But the message sent on May 3, 1978 by a marketer for the now defunct DEC computer company to around 400 people on the west coast of the United States wasn't called spam, and the sender dispatched it without ill intent.
How things have changed.
Spam got its name from a skit by the television show "Monty Python's Flying Circus," in which a group of Vikings in a restaurant that serves all of its food with Spam tinned meat sing a song repeating the word ad nauseum, says Brad Templeton, who has thoroughly researched the subject.
"Thus, the meaning of the term at least: something that keeps repeating and repeating to great annoyance," Templeton, who was dabbling in the Internet in the 1970s -- when it was still the US government-run Arpanet -- says on his website.
Spam turns 30 - Happy Birthday?!
Posted on Saturday, May 03 2008 @ 09:57 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AFP reports the first known spam email was sent 30 years ago on May 3, 1978.