Tales of Ancient E-Mail
cclist at sydex.com
Tue Nov 7 13:11:29 CST 2006
On 2 Nov 2006 at 10:02, Tom Watson wrote:
> I don't know about what was used on the pdp-6/10 (I have a bit of contact, but
> not much), but I don't remember any mail commands for IBM360's or the GE
That's the problem with making a claim to be the "first". Many
concepts are evolutionary instead of revolutionary. With email, one
has to ask "what's the first time someone cobbled together a JCL
script or program to see if someone had left a message in a pre-
agreed upon place?" and "When is the first time that someone did
this on two connected systems?"
I suppose Western Union might have originated the first email system
using teletypes, no? It's a networked system and messages are stored
in hardcopy form with routing information, so the receiving end can
run unattended. I submit that the presence or absence of a
"computer" in the middle of all of this is a minor quibble.
Who knows, perhaps there was a similar setup in the days of
telegraphy? Didn't Edison work on a printing telegraph?
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