Words have always fascinated us here at Impero. Just take our name; derived from Latin it means ‘to command’, which is what our products are known best for: helping customers to take control and better command their classrooms with our network management software solutions. So, as we harp on about the importance (and the difficult task) of managing networks, we consider what the word ‘network’ really means. Did you know that the earliest record of the word dates back to 1560 in the Geneva bible, and that it was spelt with an ‘e’ on the end? We look at how, over time, that little ‘e’ has come back round to sit at the beginning of the word, quite literally spelling out our increasingly electronic world.
“And thou shalt make unto it a grate like networke of brass” (an extract from Exodus xxvii 4).
Much like our company name, the word ‘network’ is thought by some to have derived from the Latin opus reticulatum, a type of brickwork placed so that the mortar resembles a net. And since the Latin word for net is ‘rete’, it’s probable that this influenced the evolvement of the English spelling we use today.
Both of the component words that ‘network’ is formed of stem from Germanic origin, and, of the two, ‘net’ appears to have the most interesting history. In the Gothic period, a cognate of ‘net’ was ‘nati’ and in Old English, both ‘nett’ and ‘netti’ were used. ‘Nezzi’ is from Old High German, whilst ‘netze’ and ‘netz’ stem from Middle High German and Modern High German. In Old Saxon ‘netti’ was also used, whilst in Latin ‘nassa’ is documented as meaning ‘a trap for fish’.
We consulted the trusty Oxford English Dictionary, which first records the word ‘network’ in 1658 as referring to structures in animals and plants.
By 1839 it is used to describe the distribution of rivers and canals.
Just thirty years later in 1869 it becomes associated with railways (some forty years after the first appearance of mechanised rail transport).
It’s not until 1883 that network cables are referenced…
but in 1914 a wireless broadcasting network was first documented.
And from the 1940s onwards the notion of broadcasting ‘over a network’ is used.
The question is, when did we start using the word ‘network’ in association with computers? And at what point did network management software become so vital to the administration of them?
In 1964, IBM were able to link 2,000 terminals across 65 countries to a pair of computers, meaning flight data could be delivered in less than 3 seconds.
Computer-to-computer communications took another leap in 1970 when the Department of Defense connected four nodes on the Arpanet (the precursor to the internet).
In 1971 Ray Tomlinson sent the first ever email!
Network connection via the Ethernet method was developed by Robert Metcalfe in 1973.
In 1976 Queen Elizabeth II sends her first email!
Two university students from Essex wrote a program in 1979, allowing multiple people to play games against each other online.
In 1990, a researcher at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), developed HTML and the world wide web was born!
As networks continue to evolve, the management of them becomes increasingly trickier. To keep up with technological advancements, education establishments need to invest in network infrastructure more than ever before. Network management software aids the administration of networks, helping to fuel better efficiency and better operation of a network. We may not spell network with an ‘e’ on the end anymore, but, in today’s 21st Century online world, there’s definitely an invisible ‘e’ implied.
So, we may not all be wordsmiths at Impero, but we are the authors of leading network management software for education establishments across the globe.