[TUHS] attachments: MIME and uuencode

Mary Ann Horton mah at mhorton.net
Mon Mar 13 09:35:24 AEST 2017

That's interesting, Clem.  It would be useful to date the real date of 
the first email attachment sent.  Right now the only firm date we have 
is 6/1/80.  Do you have any old email or copy of uuencode that could 
establish an earlier date?


     Mary Ann

On 03/12/2017 10:42 AM, Clem Cole wrote:
> 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 version.
> Clem
> On Sat, Mar 11, 2017 at 2:07 PM, Mary Ann Horton <mah at mhorton.net 
> <mailto: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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