First Spam Email / PC Modem
Backbone:50Kbps ARPANET, Hosts:137*
First Spam Email
On May 3, 1978, Gary Thuerk sent the first spam email ever. A marketer for the Digital
Equipment Corporation, or "DEC", blasted out his message to 400 of the 2600 people on ARPAnet
to promote DEC's new range of mini-computers. Naturally he annoyed a lot of people, but he
also had some success, with a few recipients interested in what he was pushing.
In April of 1977, Dennis C. Hayes developed the first personal computer modem on his dining
room table, establishing the critical technology that allowed today's online and Internet
industries to emerge and grow. A modem converts the digital signals of the sending computer
to analog signals that can be transmitted through telephone lines. When the signal
reaches its destination, another modem reconstructs the original digital signal, which is
processed by the receiving computer. In January 1978, Hayes Corp. was founded, and by 1985
Hayes' annual sales hit $120 million. In fact, Hayes modems were so popular that other
competitors would sell their modems as Hayes-compatible modems.
* Total hosts during this year is an estimate