Ray Tomlinson, who implemented the first email system on the ARPANET (the Internet’s precursor) and decided on the @ symbol for use in email addresses, died on Saturday at the age of 74. From his biography at the Internet Hall of Fame:
Tomlinson’s email program brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate, including the way businesses, from huge corporations to tiny mom-and-pop shops, operate and the way millions of people shop, bank, and keep in touch with friends and family, whether they are across town or across oceans. Today, tens of millions of email-enabled devices are in use every day. Email remains the most popular application, with over a billion and a half users spanning the globe and communicating across the traditional barriers of time and space.