The 20th Anniversary of the SMS Text Message
20 years ago today, the first text message was sent by an engineer: “Merry Christmas”.
At BBC News, an interview is presented in text message format with Matti Makkonen, a Finnish Civil Servant who came up with the original idea. You can read the interview here
Also, why SMS messages are 160 characters long? Via The LA Times:
Alone in a room in his home in Bonn, Germany, Friedhelm Hillebrand sat at his typewriter, tapping out random sentences and questions on a sheet of paper.
As he went along, Hillebrand counted the number of letters, numbers, punctuation marks and spaces on the page. Each blurb ran on for a line or two and nearly always clocked in under 160 characters.
That became Hillebrand’s magic number — and set the standard for one of today’s most popular forms of digital communication: text messaging.
“This is perfectly sufficient,” he recalled thinking during that epiphany of 1985, when he was 45 years old. “Perfectly sufficient.”