Sunday, November 1, 2020

A brief history of email.

A brief history of email.

The desire to communicate is paramount among most living creatures, and especially among humans. Since time immemorial, the media and communication techniques have been worked and refined. The first humans communicated verbally or in writing. They used pictorial representations, still visible on the ancient walls of the cave. If there was a physical distance between the parties wishing to communicate, a messenger physically transported the messages. The first "jungle drum" and "smoke signal" transmissions were evidence of the first form of remote communication in which a messenger was not physically sent to the desired destination.

Email means "email." According to this definition, the first emails were sent in the last century through telegraphic transfer and Morse code transmissions.

The companies widely used the telex network for worldwide communication from the mid-1920s to the mid-1980s. A telex machine would connect and communicate with any other telex machine anywhere in the world, regardless of the telephone network. Safety was also strict as telex machines made an identifying handshake. In addition, to use telex, a telex terminal was generally needed, which needed trained operators to operate it. Surprisingly, telex is still popular worldwide, despite the growth of the Internet.

Mainframe and miniframe computers were quite popular among many large companies in the 1960s and 1970s. They exchanged emails on these computers. Users (in this case, company employees) of their computers (terminals) could send messages between them. Gradually, the central systems of the companies, known as hosts, began to connect to branches. Now employees could communicate with their counterparts via email worldwide.

APRANET was developed by the United States Department of Defense as part of its research in computer networks during this time. Network email was developed for APRANET and has now become email technology in its current form. The first email from APRANET was sent in 1971.

In the late seventies and eighties there was an astronomical growth in the personal computer market with the entry of Apple and IBM. Among these were patented "marking" systems such as MCI Mail, Telecom Gold and AppleLink.   It should be noted here that thousands of personal computer users sent and received emails using "dial-up" systems before the Internet was available for use by everyone.

Another development took place in parallel to the above: the development of "LAN-based" email systems within companies, connecting personal computers used by their staff to mainframe systems. They even allowed you to send attachments with emails.

Gradually, the use of the Internet to access information was gaining immense popularity. Over time, as more and more people had access to the Internet, email applications evolved from proprietary email systems within the company's networks to "Intranets," which can best be described as private mini-Internets. .

Therefore, we can say that "email" itself is not a new phenomenon. The new thing is that it is more readily available worldwide, it is cheap and much easier to use.