Re: Query for magazine feature

Rohit Khare (
Mon, 4 Oct 1999 17:09:35 -0700

In message <004b01bf0e24$acc0ef00$817f6ccb@braue>, David Braue writes:
>Greetings Roy,
>My name is David Braue and I am writing a feature article about e-mail for
>the Bulletin, which is Australia's equivalent to Newsweek magazine. The
>piece is a short (one-page) and relatively informal look at e-mail, its
>growth and its future, and as one of the things I'm exploring for the piece
>I'm asking a few people where the '@' in e-mail came from (ie why that
>particular symbol?).

The story is told, among other places, in _Nerds 2.01: A Brief
History of the Internet_, the companion to the TV series by Stephen

>Every single e-mail address has Ray Tomlinson's personal stamp on
>it, because he drecided how to identify the email user with her/her
>location or institution. The upper-case 2 key, standard on the
>QWERTY typewriter keyboard since the 1940s: the @ sign.
>Ray Tomlinson looked at his keyboard on a Model-33 teletype: "The
>one that was most obvious was the '@' sign, because this person was
>@ this other computer, or, in some sense, he was @ it. He was in the
>same room with it, anyway. And so it seemed fairly obvious and I
>just chose it. There were, at the time, there was nobody with an @
>sign in their name that I was aware of. I'm not so sure that's true
>any longer because there are a lot of strangely spelled names out
>there now."

Rohit "wunderkind" Khare :-)