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The history of email

My first access to “the internet” was through a dialup modem on a VAX at the FDA. I was a summer intern there through my college career and then worked full time after graduation and before grad school. My email address ended in .bitnet. I could mail some places but not others. One of the […]

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SHOUTY CAPS!!!

Over at Meh Glenn Fleishman has put together a fascinating two-parter on the history of using ALL CAPS for emphasis. And SHOUTING. CAPITAL CRIMES, PART 1 : SHOUT, SHOUT, LET IT ALL OUT CAPITAL CRIMES, Part 2: Usenet has no CHILL  

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Ray Tomlinson

Ray Tomlinson has passed away. Mainstream obituaries are going to focus on his being “the creator of email” or “the sender of the first email” or “the inventor of the @ sign in email addresses“. All of which are true. He did send the first (networked) email. He did use the (otherwise mostly unused on TENEX) […]

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2016 Mary Litynski Award

The Mary Litynski Award is presented by M3AAWG to people who have done extensive work outside the public eye over a significant period of time. At the Dublin conference the award was presented to Rodney Joffe. A lot of other people will talk about Rodney’s accomplishments, including his role in the founding of Genuity, his […]

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thirty.years.com

Thirty years ago this Sunday, symbolics.com was registered – the first .com domain. It was followed, within a few months, by bbn.com, think.com, mcc.com and dec.com. Symbolics made lisp machines – symbolics.com is now owned by a domain speculator. BBN is a technology R&D company who’ve worked on everything. If I had to pick one […]

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Who didn’t invent email?

Who didn’t invent email? Shiva Ayyadurai. He’s not the only one – I didn’t invent email either, nor did Abraham Lincoln, Boadicea or Tim Berners-Lee. So why mention Shiva? He claims that in 1978 when he was 14, he took some courses in programming. His mum worked for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of […]

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The origins of network email

The history of long distance communication is a fascinating, and huge, subject. I’m going to focus just on the history of network email – otherwise I’m going to get distracted by AUTODIN and semaphore and facsimile and all sorts of other telegraphy. Electronic messaging between users on the same timesharing computer was developed fairly soon after time-sharing […]

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Email History through RFCs

Many aspects of email are a lot older than you may think. There were quite a few people in the early 1970s working out how to provide useful services using ARPANET, the network that evolved over the next 10 or 15 years into the modern Internet. They used Requests for Comment (RFCs) to document protocol and […]

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Email saves trees!

The arrival of my first spam email was a bit of a shock. I’d been on the internet for years by that point and had never seen junk mail in my inbox. Of course, the Internet was a very different place. The web was still a toddler. There was no email marketing industry. In fact, […]

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The more things change

I was doing some research about the evolution of the this-is-spam button for a blog article. In the middle of it, I found an old NY Times report about spam from 2003. At the same time, the argument is intensifying over what represents legitimate e-mail, particularly when it ends up being blocked by an antispam […]

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