"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Monday, March 07, 2016

Inventor of Email and First User of the @ Sign To Separate Name and Server, Ray Tomlinson, Passes Away

Business Insider via News Republic informs us that The computer legend who invented email has passed away.

Ray Tomlinson put the @ in the "first email address" in Cambridge, Massachusetts and sent the first email to himself as a test. The separation of a person's name from the server via the @ sign permitted email communication between users of different PCs, whereas that was previously not possible. All good things start small.

Tomlinson told a work colleague about his discovery, but asked him not tell anyone about it, because it was not what he was supposed to be working on.

We recall seeing that same phenomenon at Stanford in pioneer digital days, when many new discoveries were made in the course of other work. The first "bitmaps" we saw at SLAC were made during "play" on "company time"....

That was the true nature of invention in the early days of the digital era.

Sasha Cavender at Forbes in "Legends", October 5, 1998, writes about Tomlinson's innovation in detail, noting among other things that:

"Like certain other pioneers of the information age, such as Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf (both profiled in previous Forbes ASAP "Legends"), Tomlinson ... changed the world and made a lot of others rich without cashing in himself. "Innovation is sometimes rewarded," he [had said] with a laugh, "but not this innovation."

Tomlinson was 75.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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