email was Mac something something

From: Tom Jennings <>
Date: Thu Jan 13 15:12:18 2005

On Wed, 12 Jan 2005, Vintage Computer Festival wrote:

> What Linux did was allow any nerd to now have their own unix box. The
> next step was then to be able to take advantage of this crazy cool thing
> called the Internet. Primarily, the killer-app was Usenet and e-mail, but
> of course for nerds there was other wondrous stuff online. So now these
> nerds started seeking out ways that they could connect to the internet.
> The ease of having your own unix box drove that. Now, some of these nerds
> realized if they added an extra phone line they could give friends access
> to the internet through their box. Some realized they could SELL internet
> access to other people. In fact, I was an investor in a pretty early ISP
> in the Sacramento area that was started by a very young friend of mine,
> and is still thriving today. This begat the Mom&Pop ISP boom. Pretty
> soon, big companies like the Bells, Sprint, MCI, etc. started to take
> notice that people were making money selling access to the Internet.
> Within a couple years (1995ish) they started to jump on the bandwagon.
> Then began a huge influx of new users to this thing called e-mail and the
> internet and, very soon after that, the World Wide Web, that only a couple
> years before didn't even know this thing existed. The rest is history.
> My contention, and again, I can make a good argument (much better than
> this) if I had more time, but if Linux had not come around, the adoption
> of the internet by the public at large would have been a lot longer in
> coming. Linux was the lubrication that enabled quick penetration of
> internet into the mainstream.

Except that during the buildup of the corner ISPs, which I was
intimately involved in, linux more or less didn't exist.

The sharing-of-leased-lines-to-the-internet smallscale ISP thing
started around 1992 (more or less) when it became obvious the
CO/RE split was going to happen, converging with Moore's Law
technology changes (9600+ modems and widespread and cheap systems
capable of running TCP/IP).

Torvalds announced his plan for linux in 1991. That same year, a
full-blown unix was available, 386/bsd. By 1992, 1993, 1994,
386/bsd and then free, net, etc were around.

This is no criticism of linux; it simply wasn't usable in 1992
like unix was. I love linux, it's great software, made for a huge
activist-y community, plus it slapped the unix distros into line
to some degree.

My assumption is that CERTAINLY, RFC822 style TCP port 25 mail was
deeply established as the de facto standard for "email" by the
internet explosion, which was implemented 99% on unix, not linux.

What you say is true, linux has had a massive effect, but well
after such standards were in place. The linux world didn't have to
"help convince the world RFC822 was the way to go", it was a done
deal long before it arrived on the scene.

I'm more thankful that the likes of Microsoft etc didn't get to
determine much of this stuff. Whew!
Received on Thu Jan 13 2005 - 15:12:18 GMT

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