This Day in Tech History

On This Day . . .

First Domain

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March 15, 1985:

Symbolics.com – First Registered Domain

March 15, 1985 Symbolics.com became the first domain registered on the World Wide Web. The company made Lisp machines (List Processing Language workstations), most notably, the 3600 series. Since then, the site was purchased by XF.com Investments (now, XF.com) – Aron Meystedt.  Note – the first domain ever created was Nordu.net, but was never registered.

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Symbolics 3600 Lisp Machine

Not that you’ll see a worldwide celebration today, but it’s worth noting that the first domain name ever registered is celebrating its 28th anniversary today.

Symbolics.com was spun off the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab and primarily designed, built and sold machines that were tuned to run LISP.  Eventually, there were some disputes between Symbolics (a Massachusetts computer company) and the MIT Lab which prompted Richard Stallman to set up the GNU project.

Symbolics refers to two companies: now-defunct computer manufacturer Symbolics, Inc., and a privately held company that acquired the assets of the former company and continues to sell and maintain the Open Genera Lisp system and the Macsyma computer algebra system.

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The first Internet domain symbolics.com

The Symbolics Computer Company was based out of Masachusetts – and has since closed up shop. Back in the 80s they were pioneers in computing and they were really on the right track to be a major force in the industry. The Symbolics Computer Company created a line of Lisp machines, which were computers designed to run the Lisp (List Processing Language) programming language.  Today, Symbolics.com remains the first (and oldest) registered domain of approximately 250,000,000 registered domain names on the Internet.

The other 4 domains that round out the original 5 registrations include:
#2 BBN.com – owned by Raytheon
#3 Think.com – owned by Oracle
#4 MCC.com – ownership under privacy protection
#5 DEC.com – owned by HP.
It’s worth noting that DEC.com was the home of the Digitial Equipent Corporation, another Massachusetts based early computer company – which was acquired by Compaq in 1998 (which merged with Hewlett Packard 4 years later).

By 1992, fewer than 15,000 .com domains had been registered.  In December 2009 there were 192 million domain names.  A large fraction of them are in the .com TLD (top level domain), which as of March 15, 2010 had 84 million domain names, including 11.9 million online business and e-commerce sites, 4.3 million entertainment sites, 3.1 million finance related sites, and 1.8 million sports sites.

As of 2011, the most expensive domain name sales on record were:

  1. Insure.com      $16 million in 2009
  2. Sex.com for      $14 million in October 2010
  3. Fund.com 2008      £9.99 million
  4. Porn.com 2007      $9.5 million
  5. Fb.com for      $8.5 million in November 2010
  6. Investing.com for $2.5      million in December 2012

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