Science and Technology

‘Email’ invented by Indian-American V A Shiva Ayyadurai turns 32

ShivaOn August 30, 2014, email turned 32 years. The method of message transfer was invented by Indian American V.A.Shiva Ayyadurai when he was just 14 years. V A Shiva Ayyadurai was born to a Tamil Family in Bombay in 1963.

In 1978, Shiva Ayyadurai invented a computer programme, which he called “email,” that simulated all the functions of the interoffice mail system: Inbox, Outbox, Folders, Memo, Attachments, Address Book, etc. These features are now well-known parts of every email arrangement.

On August 30, 1982, the US government formally recognized Shiva Ayyadurai as the inventor of email by awarding him the first US Copyright for Email for his 1978 invention. At that time copyright was the only way to safeguard software inventions.

The Email wasn’t invented, with a huge research budget, in big institutions like the ARPANET, MIT, etc. Rather these organizations had believed it “impossible” to build such a system, considering it far too complex.

At the age of 14, Shiva Ayyadurai worked at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) as a research fellow, where Dr Leslie Michelson, then Director of the Laboratory Computer Network (LCN) at UMDNJ gave him a challenge: to transform the old system of paper-based mail communications used at UMDNJ to an electronic one.

Shiva Ayyadurai created a computer programme of over 50,000 lines of code, which electronically simulated all the qualities of the interoffice mail system.

The History of Email

1961 Tom Van Vleck - Message transaction multi-user. one computer
1969 Leonard Kleinrock - Message transaction, two computers
1971 Ray Tomlinson- Message transaction, multi-user, multi-computer
1973 Vlnton Cerf, Rort Kahn – TCP/IP
1973 Bobtca-Ethernet
1977 Dave Crock J. Vittal, K. Pogran, D.A. Henderson – RFC 733

1978 The Challenge
(V.A.) Shiva Ayyadurai is asked by Les Michelson to create the full-scale electronic version of the interoffice paper mail system in use at UMDNJ. Shiva creates first prototype. He calls it “email”

1979 Email System at UMDNJ
Email provides UMDNJ users Inbox? Outbox, Folders, the Memo (To, From, Sublact, Data Cc, Bcc), Attachments, etc., and processes such as Compose, Foard, Sort, and others with easy-to-use interface.

1980 Using Email
Email use grows at UMDNJ. More users, secretaries and doctors, across departments offices and groups are added on to the email system.

1981 Westinghouse Award
Warting house Award, also own as the “Baby Nobal’s” recognizes Email system for its original innovation.

1982 Copyright for Email
(V.A.) Shiva Ayyadurai receives US Copyright for “Email”. August 30, 1982: Registration TXU-11 1 -775

1985 Offline Email Readers
Development of offline readers allow email users to store email on their own personal computers. Read and compose replies without actually being connected to the network.

Steve Dorner develops Eudora. First commercial product to be widely used for reading and sending email on Local Area Networks (LAN).

1989 Compuserve & MCI Mail
Compuserve and MCI Mall become first formally sanctioned email carriers connected to the internet.

1991 Lotus Notes
Ray Ozzie and Mitch Kapor release major version of Lotus Notes (2.0)

1992 Microsoft Outook
Microsoft releases its answer to Lotus Notes. MS Outlook

1993 America Online (AOL)
AOL offers an easily accessible internet based email system

1995 EchoMail Launched
EchoMail, the first integrated Email Management system to help businesses handle increasing volumes of inbound EMAIL AT&T first customer.

1996 HoTMaiL
Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith launch HoTMail, soon becomes most used internet based email system

1997 Yahoo
Yahoo Mail offered as an alternative to HoTMaiL. It too provides web-based access through a browser.

1999 Blackberry
Blackberry makes accessing email via mobile phones more accessible. Mobile email is the new buzzword.

President George W. Bush signs into law penalties for unsolicited email.

2005 Email Address Verification
SPF released to validate email addresses to control SPAM. SPF release spawns other validation systems.

2007 Email at Google
Google launches Gmail on April Fool’s Day, after a prolonged four year Beta.

2009 iPhone 3G
iPhone and other mobile devices make email even more accessible.

2011 E-mail to Email
Associated Press Stylebook declares the use of email without hyphen “-”, as the standard
unaware of U.S. Copyright for “email”.

2012 Smithsonian Honors Email
Papers, computer code, and artifacts documenting the invention of email by VA Shiva Ayyadurai are accepted into the permanent archives of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

2013 Innovation Corps Launched
VA Shiva Ayyadurai and Dr. Leslie P. Michelson launch Innovation Corps to foster innovation for youth across the globe, in inner cities and villages, so more innovatiors such as email are possible.


‘Digital cloud’ for every Indian on anvil

PM Narendra Modi’s next giant drive to free up service delivery from the hold of the lower bureaucracy will be in the form of a ‘digital cloud’ for every Indian.

Now, Certificates issued by the Govt.: Education, residential, medical records, birth certificates, etc. will be saved in separate ‘digital lockers’ and a communication protocol will be established for Govt Departments to access them without actually having to see the hard copy.

The idea is very clear,  it is not desired that copies of certificates issued by the government itself to be carried everywhere by people to government offices for several services, e.g. if a student is applying for a government college and has studied in a government-aided school, his birth certificate, identity details and educational certificates, school-leaving details, et al should be available to Govt. institutes where he is applying. Likewise his medical records, etc.


Government approves continuation of urea production from Naptha

The Union Government has given nod to continuation of production of urea from three plants using Naptha as raw material for duration of three months ending on September 30, 2014. This decision will enable these units to continue urea production for the next 3 months and help cater to the requirement of urea for Indian farmers in the ongoing kharif season.

In line with the modified New Pricing Scheme (NPS)-III, the 3 naphtha based units- MFL-Manali, MCFL-Mangalore and SPIC-Tuticorin – were permitted to produce urea from naphtha as feedstock till June 30, 2014. The Centre had directed these units to switch to natural gas otherwise subsidy would not be provided. However, these fertilizer firms could not to shift to gas from naphtha, as there were protests from farmers in Tamil Nadu who were against the laying of gas pipeline. Also, gas was not available.

The total cost of production of urea or (concession price) is calculated on the basis of NPS-III. The selling price of urea is fixed at Rs 5,360 per tonne. Of the three firms, the MFL is state owned, while other two MCFL and SPIC are private companies.