Email - one of the most important parts of our lives that helps us to stay connected with our family, friends and colleagues is celebrating its 40th birthday this year.
IT HAS been a basic instinct of man to be connected from the early ages. Whether it was the cave paintings or the tin can phone, everyone wanted to be connected with another human being not in the same place and they devised various methods for it. Phones and Internet followed and contrary to what many will believe emails are just 40-year-old. Although most of us can not imagine a life without emails these days the electronic letter also known as 'electronic mail' reached its 40th birthday.
It was in 1970 that Ray Tomlinson updated an existing utility called SNDMSG and was able to transfer a message from one computer to another much before the advent of the Internet. The software that Tomlinson improved has been in use since 1960's and it allows a user to compose, address, and send a message to other users' mailboxes in a single computer. Tomlinson is normally referred to as the father of email as it was he who sent across a message using the '@' sign that separated names of the user and the user's machine.
In order to test the method the first message was transfered between two computers sitting side by side connected with ARPANET, which was the first computer network of the world. As was reported by zeenews.com, this network was used in the US by academics of the universities. This network was replaced by BITNET, which was also phased out by CERN in 1996 as they bought TIFR leased line connection.
We have come a long way and with Internet there is a daily progress in the process of communication. As we are all under the spell of the new media and value its importance, we should all gather around for the 'Happy Birthday email' song.