Re: V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai: Inventor of e-mail honored by Smithsonian
Dave, I hope you continue following up on this. Even in his wikipedia
(I presumed self created), he doesn't claim to be the inventor and
pointed out there was existing systems. But he registered the
copyright the term "EMAIL" and I guess from there, any layman may
assume he invented email:
Prior to becoming a student at the Massachusetts Institute of
a high school student at Livingston High School, New Jersey, he
implemented an email
system at the medical school of University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).
Email had been previously sent on other networks such as AUTODIN,
PLATO and ARPANet.
But he is claiming as the first to tie a database:
This was the first database-driven system that translated all
elements of an
inter-office memorandum/mail, then in paper form, along with
features of Inbox, Outbox
and Folders, to an electronic mail format. In 1981, this system
by the Westinghouse Science Talent Search receiving an Honors
Award. Later, in 1982,
the US Copyright Office issued him the first copyright of his
system called “EMAIL”.
It is pretty silly to claim a "Database" tie in since early systems
were essentially centralized and unless he was using systems like
Fidonet, which I believe he is very aware of since his company need
borrows the name "EchoMail", each BBS system has its own database system.
He needs to be asked one question:
If you claim to be the inventor of "Email," then want hosting
system did you use?
Did you also write your own Mail Hosting software and also Mail
The then cyber space expansion really started with people as 3rd party
developers, its how I started, and you had to work with some existing
platform and if the existing platform already had a database tie on,
then obviously he did not invent this natural law concept. There is
always a database or store of some kind.
But he seems to be taking credit for the UI and I am curious to know
what package he had because if one thing was true, there was a lot of
proprietary, contract work people did - that is how I started as well
with the development of an smart terminal/PC X.400 Email Interface
with the basic idea of printing out the email for your morning
reviews. That started for me in 81, but I recall during the late 70s
during college, using Prime mini-computers to send/receive electronic
mail. I don't remember the packages, but it was surely commercial.
This Westinghouse Science kid (I was associated with the selection
committee as a Minority Representation and Speaker at High Schools,
but didn't have any voting responsibility, just a token minority
symbol) simply had exposure to existing commercial systems and perhaps
wrote a fancy UI (had to be dial up) and got a big pat on the back and
not surprising because it was really still new. But he went ahead
and copyrighted the term "EMAIL" and some how was awarded the
copyright. Also, not surprising with the era but I am very surprised
at what appears to be a Smithsonian lack of due diligence here.
Dave CROCKER wrote:
For reference, I just sent this message:
Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 17:14:29 -0800
From: Dave CROCKER <dhc(_at_)dcrocker(_dot_)net>
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
To: Peggy Kidwell <kidwellp(_at_)si(_dot_)edu>
CC: Emi Kolawole <emi(_dot_)kolawole(_at_)washtingtonpost(_dot_)com>
Subject: V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai's purported invention of email
I just saw the Washington Post article about V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai's work
acknowledged by the Smithsonian as the invention of email. In the video
associated with the article, he cites contact with you. So I thought
be appropriate to contact for possible followup through the Smithsonian.
trying to copy Post article's author, but am guessing at her email address.
Unfortunately, Ayyadurai's work was not even close to the earliest email.
Email dates back to the 1960's with the earliest computer timesharing
such as at MIT.
Networked email was invented by Ray Tomlinson at Bolt, Beranek & Newman
1971; the email object from then looks remarkably similar to the basic
that Internet Mail; the service has actually been in continuous
Ray added inter-machine transfer -- ie, networking -- to the existing
mail system on BBN's timesharing system and it already had To:, cc: and
I don't recall whether it had bcc, but bcc was certainly in use shortly
that. For example, it was in the system that I built in 1976. I've
some documentation about that system (MS). This core functionality
own efforts; this is just the easiest way I can document it for you. I
also mention that Ray and I were given the IEEE Internet Award for our
respective work on email.
Over the last year or so, Ayyadurai contacted me about with his claims. I
ignored them because they are so easy to disprove. (As one of my
noted, try looking up email in Wikipedia.) Again referring to the
Report, note that the first paragraph in the Preface has the term
mail'. And again I'll note that mine was not original use of the term.
I'm glad to chat with you or anyone else about the real history of email,
although I wasn't in at its actual start. My own involvement did not begin
[attachment: Framework & Functions of the MS Message System, Rand