back to article .com celebrates 25th birthday

On April 26, 1985, a man called Charles Hornig complained on a mailing list that his new email address wasn't working. Scanning every mail server on the internet, all 1,008 of them, he discovered only one was configured to handle a .com address. “I am not heartened by these results,” he wrote. “Maybe we should go …


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  1. Blue eyed boy

    When Ah were a lad

    .COM was the file extension of CP/M program files, inherited by the various 16-bit workalikes and still with us in the one that survived. Any connection?

    Mine's the one with the CP/M boot diskette in the pocket.

    1. Il Midga di Macaroni

      I grew up on DOS...

      ... and when I first heard of the internet thingy I wondered who had registered,, etc.

      Let's register a .bat TLD.

  2. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    I Remember...

    ...getting my first .com back in 1994. It was free, but took several weeks to get. Then Verisign took over, it cost $100 but only took a couple days.

    These days domain names cost $9 (wholesale) and start working a few minutes after registered.

    Happy birthday Dot Com. Have a pint.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I bet Wetherspoons and friends would love such a top-level domain.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    25 years of fail

    Introducing the generic .com was the dumbest thing ever done in the running of DNS. Imagine how much legal grief and user confusion would have been avoided if every country had been segregated into its own geographical domain.

    At the very least, .com and the other non-country domains should be closed to new registrations as a minimal attempt to contain the mess. Anyone supporting the introduction of even more generic domains, like the moronic .info, should just be shot.

    1. Mark 65

      What if...

      What about if your company is global in nature (Google, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce, HSBC etc - ignore where head office is located) or if what you do/espouse/sell is legal but not appreciated by the Government in your jurisdiction (dissidents, people opposed to Stephen Conroy etc) and you do not therefore wish to be overseen by their influence of the relevant TLD? In that case a generic may do quite nicely.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge


        "if what you do/espouse/sell is legal but not appreciated by the Government in your jurisdiction"

        Of course, the US government appreciates everything, so a .com TLD presents no problems in this regard, unless you upset some local politician in Kentucky.

      2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        I agree,

        "What about if your company is global in nature (Google, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce, HSBC etc - ignore where head office is located)"

        But it doesn't work like that...

        Checking my local sites for those companies: redirects to redirects to redirects to redirects to a (unrelated?) HK company, and are separate sites, both run by HSBC

        So, companies that are global in nature have to buy all the local domains, or risk their potential customers getting diverted.

        What gets REALLY annoying is deliberately typing in the .com version of an address, getting redirected to the local site which displays in the local language that you don't understand (as opposed to the second official local language that you do understand).

        It is a result of a combination of confusion:

        1. "The Public" think website addresses start with http://www. and end with .com, anything else and you get asked "Do I need to add..."

        2. Developers don't understand there is a difference between location and language (even when using GeoIP - when they are both just meaningless text to trigger a response in the user, see

        Finally, marketers like the idea of having new TLDs to sell...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    You know what really winds me up?

    I'll tell you anyway.

    Fools who register a .com domain even though they blatantly should be choosing something more suitable. For instance:

    Fools. .org? would have been even more appropriate. Duh.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Good for the ego!

      I have .com and just use it for my naff pictures! My naff pictures show up on search engines all over the shop. Not my fault the a .com is more easily searched all over!

      .com, it's great for your ego!

      Alright, I'll get me...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ You know what really winds me up?

    One problem is that if you have a but you're bussiness or target market is global you don't appear in searchs from the U.S so readily. I've had several sites (services sites) that just weren't getting hits from the U.S. on a but when I changed it to .net the traffic more than doubled very soon after.

  7. Idiots _Quotient
    Big Brother

    That is quarter of a Centuary

    Just Amazin Isnt IT ?

  8. Wize

    @Robert Long 1

    But .COM started as just America. And everyone in America know that they are the whole world.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    <fx: clicks on link>

    ...and nothing happens, just a little message in the corner of the browser, saying "Waiting for"...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Consider yourself lucky

      All I get is:

      "Fatal error: Call to undefined function mysql_connect() in C:\website\class\init.php on line 7"

      How very VeriSign.

  10. Jon 52

    On the other hand when shopping for physical goods I tend to look for so I know I will actaully be able to get the goods.

    1. Steve 6

      Think again...

      I've been burned by that trick. I ordered some goods from What I got wasn't what I ordered, the bits came from China and the f***ers (turned out to be based in China) stopped talking to me. I never got that resolved.

  11. Adam C 1



    "Fatal error: Call to undefined function mysql_connect() in C:\website\class\init.php on line "

    Yeah, 25 years of win!

  12. Dan Herd
    FAIL - Verisign double fail

    "Fatal error: Call to undefined function mysql_connect() in C:\website\class\init.php on line 7"

    Fail 1) They're using a Windows server

    Fail 2) They didn't install the PHP MySQL connector

    Still, the site has been registered and I suppose with Verisign, that's all that matters...

  13. Anonymous Coward

    26 years of

    So who's checked, yada yada.

    On the plus side somebody has just trebled their offer on a .com that I own that isn't even doing anything!

    AC in case they are looking...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      So you're just squatting a URL for profit?

      I think there are rules about that.

  14. The Unexpected Bill

    Symbolics, etc...

    I remember wondering about the ".com" before ever wandering out to the Internet back in the day. For reasons that I don't recall now (and they probably weren't very clear then) I wondered what if any relation they had to .COM executables.

    Yes, I know it sounds stupid. But there...I said it. Don't ask me why I thought the two had anything to do with one another. I just did.

    Symbolics is not as defunct as you'd think ( and until recently they still held the rights to Alas, they sold the rights to that domain name and don't control it any longer. Maybe they needed the money?

  15. Steve Evans


    Honestly, first registered .com and it's not

    Not good enough for ya eh? Not enough syllables?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Country categorisation is sometimes useful...>>

    ...when you want to buy locally or in a specific language, but the rest of the time it's a waste of time. One of the problems with the Internet is that nobody provided a comprehensive categorisation scheme. Even Usenet tried to do better than that. As Internet consumers should be dealing with a service oriented registry, including the service type, locality , language, etc not URLs, no matter what we are looking for.

    At present it's like going to a library and having to ask somebody to physically search unclassified stacks to find the book you want. That would take a long time, so maybe he can come in at night and memorise where everything is. But that would be expensive. Oh, maybe he could do it for free if in the meantime you allowed him to pester you trying to sell stuff.

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