NEW YORK, NY - With just one keystroke on a computer keyboard, Ray Tomlinson may have saved the @ sign from extinction.
You may not have known his name, but Tomlinson is the guy you can thank for your over-flowing Inbox. He was an early Internet genius who invented e-mail. He died Sunday, at 74, but leaves behind a giant electronic legacy.
While making a public appearance a few years ago, Tomlinson said, “I’m often asked, did I know what I was doing (laugh) the answer is...yea. I knew exactly what I was doing. I just had no notion whatsoever of what the ultimate impact would be.”
Tomlinson was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012.
G-mail, one of many off-shoots of his creation, paid tribute with a tweet. “Thank you, Ray Tomlinson, for inventing e-mail and putting the @ sign on the map.”
Another pioneer who`s name you`ve probably never heard, Matti Makkonen, is considered the texting pioneer. He pitched the idea in 1984, but it took another eight years before the first text message was sent.
In Sweden, a guy by the name of Jaap Haartsen came up with the colorful idea known as Bluetooth.
The fact is, you couldn't text or use Bluetooth without Martin Cooper. His name may not be familiar, but his invention sure is.
“Do I think that the cell phone was an important creation in history?” asks Cooper, “I think it is one of the crucial things. Perhaps as important as the invention of the wheel.”
Now, if we could just figure out who invented the butt dial!