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The earliest on-screen URL

(June 2017)

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IS
Inspector Sands
Lots of American TV programmes did something similar by promoting their AOL Keyword at the end rather than a URL.


Possibly AOL Time Warner produced shows?

No, I mainly remember them on the end of news bulletins. AOL was the ubiquitous ISP back in those days
IS
Inspector Sands
I remember having email at school in the early 90s, on BBC Master system machines - an application opened by typing *mail. It was only internal of course, but way ahead of its time
TE
tesandco Founding member
I can recall the How 2 episode they picked out of the archives for the CITV 30th birthday celebrations in 2013. Dating from 1995 and featuring both the datablast in the credits and a very early Scottish Television email address for the show.

RI
Riaz
I don't think many outside of government and education establishments used, or had email prior to 1994 ish ? The SMTP and POP protocols weren't ratified for commercial use until' 95 ?


I was using email at a time when the four ITV companies that lost were still broadcasting.

I have wondered if they had assigned themselves URLs. I was verbally informed that TV-AM had one. The .uk domain name has been in use since 1985.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
Riaz posted:
I don't think many outside of government and education establishments used, or had email prior to 1994 ish ? The SMTP and POP protocols weren't ratified for commercial use until' 95 ?


I was using email at a time when the four ITV companies that lost were still broadcasting.

I have wondered if they had assigned themselves URLs. I was verbally informed that TV-AM had one. The .uk domain name has been in use since 1985.


.uk domains (such as tvforum.uk) were introduced in 2014. Prior to that there were actual sites (NHS being the typical example) but they were very much the exception to the rule as they predated 1996 or whenever Nominet was founded.

Prior to 2014 the only way of getting .uk anything was typically (but not exclusively) .co.uk. This was pretty much the standard so if any UK company had registered an internet presence it would almost certainly have been .co.uk.

Some of the former ITV company sites are listed in the WHOIS as being registered before August 1996 so its plausible they'd been around a while, but I remember the main ITV site itself (itv.com) dated back to 1994 on its first registration so it may be a lot of them sprung up around that time.

As to whether TV-AM had a website or at least a URL... While the internet as we know it today dates from 1989 and the first email dates from the 1970s, I don't believe it was mainstream enough in 1991/2 to justify setting one up.

It was certainly available via the likes of Compuserve and AOL back in the days where you paid for the call AND the internet service but as I said earlier in the thread the internet didn't really take off mainstream until the likes of Freeserve launched. So while it may be plausible TV-AM had a URL in practice it was probably pointless at that point in time.
WH
Whataday Founding member
.uk domains (such as tvforum.uk) were introduced in 2014. Prior to that there were actual sites (NHS being the typical example) but they were very much the exception to the rule as they predated 1996 or whenever Nominet was founded.


nhs.uk is a domain extension in itself isn't it? Just like gov.uk or co.uk?
DO
dosxuk
.uk domains (such as tvforum.uk) were introduced in 2014. Prior to that there were actual sites (NHS being the typical example) but they were very much the exception to the rule as they predated 1996 or whenever Nominet was founded.


nhs.uk is a domain extension in itself isn't it? Just like gov.uk or co.uk?


Yes. And .ac.uk, .police.uk, .sch.uk, .mod.uk and several others were used for governmental functions, and there is the likes of .net.uk, .org.uk which were open to the public (in the vein of .org and .net with .com).

All of these subdomains of .uk were allocated years before <domain>.uk addresses were publicly registerable.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
As I say, nhs.uk is an anomaly in the grand scale of things and prior to 2014 was an exception to the rule. Between then and 2014 it wasn't an option to have something like that, though it would have been great at the time.

These days it's been blessed with domain extensions itself (gosh.nhs.uk for example) though a lot of those were added retrospectively.
WH
Whataday Founding member
Mentioned in the Big Breakfast thread, they were promoting an email address (bigbreakfast@planet24.co.uk) from late 1995.

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HA
Hazimworks
dvboy posted:
Compuserve launched in April 1995 and the first I ever heard about email was from a friend who was a Compuserve customer.

My first email address was Hotmail so must have been around 1996-97 that email really started taking off.


First email I received was probably mid-80s as part of Prestel, and also on BBSs.

Used it a lot from 1990 when I started working and studying. Initially it was local email just within the company / university dept / university computer (different email addresses on different Uni systems) - but by 1992 I was using 'internet' email.

Had a web browser on my desktop at work in 1994. (NCSA Mosaic, then Netscape Navigator)


I was born in the mid 1990s and a few years later knew about Hotmail, Netscape and dial up internet.
Last edited by Hazimworks on 12 June 2017 6:54am
HA
Hazimworks
I'm sure that some early programmes about computers had a presence on BBS services or Prestel.

Talking if databursts, here's a Thames programme from 1984 about sending email. It includes a literal databurst at the end
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szdbKz5CyhA

If you're wondering what that little program is, someone on Reddit decoded it:
http://reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/4a8swx/how_to_send_an_e_mail_database_1984/d0ztzp2


There's also a similar databurst on Channel 4:
IS
Inspector Sands
Presumably not as decodeable as the Thames example as it's not complete, and it's uncertain what computer it was for.


Must have been incredibly easy to broadcast compared with the equivalent today, though I'd have thought a bit of a faff in those days to get the audio from a video to the computer. I wonder how many people bothered.

The BBC used to distribute software via Ceefax too, called Telesoftware which was nicer way of doing it but required extra equipment
http://teletext.mb21.co.uk/gallery/ceefax/telesoftware/telesoft.gif

http://teletext.mb21.co.uk/gallery/ceefax/telesoftware/705.gif

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