One thing that is certainly no cause for celebration is spam. And yet, it was almost exactly thirty years ago that the first recorded spam message made its way around the Arpanet, predecessor to the Internet. In 1978, an unsolicited advertisement email
was sent to a (massive at the time) total of 393 people, advertising hardware by DEC. While the company responsible was chided for their actions, they at least worked for their keep – all 393 email addresses were typed by hand.
That's not the case today, of course, where spam is mass-churned by thousands of servers to the tune of 120 billion emails per day, comprising upwards of 90% of the world's email. Spammers may have gotten more sophisticated and automated, but their goal remains basically the same – to take your money. In the early days of connected computing, spam certainly wasn't as widespread as it is today, but it is interesting nonetheless to know it's been three full decades since the very first unsolicited email went out from the now defunct Digital Equipment Corporation.