Wednesday, October 22, 2008

:-) internet smileys: the origin

a piece of information technology history

Yad my office mate asked a casual question this morning (while eating a hari raya cookie with a heart-shaped sugar bit) :
who invented the heart shape as the symbol of love?
and who invented the smiley icon?
i began my research on the internet there and then.
while the original research intent was to find the origin of the round yellow smiley icon, it eventually brought my attention to the internet smiley.
i guess it is because of the creativity of the creator. more importantly there was a real need for it that necessitates the invention.
as the saying goes:
necessity is the mother of invention
The need: an icon (or marker) to denote whether a message in bulletin board (precursor of newsgroups) is meant as a joke.
The inventor: Scott E. Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University.
The moment: 19th September 1982.

Read the full story of the creation narrated by Scott himself.

link to Microsoft page on the origin of internet smiley.


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