Ray Tomlinson Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

Computer Programmer

Ray Tomlinson

Birthday :

April 23, 1941

Died On :

March 5, 2016

Birth Place :

Amsterdam, New York, United States

Zodiac Sign :

Taurus

Chinese Zodiac :

Snake

Birth Element :

Metal


Early Life And Education

Ray Tomlinson was born on 23rd April 1941, in Amsterdam, New York, United States. He was one of four children, all boys.

Although born in Amsterdam, Tomlinson’s family moved to Vail Mills when he was very young. He went to school at nearby Broadalbin Central School. He then went on to study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Whilst at RPI, Ray Tomlinson took part in the co-op program with IBM. He graduated in 1963 with his Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, he went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He earned his Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering, graduating in 1965.

The subject of his thesis was an analog-digital hybrid speech synthesizer that he developed whilst in the Speech Communication Group.

Career

Ray Tomlinson started working for Bolt, Beranek, and Newman in 1967. They were a technology company. He assisted in the development of TENEX, which was an operating system. Part of the system was the ARPANET, which was the precursor to the internet.

Ray Tomlinson wrote a program that enabled files to be transferred through ARPANET. There was a program called SNDMSG which allowed messages to be sent to other users of the time-sharing computer. Ray Tomlinson added code to SNDMSG, which then allowed messages to be sent to other computers. It was Ray Tomlinson who used the “@” symbol to separate the person’s name from their computer name. The email was born.

To begin with, it wasn’t considered important, and Tomlinson tried to keep it quiet as he hadn’t been asked to work on such a program by his employer.

Major Works

Tomlinson’s major work was inventing the world’s first email system.

Awards And Honors

Some of Tomlinson’s awards include:

2001:   Webby Award – International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, for lifetime achievement

2012:   Inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society

Legacy

Email is one of the most used forms of communication in the modern world. To be the pioneer by inventing the first email program is a legacy that will always remain.


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