Computer-to-computer email started when Bolt Beranek and Newman was hired by the United States Defense Department to work on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet. Employee Ray Tomlinson started working on an experimental file transfer protocol that could send a message from one computer to another. He also came up with the “@” symbol to connect the user and network, simply because it made the most sense to him. It would include the user’s name and the host where it should be sent. In July of 1971 Tomlinson sent the first email to the computer next to his, which read, “QWERTYIOP”.
Pierre Omidyar was thinking that the web might make for a great
marketplace, specifically utilizing an auction format for fair
pricing on items. He launched the website AuctionWeb (which became
eBay) on September 3, 1995. The first item to sell was a broken
laser pointer, which went for $14.83. He was confused by someone
paying for that much for a defective item and discovered the buyer
collected broken laser pointers. He thought it was interesting that
collectors were so passionate about ordinary items.
The first book sold on Amazon in July of 1995 was Fluid Concepts And
Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of
Thought, by Douglas Hofstadter.
The first Internet single released by a major label happened during
1993, when Geffen Records released the single “Head First” by
During October 27, 1994, Joe McCambley, who ran a small digital
advertising company, created the first banner ad for AT&T. The
all-text ad, which said “Have you ever clicked your mouse here?”
appeared on Hotwired.com, the first digital magazine. Forty four
percent of Hotwired’s visitors clicked the ad, and some even shared
it with friends. Today, only about 0.0004 percent of website
visitors click on banner ads.