Today in 1978, the first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail was sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketing representative of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) to all 393 users of ARPANET on the west coast of the United States. The e-mail is an invitation to a demonstration of DEC’s new Decsystem-20 computer. The message took several day to prepare, as all of the address had to be typed in manually, and the message was carefully composed. It elicits an immediate and negative reaction. Thuerk will receive a torrent of complaints and an official reprimand from the administrators of the government-run network
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