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October Fireside Meeting: The Evolution of Sendmail and the Internet

October Fireside Meeting — Monday, October 4th, 2021

In Conversation with Eric Allman:

Most Hillside Club members are aware than our new Club President is a wine aficionado, having seen him and his husband Kirk McKusick lead wine tastings, and coordinate the wine pouring at our Club dinners. But you may not realize that he is also an esteemed member of the Internet Hall of Fame, nor know how much you are indebted to Eric if you have ever used email. This conversation will discuss the origins of sendmail, the attitudes of the time, and how the Internet grew and changed over the years.

Join us on Monday, October 4th as 1st Vice President Arlene Baxter engages Eric Allman in conversation about those early, heady days as electronic communication began to be an essential part of all of our lives.

A bit of background: On January 1, 1983, the Internet was born from the ashes of the ARPAnet, and sendmail was already there. Written by Eric Allman as a stopgap measure in the early 1980s, it grew with the Internet, at one point delivering around 90% of all the email on the network.

The early developers of the Internet believed that "universal communication" would promote democracy and bring people closer together. Things didn't work out that way. Many folks, including Eric, gave away their work for free. That changed too.

Come learn more about the evolution of these tools we now take for granted on Monday, October 4th at 7:30 pm as part of our Hillside Club Fireside Series on Zoom, free and open to the public. Register here.

Club members: our Zoom door opens at 7 pm to check in and say hello, followed by a brief business meeting. The Fireside presentation will begin promptly at 7:30 pm.

Join us again on November 1st when we will welcome Prof. Scott Stephens, Chair of the UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, when he will discuss:

What’s Next? Forest Fires in California’s New Climate Reality


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