GCN at 25 | :-)

GCN came into existence in the same year as a number of other significant technology breakthroughs ' some good, some not so good. There was, for instance, the first desktop PC, the Hewlett-Packard 9000, with a 32-bit 'superchip.' :-) But 1982 also witnessed the first computer virus. :-( That year also was seminal in the evolution in the writing styles of e-mail and instant messaging, which hadn't yet been invented, for the appearance of the emoticon, seen above, which uses keyboard characters to express an emotion. Scott Fallman, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, created the first emoticon ' the sideways smiley-face ' as a joke marker. Since then, people everywhere have been nudged in the ribs by a growing catalog of emoting symbols. Microsoft Word, for instance, turns those original keyboard strokes into the full-blown smiley face. And you can download literally thousands of emoticons from various sites, to express almost anything you want. Pretty soon, we won't need words at all ' we'll be back to hieroglyphics. :-)


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