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The History of the Internet
Internet Timeline 1978

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.

PC Modem
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