[ih] Any suggestions for first uses of "e-mail" or "email"?

Leo Vegoda leo at vegoda.org
Tue Aug 4 14:50:54 PDT 2015

On Tue, Aug 04, 2015 at 01:16:12PM -0700, Jack Haverty wrote:


> So we wrote lots of code.  We wrote lots of documentation, and embedded
> it in the code.  We put useful files in readily accessible places, on
> our own FTP servers or the ones at the NIC.  We had extensive
> discussions and debates on all sorts of technical and other issues,
> using our brand new mail systems.
> We didn't write a lot of papers or more formal documents.  Anything on
> paper was suspected to be obsolete anyway.   We did write RFCs, IENs,
> and other such semi-formal documents, which have fortunately been well
> preserved by Jake Feinler and others.   But even those are sometimes
> misinterpreted as capturing a moment in time, when they often actually
> captured a moment in the past.   I remember finally writing up an RFC
> defining the XNET protocol, but only after it had been in use for years.
> We used the ephemeral mechanisms of the network to document our work,
> and I suspect most of it has been lost or become unreadable.   We tried
> to create mechanisms for longevity, e.g., the DataComputer at CCA, but
> the technology wasn't up to the task.
> We made life for today's historians much more difficult than it might
> have been.

I expect that historians of earlier times would love to have such a
wide variety of sources to read and interpret. In the days when
paper was expensive and few people were literate much less could be
documented. As long as these sources are archived and remain
available there's every chance for a far more accurate history of
the development of networking emerging than there is of the
emergence of technologies like working iron.



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