Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The History of BlitzMail

DEN-NYC Conversations (via Jim Matthews):

Ned Kenney (Dartmouth ’10) interviews Jim Matthews, a software developer and Dartmouth employee from 1987 to 2001 who played a central role in the creation of Blitzmail (aka “Blitz”). Blitz, an email/instant messaging hybrid, was literally decades ahead of its time and would become as much a cultural institution at Dartmouth as a technical one. It was eventually replaced by Microsoft software in 2011, but for over 20 years, it was the primary mode of communication for members of the Dartmouth community.

What I remember most about BlitzMail is how fast it was on the slow hardware and even slower modems of the day, even though the messages had to be pulled from the server. Secondly, the user interface was very compact and efficient, though somewhat unorthodox with menu bars inside of the windows.

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