BLOG

Tag: history

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 […]

1 Comment

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 […]

No Comments

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 […]

No Comments

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, […]

No Comments

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 […]

1 Comment

Emoji – older than you think

It might just be random 17th Century punctuation, but this poem from 1648 certainly seems to be using a smiley face emoji. (OK, it’s probably not intentional, but it’s lovely intersection of the emoji and the word.)

1 Comment

A Spam Blast from the Past

A couple of days ago an ex-employee of Opt-In Inc., was kind enough to do a Reddit AMA answering questions about their experience working with Steve Hardigree in the “legitimate” email marketing industry, back in the early 2000s. The whole thing is worth a read, but I thought I’d share some of his more interesting […]

5 Comments

The 500 mile email

This is a great story from Trey Harris about a real email delivery issue from the mid 1990s. Here’s a problem that sounded impossible…  I almost regret posting the story to a wide audience, because it makes a great tale over drinks at a conference.   The story is slightly altered in order to protect […]

2 Comments

A blast from the past

I’m sitting here watching Iron Chef (the real one, not the American version) and surfing around on SFGate.com. It’s a slow night catching up on all the news I’ve missed this week while off traveling. I see a link on the front page: “Web marketer ordered to pay Facebook $711M.” As I click I wonder […]

5 Comments