Monday, March 07, 2016

Did you get my email?

I see that Ray Tomlinson (inventor of email) has died; Tomlinson worked on the ARPANET system which was the (private) precursor to the modern internet and he wrote an email system for it; an idea which caught on in ways and at a scale I suspect he never dreamt of. His contribution was pretty substantial when you think about it; the email concept changed the way people communicate for ever, particularly in business (when was the last time you send a fax?) There have been many attempts to supersede email, IM chat, Facebook, Twitter etc., all have found their niche but email it still there, a mainstay of company life.

In an industry that changes so fast it must have been very satisfying to have your idea last for 45 years and show no signs of going anywhere even now. Then again what the internet giveth the internet taketh away, I was remarking only the other day that what email did to save trees undid through cardboard packaging, in fact now I understand why they called it "Amazon", you need a forest that size to make all their oversized boxes!

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