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In Memory of Ray Tomlinson, April 23, 1941 - March 5, 2016

Internet pioneer, Ray Tomlinson has passed away. He died at his home yesterday morning from a suspected heart attack at the age of 74. While best known as the creator of the email messaging system, Tomlinson made tremendous contributions to the field of computing science, evolution of the Internet, and ultimately how the world communicates today.

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Craig Partridge says: "He's best known for inventing the concept of sending email over a computer network and choosing the @ sign as the way to split the mailbox name from the host name. But that's a fraction of his amazing contributions to our field. Ray was one of a four person team that created TENEX, the first operating system to support virtual memory using paging. He wrote one of the first implementations of TCP and, when he found data being duplicated in the received stream, devised methods to ensure that sequence numbers were not duplicated that remain fundamental to TCP/IP implementations today. He worked on the first object-oriented distributed system and early multimedia email systems. And I'm sure I'm forgetting at least half a dozen other ways Ray made our world better."

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Vint Cerf says:  "I knew and worked with Ray Tomlinson during the development of the ARPANET and its host protocols and benefited, as have billions, from his seminal work on networked electronic email. More important, from my personal perspective, was his work with Bill Plummer on the first PDP-10 TENEX implementation of TCP (and later TCP/IP). In 1975, he discovered that the TCP as specified in December 1974 had flaws that led it to fail to detect duplicate packets and, together with Yogen Dalal, developed the three-way handshake and initial sequence number selection method to solve this problem. As Craig Partridge summarizes, Ray was a long-time and creative contributor to the Internet, operating systems, and many other highly practical applications in the computer science and communications domains. He was a self-effacing and humble man and extraordinary performer in our online world. I will miss his thoughtful, low-key and always helpful counsel."

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In 2012, Tomlinson was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society. His other awards and honors include: Receiving the George R. Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award from the American Computer Museum in 2000. In 2001, he was honored with a Webby Award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and was inducted into the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2002, Discover Magazine awarded him its Innovation Award. In 2004, he earned the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Internet Award. He was named the Prince of Asturias Award Laureate for Technical and Scientific Research in 2009. In 2011, he was honored with the Eduard Rhein Kulturpreis Cultural Award. He is ranked number four on the MIT list of top 150 innovators and ideas from MIT.

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Vinton Cerf, Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet

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Promoted Post

Buying or Selling IPv4 Addresses?

Watch this video to discover how ACCELR/8, a transformative trading platform developed by industry veterans Marc Lindsey and Janine Goodman, enables organizations to buy or sell IPv4 blocks as small as /20s.