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Email Inventor Ray Tomlinson Dies At 74 ( 58

vikingpower writes: ARPAnet pioneer and networking legend Ray Tomlinson, who is best known for his contributions in developing email standards, has died at 74. Tomlinson was best known for choosing the @ symbol to indicate a message should be sent to a different computer on a network. He also led development of standards for the from, subject, and date fields found in every email message sent today. When Tomlinson first showed his invention to his colleague Jerry Burchfiel, Tomlinson said, "Don't tell anyone! This isn't what we're supposed to be working on." May Ray rest in peace in /dev/null.
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Email Inventor Ray Tomlinson Dies At 74

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  • ... we'd still be living in a pre-wheel society.

  • Requiesc@ in pace.

    • requiescat@pace

      Fixed that for you.

  • Thankfully (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @12:25PM (#51648429) Journal

    Thankfully the real inventor of modern email is getting due credit, rather than charlatans like VA Shiva Ayyadurai.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So if a towlie blows hizelf up and 100 others he gets to go to paradise and this guy, this guy gets a send off to dev and null? that's where my spam goes.

  • The man did so much to change the world.

    Now, will someone please tell us when the guy that invented SPAM dies, so we can celebrate there being one less evil bastard in the world?
    • by Mryll ( 48745 )

      Well Siegel died

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Gary Thuerk [] sent the first spam email [] in 1978. It was an ad promoting DEC computers in ALL CAPS. In 2004, when he was asked if he feels guilty for sending the first spam, he said: "I never feel guilty. Someone would have done it..." He is on LinkedIn and offers this: "You can have the Father of E-spam be a speaker at your company function. You can watch people line up at your technology conference booth to meet the Father of eMarketing."

      Other people who worked hard on killing the usefulness of the internet

  • by fhage ( 596871 ) on Sunday March 06, 2016 @02:07PM (#51648825)



    RCPT TO: raytomlinson@cloud.hev


    Subject: Thanks.


    Thanks for all your work on this new tech. I've found it especially useful and it has given me great joy at times.

    One of the best times is when I emailed the school staff list "from the District Superintendent", clarifying the dress code for staff on "Casual Fridays".

    I started with a few stolen lines from a real memo. I included some choice text from the district's student dress code for maximum troll effect and ended with a school colors clown nose requirement.

    I actually got to hear one of the office staff say: "I didn't know the district had a casual Friday!". Everyone laughed, and I did not go to jail. The district IT staff got the message and updated their SMTP server to use authentication.

    -A grateful user.

    • I pulled a VERY similar stunt except the content was highly sexual, and was "from" the principal and to a female teacher, and I got kicked out of the National Honor Society and 2 weeks suspension.
  • Because the invitation went into your junk folder.

  • All I can say is that being a pre-internet email sysadmin in the era that transitioned between <machine1!machine2!user> with some atrocities of decnet mail addressing thrown in and sent over modems with uucp/uumail, the appearance of <user@machine2.domain> email addresses really helped to make sendmail.config parsing files totally insane with both left to right and right to left name resolution and routing rules that persisted until we could afford to get directly attached directly to the intern

  • Split by =

    The 'mailbox' bit of the address can be split using the = character to add on

    • Role : me=inventor@...
    • Formal qualification : me=-BSc@...
    • Honour : me=!OBE@...

    Also membership, semi-formal titles and indication that the recipient in the first instance is a machine.

    This means you can send an email to =salesdept@... or Mary=salesmanager@... or Mary@...

    Details at []


      • Being able to differentiate the role from the person.
        • Being able to identify a person's role B
  • Ray Tomlinson created the @ symbol and text messaging. Email was invented by Shiva Ayyadurai @va_shiva []
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ayyadurai started working on his "EMAIL" program in 1979, one year after the first spam email had been sent to several hundred recipients on the ARPANET. Congratulations to him on being alive, but he is not the inventor of email.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker