Email Inventor Ray Tomlinson Dies At 74

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Ray Tomlinson, the American  computer programmer widely credited with the invention of email passed away in Washington, United States. He was 74 years old. He came up with the idea of electronic messages that could be sent from one network to another in 1971.

Until 1971 users could only write messages to others using the same computer but in 1971, Tomlinson implemented the first email system on the ARPANET system (the Internet’s predecessor)  that allowed people to send person-to-person messages to other computer users on other servers.

To achieve this, he used the @ sign to separate the user name from the name of their machine, a scheme which has been used in email addresses ever since. Tomlinson's email program brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate.

ARPANET system : The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET)  was an early packet switching network and the first network to implement the protocol suite TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). Both technologies became the technical foundation of the Internet. 

At a glance : Ray Tomlinson

Tomlinson was born on April 23, 1941 in Amsterdam, New York, US. He received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1963. After graduating he joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology to continue his electrical engineering education. 

Born as Raymond Samuel Tomlinson on April 23, 1941 in Amsterdam, New York, US. He had graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in electrical engineering. 

In 1967 he joined the technology company of Bolt, Beranek and Newman (now BBN Technologies),  where he helped develop the TENEX operating system including ARPANET Network Control Program and TELNET implementations. He wrote a file-transfer program called CPYNET to transfer files through the ARPANET.

Awards and Honours: George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award in 2000,  IEEE Internet Award in 2004,  He was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012.

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