Raymond Tomlinson, Who Put the @ Sign in Email, Is Dead at 74
Raymond Tomlinson, the computer programmer who in 1971 invented email as it is known today, and in the process transformed the “at” sign — @ — from a sparely used price symbol to a permanent fixture in the lives of millions of computer users around the world, died on Saturday at his home in Lincoln, Mass. He was 74.
His daughter Brooke Tomlinson McKenzie confirmed the death but said that the cause had not been determined.
汤姆林森的女儿布鲁克·汤姆林森·麦肯齐(Brooke Tomlinson McKenzie)证实了他去世的消息，但她表示，死亡原因还没有确定。
In the late 1960s and early 1970s Mr. Tomlinson was working at a research and development company, Bolt, Beranek & Newman, on projects for the Arpanet, a forerunner of the Internet that was created for the Defense Department. At the time, the company had developed a messaging program, Sndmsg, that allowed multiple users of a time-share computer to send messages to one another. But it was a closed system, limited to users of a single computer.
上世纪六十年代末、七十年代初，汤姆林森在研究与开发公司博尔特－贝拉尼克和纽曼(Bolt, Beranek & Newman)工作，做一个为国防部研发的名为Arpanet的程序，它后来成了互联网的前身。当时，这家公司开发了一个名为Sndmsg的通信程序，可以让分时使用计算机的多名用户彼此发送信息。但它是一个封闭的系统，只限于一台计算机的多名用户之间使用。
Mr. Tomlinson, filching code from a file-transfer program he had created called Cypnet, modified Sndmsg so that messages could be sent from one host computer to another throughout the Arpanet system. To do this, he needed a symbol to separate a user name from a destination address. He settled on the plump little @ sign because it did not appear in user names and did not have any meaning in the Tenex paging program used on time-sharing computers.
In 2010, the Museum of Modern Art included the symbol in its architecture and design collection, calling it “a defining symbol of the computer age.”
2010年，现代艺术博物馆(Museum of Modern Art)把这个符号纳入了它的建筑和设计部收藏，称它是“一个足以定义计算机时代的符号”。
The Internet Society in Geneva, on inducting him into the newly created Internet Hall of Fame in 2012, honored Mr. Tomlinson for “having brought about a complete revolution, fundamentally changing the way people communicate.”
2012年，位于日内瓦的互联网协会(Internet Society)将他列入当年的“互联网名人堂”(Internet Hall of Fame)，以表彰汤姆林森“带来一场彻底的革命，深刻地改变了人们交流的方式。”
In accepting the honor, Mr. Tomlinson said: “I’m often asked, did I know what I was doing? And the answer is, yes, I knew exactly what I was doing. I just had no notion whatsoever of what the ultimate impact would be. What I was doing was providing a way for people to communicate with other people.”