The email turns 50

E-mail is anniversary: This 2021 is 50 years of its first appearance, at which time a computer scored a message from one computer to another and that would auto

The email turns 50

E-mail is anniversary: This 2021 is 50 years of its first appearance, at which time a computer scored a message from one computer to another and that would automatically become a historical landmark.

He was the American programmer Ray Tomlinson, who worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), who sent the first 'email' of history from a Massachusetts laboratory, in 1971. Two years earlier, that company had developed the ARPANET system (acronym In English Network of the Advanced Research Project Agency), considered the anteroom of the Internet.

Previously, in 1958, the Department of Defense of the United States had begun the ARPA program (agency of advanced research projects) in order to create a communications system that would allow them to take advantage over the Soviet Union in the Cold War .

ARPANET was a network of computers destined to sending military data in which Tomlinson worked with a team of programmers. This engineer adapted SNDMSG technology, an application that allowed sending messages through ARPANET among users of the same computer, and expanded it so that they could be sent through a wider network of connected equipment.

He did thanks to a complementary program that also carried his signature, Readmail. This was used to read the messages sent via SNDMSG. Likewise, he created a system of directions by which he added the username in front of a symbol until then in disuse, the Arroba (@), followed by the name of the team in question.

Even though it was only a test, Tomlinson achieved what became a milestone of technology. The legend tells that the message she chose to premiere what we now know as email were the upper letters of the keyboard in English, 'QWERTYUIOP'. However, this computer, who died in 2016, could never remember what he wrote exactly, he has indicated Google in a statement in which he celebrates this fact.

Because it was a novel idea that went beyond the users of a single team, Tomlinson devised a recognition system by which the name of the user sent by those text messages was indicated.

In order to identify these directories, he established a system by which the name of these users who interacted on one side and, on the other, was used, that of the team that received these messages.

To separate both terms, he used an unusual symbol that was part of these keyboards: the arroba. Until then, this symbol was not part of the computer language, so I had the certainty that it could be useful in this field and would not lead to error.

Currently, it would be difficult to imagine a communications system that lacked something as helpful as the email. In this sense, the most widespread messaging service is Gmail, provided by the Google search engine for free.

As registered by the company on the occasion of this anniversary, three decades after a Google engineer named Paul Buchheit began to experience the features that the email could offer and the way in which it could be completed with structure and order problems.

"My email was a disaster. The important messages were buried and the conversations were made a mess, I could not always access my email because it was stuck on the computer and the web interface was useless," he wrote at a blog post of Google.

In order to offer greater functionality when searching for messages, Buchheit created Gmail as an email based on the browser by which these emails could be accessed in an orderly manner.

Thus, Gmail presented its beta version on April 1, 2004 after several years of work, with a rapid search function that, at first, had 1 GB of storage.

Although this capacity is currently scarce and now it offers up to 15 GB of free storage (expandable with different pay fees), the next time trays had a space much lower than Google's proposal.

Over time, this storage space has been growing, as has also made the weight of files, photographs, recordings or documents. Its design is very different from the original and now includes various functions, such as Google Meets for the programming of meetings or the creation of shared task lists, among others.

Updated Date: 08 November 2021, 04:59

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