The Net

NET Mechanics NET Content GM Notes Decking
Architecture Terminals Security History
History of the NET
The CyberSpace of the MetaCyber setting is based on a technology called Neuralized Enquiry Technology, or "the NET" for short. The NET was invented in 1989 by a software engineer working for the huge European scientific organization CERN. Originally intended merely as a way to enhance knowledge sharing among geographically scattered team members working for CERN, it's general usefulness ensured that it would quickly become an end unto itself rather than a mere helper app.
Luckily for the world, the creator of the NET was a pure-hearted idealist who endlessly worked to ensure that his creation would not be just another proprietary technology, but instead would be freely available to any who complied with its basic protocols.
Soon the NET found vast grass-roots support among the world's sub-culture of computer geeks and nerd and seemingly overnight amateur NetNodes (often called nNodes), finite user-created collections of interfaceable \ browseable content, were popping up on educational and privately owned servers around the world (though mostly in North America, western Europe, and Japan, with the minority being in scattered pockets of other computerized nations).
However, the NET technology was too powerful to remain merely an amateur endeavor. It offered a new, potentially globalized, venue for reaching potential consumers, conducting real time Business to Business (B2B) transactions, and for previously unequaled content-rich inter-office networking. The NET became increasingly accepted in the corporate world, and correspondingly mutated from a fringe sub-culture with geek overtones into a cutting edge and very cool thing to know about.
A lot of the geeks, nerds, and technophiles that were early adopters of the NET back in the pre-corporate years were able to parlay their specialized knowledge into very lucrative jobs in the rapidly ripening infotech field, and those that already had technology jobs to begin with got a nice shot of adrenaline into their careers.
By 1992 a few tech-savvy businesses were exploring what they could do with the NET, by 1994 practically everyone else was scrambling to get in the game too, and by 1996 the NET was the single biggest concept affecting the business world. Everyone had NET on the brain; new positions like Chief Technology Officer and New Technologies Director and other such corporatese euphemisms for "Person In Charge Of Figuring Out How To Make A Buck Off Of This NET Thing" were created. Stocks were levereaged, startups were venture capitalized, Corporate nNodes selling things via the NET sprung up like weeds. 
Home computer sales spiked as soccer moms became convinced that they absolutely HAD to have a way to get on the NET to access this smorgasborg of retailing oportunities, kids insisted they needed the NET for interactive games and of course access to educational sites (wink wink nudge nudge), and henpecked husbands realized that there was a lot of porn to be had on the NET.
Where before only a few companies offered Personal Computers of any sort, suddenly new computer manufactures sprung up like strange mushrooms.
By 1998 the promise of money by the truckload to be had via the NET wasn't panning out, as most burgeoning new companies still struggled to get out of the red and established companies started to reconsider their bottom lines vis a vis their various NET based initiatives. To be sure, some companies were very successful via the NET, but they were the exception. The bottom started to fall out, at first slowly and then with a sickening slide akin to an avalanche as hundreds of startups and quite a few pre-NET companies collapsed outright, were liquidated by parent companies, or saw their stocks depreciate to the point that they were snatched up for pennies on the dollar and gutted for their client lists or core technology.