[TUHS] attachments: MIME and uuencode

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Mon Mar 13 03:42:08 AEST 2017

I think it might actually predates 6/1/80 by  6-9 months because I was at
Tek a year earlier and you and I started corresponding that first summer I
was at Tek.  I remember that you had sent me a copy of it shortly after you
wrote it.  So I think there is a chance that that might be a slightly later


On Sat, Mar 11, 2017 at 2:07 PM, Mary Ann Horton <mah at mhorton.net> wrote:

> I just heard from a historian named Piotr Klaban with an interesting
> historical sidelight.
> Apparently today 3/11/17 is being publicized as the 25th anniversary of
> the email attachment, citing Nat Borenstein's MIME.  Piotr points out that
> uuencode predates MIME, and he's right.
> I checked and, while I don't have any email archives from that time frame
> at Berkeley, I was able to find the 4BSD archive on minnie that dates the
> uuencode.1c man page at 6/1/80.  We didn't call them attachments back then,
> just sending binary files by email.  (Prior to then it was common to just
> include the text of the file raw in the email, which only worked for ASCII
> files.)  It was a few years later when cc:Mail and Microsoft Mail started
> calling uuencoded files embedded in email "attachments".
> When MIME came out in 1992 I became a champion of SMTP/MIME as a standard
> - it was a big improvement.  But uuencod predated MIME by 12 years.
>     Mary Ann
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