Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Top 5 Oldest Domain Names

Here is a little trivia about the internet, or teh interwebs as the kids call it these days. Domain Name Systems (DNS) formed in 1984, and began registering domains names. The first five takers are listed here:
  1. symbolics.com - 15-Mar-1985
  2. bbn.com - 24-Apr-1985
  3. think.com - 24-May-1985
  4. mcc.com - 11-Jul-1985
  5. dec.com - 30-Sep-1985
Who were these companies, where are they now, and how did they get there?
  • Symbolics, Inc was a spinoff from the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, founded for the purpose of manufacturing Lisp machines. The "PC revolution" contributed to the decreased demand of purpose-built Lisp machines. The company filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990's. A new privately held company, called "Symbolics" acquired the assets and intellectual property of the old public company and maintains some of its old products.

  • BBN Technologies was founded in 1948 by professors at MIT. Some of BBN's developments of note in the field of computer networks are the implementation and operation of the ARPANET; the first person-to-person network email sent and the invention of the @ sign in an email address; the first Internet protocol router; the Voice Funnel, an early predecessor of voice over IP; and work on the development of TCP. BBN was acquired by GTE in 1998. When GTE and Bell Atlantic merged to become Verizon in 2000, the ISP portion of BBN was included in assets spun off as Genuity. In March of 2004, Verizon sold BBN to a group of private investors, and as of writing, BBN is a privately held company.

  • Thinking Machines Corporation was a supercomputer manufacturer founded to turn MIT doctoral work by W. Daniel Hillis into a commercial product called the "Connection Machine." Thinking Machines became was the market leader in parallel supercomputers in 1990. After the loss of some DARPA contracts, Thinking Machines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 1994. The hardware portion of the company was purchased by Sun Microsystems, and the remainder re-emerged as a small software company specializing in data mining software for its installed base and former competitors' parallel supercomputers. Thinking Machines was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 1999.
  • Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation (MMC) was US computer industry research and development consortium, formed in response to Japan's Fifth Generation Project, a large Japanese research project aimed at producing a parallel processing computer that would out perform single CPU systems and have artificial intelligence capabilities. The Japanese project ended in failure in 1993, while MMC restructured on July 6, 2000 and ceased operations in 2001.
  • Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) made the popular Programmed Data Processor (PDP) and VAX mini-computers during the 70s and 80s. VAX terminals were the defacto industry standard in the 80's and the PDP line was used in many key companies and organizations such as MIT and BBN. The PDP-1 was the original hardware for playing history's first computerized video game, Steve Russell's Spacewar!. The PDP-7, and later models ran the first versions of the "C" programming language and UNIX. DEC was a strong supporter of ANSI standards, especially the ASCII character set, which survives in Unicode. The popular AltaVista search engine was created by Digital in 1993 and launched to the public in 1995. However the company was loosing money in the early 90's, and after rounds of layoffs, and many of the company's assests being spun off, what remained of the company was sold to Compaq in 1998. Compaq itself was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2002.
Much info ganked from Wikipedia, where all text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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1 comment:

Foxman said...

I have a DEC VAX 4000-100 running behind me at work.

Yah. Not kidding. Nobody seems to know how to migrate all the Health Record data off of it. So it still runs - people still access it - this year we finally managed to migrate the last 60 or so DEC terminals out of our lab.

OOoooold...