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The Internet

Oldest Dot-com Domain Turning 30 48

netbuzz writes: On March 15, 1985, Symbolics, Inc, maker of Lisp computers, registered the Internet's first dot-com address: Symbolics.com. Sunday will mark the 30th anniversary of that registration. And while Symbolics has been out of business for years, the address was sold in 2009 for an undisclosed sum to a speculator who said: "For us to own the first domain is very special to our company, and we feel blessed for having the ability to obtain this unique property." Today there's not much there.
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Oldest Dot-com Domain Turning 30

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  • But this we know, it is slashdotted already
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      how symbolic

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So go hit the wayback machine. You can see it from 1996 until 4 days ago. Amazing, huh?

  • Now that it's been /.ed

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 13, 2015 @03:07PM (#49252329)
    nothing to see here, "car"y on...
  • It's been that long? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Friday March 13, 2015 @03:17PM (#49252369)
    As a sysadmin in the late 80s/early 90s I remember the joy I felt when I first installed DNS on our Sun network and could forget bang paths. For the next year or two I enjoyed the extra income I made as a consultant setting up other people with DNS. It was all a word of mouth thing (well, word of email more like), I never advertised or looked for the work (I was still in school part time, free time wasn't in my lexicon).
    • My first domain was a .UUCP ... It was very refreshing not to have to use 'smail' anymore.
    • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Friday March 13, 2015 @04:35PM (#49252821)

      It's not that long. Even before this registering of the domain, the "internet" was already underway. What the registering did was provide a common name that everyone could agree upon so that you didn't have to use the IP address directly and you could use DNS so that you didn't have to enter all your favorites into the hosts table.

      Also symbolics.com was NOT the first domain. First registrations were darpa.org/darpa.net/darpa.gov and nordu.net. Not only was nordu.net there on the first day, it is also the oldest domain that is still active. For the next registration after symbolics.com, there was bbn.com on the same day as several .EDU domains. The .EDU domains far outnumbered .COM domains during 1985, which makes sense because the internet was highly academic in nature, and even the early commercial domains were primarily using it in their research divisions.

      I found it odd that when searching for this list (it's on wikipedia) that I easily found several other hits that listed only the early .COM domains and it took a lot more digging to find hits listing all the early domains. But I guess that in the modern era that only for-profit commercial companies matter to the mass media and general public.

      • I should clarify, the DARPA registrations were for the TLDs only (ie, ORG/NET/EDU/GOV, but not COM for some reason). But nordu.net still registered before symbolics.com.

      • by rs79 ( 71822 )

        Nope, digital.com predates symbolics.com. NSI screwed up the dates. Check with Reid who don't forget enabled BIND by paying Vixie to write it when they were both at DECWRL.How could anyhting predate the domain of the guys that wrote the code?

        • I think that list is just the registration with the official registrar, but there may have been unofficial usage of the TLDs? I was just a student at the time though and not doing any sysadmin stuff yet.

  • bbn.com (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 13, 2015 @03:27PM (#49252421)

    bbn.com was registered 9 days later - still around, doing the same thing - government sponsored research.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 13, 2015 @03:55PM (#49252567)

    Just to remind everyone about Symbolics' place in history. Symbolics was founded by a bunch of Richard Stallman's co-workers from the MIT AI lab, and Symbolics' business tactics provided the primary motivatation for the Stallman's creation of the Free Software movement. See

    http://www.gnu.org/gnu/rms-lisp.html [gnu.org]

    • Symbolics was an amazing company. I was doing AI R&D for a large company back in the 80's, where we had several 3670s and 3640s. Even after all these years, I have not seen anything as robust and easy to work with as Lisp+Flavors on their Genera environment.

    • by K8Fan ( 37875 )
      The thing I remember most fondly about Symbolics was their 3D modeling and rendering software. Remember "Stanley and Stella in Breaking The Ice"? https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
  • by alispguru ( 72689 ) <baneNO@SPAMgst.com> on Friday March 13, 2015 @04:11PM (#49252655) Journal

    Number 7 on the list of oldest registered domain names [wikipedia.org].

    BBN is apparently owned by Raytheon [bbn.com].

    Apple.com is number 64, just under two years later. One of the benefits of getting in on the ground floor like that was big blocks of IPv4 addresses - apple.com still controls a /24 block, I think.

    When did microsoft.com get created?

    My personal intro to the internet was at the University of Maryland - I was there when the TAC to Ft. Meade was installed.

    • by SAH ( 191023 )

      One of the benefits of getting in on the ground floor like that was big blocks of IPv4 addresses - apple.com still controls a /24 block, I think.

      ...and Xerox has (or maybe had) 13/8.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      /24 is *SMALL*

      Try /8

      NetRange: 17.0.0.0 - 17.255.255.255
      CIDR: 17.0.0.0/8
      NetName: APPLE-WWNET
      NetHandle: NET-17-0-0-0-1
      Parent: ()
      NetType: Direct Assignment
      OriginAS:
      Organization: Apple Inc. (APPLEC-1-Z)
      RegDate: 1990-04-16
      Updated: 2012-04-02
      Ref: http://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-17-0-0-0-1

  • by rs79 ( 71822 ) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Friday March 13, 2015 @05:22PM (#49253175) Homepage

    Everyone gets this wrong.

    BIND was written at Digital when Brian Reid looked at Mockapetris spec and got Vixie to take the Berkeley B-Tree code and produce BIND.

    Now what do you suppose the chances are that he didn't bother to grab digital.com? How bout zero? If you guessed that, you deserve a cookie.

    Reid has the nic receipt for digital.com and it predates symbolics.com. February vs. March, NSI screwed up the dates in one of their transitions.

    Ref: Brian Reid. Ask him yourself. This was explained on one of the domain mailing lists during the DNS wars.

    • porn.com turns 20.
    • According to the information posted at digital.com [slashdot.org]:

      In 1985, Digital became the fifth company ever to register a .com domain name when they purchased dec.com. In 1993 they also registered digital.com, and became the world’s first computer vendor to open a public website on October 1 of that year.

  • Ah yes, back in those days, registering a domain was free and you could find domains that actually related to your business.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Kim Dotcom is 41 QED.

  • I remember how SOME people treated .com domains back then. They'd refuse to route traffic for them, blackhole emails, and generally be little bitches about it. Why? Because .com meant TEH CAPITLIZM!!@#! OMG NOES and the internet was a strict non-.commercial zone. Anyone else remember the good old days before the WWW?

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