Spam at 30. Happy birthday, sort of

It was 30 years ago today (I'm sure you're familiar with that refrain) but it wasn't about the music. Spam made its first unwelcome appearance via e-mail on this date.

I prefer my a can

We'll find out later whether this really is Microhoo Day. If it's another false alarm, May 3 will retain its place in computer history as the day spam was born. Thirty years ago, some guy entered the record books for being the first to pitch unwanted commercial e-mail.

Remember all those predictions about how spam would be resolved by now? Still waiting. Government hasn't figured out the answer. Ditto the technology industry. Wonder if we'll still be bemoaning spam and its discontents 30 years ago from today? (Cue up "Sergeant Pepper" right about now.)

Tech Culture
About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.


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