[vcf-midatlantic] oldest email address in the club

Jim Scheef jscheef at outlook.com
Thu Sep 1 18:04:36 EDT 2016

I have no direct evidence (old email text) to prove this, but my Internet email use goes back to about 1989-90 when CompuServe (CIS) opened a gateway to Internet mail. My evidence for the date is the fact that I'm in the book "CompuServe From A to Z" published in 1991. My regular (paid) address was 76137.757 at compuserve.com; plus I had a sponsored account 76702,1654.
CIS had gateways to various email services like MCI Nail, AT&T Mail, etc. AT&T Mail used X.500 addressing and this gateway allowed reaching yet more systems based on X.500 addressing. X.500 was an ITU 'standard' implemented in various email systems (or optional gateways) as a lowest common denominator. This included MHS, Microsoft Mail, cc:Mail, VINES, etc. 
I used these gateways to communicate with my son attending BU at the time. He used to send in his turns to a play my mail game. Remember email was pretty esoteric back then and having an email address (or two) on your business card was a real status symbol. When you wanted to send someone an email, the conversation always started with "What service do you use?" 
I'm surprised no one has mentioned FidoNet - or was this thread limited to Internet email?
You can find a non-description of the "bang path" in this Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UUCP#Mail_routing). I found other mentions but no examples.

-----Original Message-----
From: vcf-midatlantic [mailto:vcf-midatlantic-bounces at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org] On Behalf Of Jeffrey Jonas via vcf-midatlantic
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 12:38 PM
To: vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org
Cc: Jeffrey Jonas <jeffrey.scott.jonas at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [vcf-midatlantic] oldest email address in the club

> Here's my entry from the NIXPUB list in 1992:
> 04/92  814-353-0566       cpumagic   Bellefonte      PA 12/24/96/14 24

What a small world: friends still live in Bellefonte.

The closest I have to that was my photo & entry in "Face Saver"
at the 1989 Usenix conference.

From: Neil Cherry

> If you were on bitnet you were probably using all sorts of symbols.
> I recall mixing !, %, @, {}. Lots of fun with routing email.

I donated my O'Reilly Nutshell book of manual e-mail routing to the VCF library. It documented all known email gateways and things like the "at-hack".
The title looked like a cartoon character cursing: @!#%*-something.

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