Sunday, 8 September 2013

Week 1: Something Related to the Internet

Posted by Beryl at 21:40
First official post! ^^

Today, I am going to talk about something that I think we take very much for granted...the unassuming email!

As mentioned in class, it is the most used service of the Internet, and the medium most professionals use today to communicate with each other electronically.

The email has its humble beginnings in the late 1971, where Ray Tomlinson, a US programmer, sent the first networked email with the message "QWERTYUIOP". Here's an Interesting Fact: The '@' symbol is a creation of Ray Tomlinson as well. Its function was to indicate which user was "at" what computer. The '@' symbol connects the user's login name to the host computer. Until the World Wide Web became available in 1991, email was one of the few options for Internet services, so it was a pretty significant service. Currently, some of the more prominent email service providers are Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! mail, with others such as PacificNet losing their popularity.

There are many benefits of having an email address. There is the ease of convenience of sending messages anytime and anywhere as long as we have an Internet connection, and the fact that it is inexpensive to use. The interface is relatively easy to operate on, and documents, pictures and messages can be sent in a matter of seconds digitally instead of physical copies through snail mail without compromising quality.

Of course, email has it's drawbacks as well. Spam, annoying unsolicited messages not to be confused with the more appetising canned meat, have been around since the creation of the APARNET in the 1970s. Here's Interesting Fact #2: The term 'spam' originated from a Monty Python skit, where the word 'spam' was repeated countless of times in the most annoying way, thus hindering proper conversation, as it is with the spam messages that we receive in our emails. The video below is an obvious explanation. Just be warned that you might be compelled to lower your volume a bit.

There is also the danger of receiving viruses through our emails, not to mention the possibility of being scammed. The possibility that our emails are also under surveillance from external parties also raises the issue of our privacy. However, when we weigh the pros and cons of having an email address, the pros definitely outweighs the cons. We just need to be informed and engage in practices that do not compromise our safety or privacy when using email.

In summary, here's a brief timeline of the history of the email:

This better explains the history of email than I ever will.

In my humble yet somewhat crude opinion, email is like toilet paper. It is something that we constantly use but taken for granted. We only realise its importance when it is not available and we are in desperate need of it. Without an email, we can't possibly register or access our social network accounts. We won't be able to receive important documents or use Googledocs. We require email in many aspects of our lives, more than we realise.

That's why kids, learn to appreciate your email more ;D

Signing off!


Huiwen on 17 September 2013 at 01:08 said...

Actually, I have to agree with the importance of email! I use it often to import pictures from my phone to my computer, or PDF documents and eBooks from my computer to my phone. Although I use a Macbook and an iPhone, it doesn't transfer files via Bluetooth which is kind of silly... and syncing my phone up to my computer takes more time than necessary for one picture or document too.

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