By developing the first email system, V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, devised an indispensable form of communication as he claims to have invented the electronic equivalent of paper-based postal mail system.
CHENNAI, TAMIL NADU, INDIA (JULY 13, 2013) (ANI) - By developing the first email system, V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, devised an indispensable form of communication as claimed to have invented the electronic equivalent of paper-based postal mail system.
The 48-year-old inventor hailing from southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is a system scientist and a lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He has been honoured with many prestigious awards for his invention of email and ongoing contributions to email technology.
Ayyadurai had used the features of the interoffice, inter-organizational paper mail system to convert it into an electronic version, which would facilitate the workers of a University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) to carry on with their mail delivery without much effort.
"That secretary had a typewriter, she would write memos, to from subject, CC, BCC. She actually used physical carbon copy. The carbon copy was actually used to create copies. She had an inbox, a physical inbox, where she would receive paper mail, she had an outbox, where she would mail to be picked up. She also had a drafts bin. The drafts bin was with the doctor who would some time dictate to her a letter. She would then type the letter up in the typewriter and put it in the drafts. He would review it. Then she would put it in the outbox. She also had file folders, some times this mail had to be archived sometimes for three four five or ten years," said Ayyadurai on Saturday (July 13) while talking about how he was inspired to undertake this innovation.
Systems for communications among widely dispersed computers were in existence at the time, but they were primitive and their usage was largely confined to computer scientists and specialists.
So when Ayyadurai's mentor Michelson gave him the challenge to convert the interoffice, inter-organizational paper mail system into an electronic version, he readily accepted it.
"Like this there were 50 or 100 features. Dr. Michelson challenged me, he said, Shiva, would you like to convert the entire system, this entire system, the inter office; inter organization paper mail system to an electronic version. That is what I did in 1979, I looked at this whole system and I created the electronic version and I called that system, E-M-A-I-L, Email," said Ayyadurai.
The inventor envisioned something simpler, something that everyone, from secretary to CEO of any organization, could use quickly and reliably send and receive messages in a digitised form.
"So 1981 I applied for the software copyright and in 1982 I received, I was awarded the first US copyright for Email, a computer program for electronic mail system," Ayyadurai said recalling how he applied for the copyright of the software.
Today, nearly 2 billion people worldwide use email, rendering it an indispensable form of communication.