achieve this breakthrough as part of her placement year project run through the Faculty of Technology. Thanks to Nicola, anyone with a simple computer could read content.

www screen shot

BASIC: What the first web page looked like

Nicola left CERN at the end of August 1991 and returned after graduating from DMU in 1992. She then worked with Robert Cailliau on the first web browser for Mac – MacWWW.

Today the website – info.cern.ch – is preserved by CERN and the computer used, Steve Jobs’ NeXT computer, is still kept on display.

The website, which went online on 21 December 1990, was originally designed to allow scientists to communicate more easily.  

Posted on Tuesday 22nd December 2015

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