Anecdote

February 18, 2021

Email: “It seemed like a neat idea.”

“Ray Tomlinson is quoted as saying he invented email, ‘Mostly because it seemed like a neat idea.’ No one was asking for email.”  M. Bellis, “The History of Email” (ThoughtCo. Aug. 4, 2017).
February 17, 2021

Who Invented the Mouse a/k/a the X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System?

It is often amazing how little we know of the history of everyday devices. Who invented the telephone?  We all know the answer. What about the mouse that sitting next to your hand right now? The mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart.  J. Freeman, The Tyranny of E-Mail:  The Four-Thousand Year Journey […]
February 16, 2021

Who First Used the @ Sign in Domains and What Does It Mean?

Every day, we use computers and drive cars with no knowledge of what makes them tick.  Consider the humble “@” sign.  How many times did you use it today? “Ray Tomlinson chose the @ symbol to tell which user was ‘at’ what computer. The @ goes in between the user’s login name […]
February 14, 2021

What Was the First Email Message?

On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse sent a telegraph message and famously asked: “What hath G-d wrought?” Do you know who sent the first email or the message it conveyed? In 1971, Ray Tomlinson sent the first email message.  It was “QWERTYUIOP.”  M. Bellis, “The History of Email” (ThoughtCo. Aug. 4, 2017). […]
February 13, 2021

What Was the First Online Game Played?

In the 1840’s, the telegraph was used to play board games between towns.  See M. Berman, et al., eds., “Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation Through Trial” (ABA 2011), 753, citing Standage, “The Victorian Internet” (Walker & Co. 1998, 2007).  “Bored and lonely [telegraph] operators would also play checkers over the wires, […]
February 11, 2021

When Was the First Online Wedding? – William Storey and Clara Choate’s Love Story

Today, you can get married on Zoom.  But nothing’s new. The first online wedding took place by telegraph in the 1800’s.  See M. Berman, et al., eds., “Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation Through Trial” (ABA 2011), 753, citing Standage, “The Victorian Internet” (Walker & Co. 1998, 2007), 127-28.  Standage describes a […]