The First Domain Name Ever Registered

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You won't believe which domain name was registered first
The first domain name ever registered was symbolics.com in 1985.

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For those in a hurry

  • Symbolics.com was the first domain name ever registered on March 15, 1985.
  • It belonged to Symbolics Inc., a computer company that made Lisp machines.
  • Symbolics.com was one of only six domain names registered in 1985.
  • The domain name was sold to XF.com Investments in 2009 for an undisclosed amount.
  • Symbolics.com is still active today and hosts a website that showcases the history of domain names.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a unique identifier that allows users to access a website on the internet. For example, google.com is a domain name that leads to the Google search engine.

Domain names are composed of two parts: a top-level domain (TLD) and a second-level domain (SLD). The TLD is the suffix that indicates the type or category of the website, such as .com, .org, .edu, etc. The SLD is the name that precedes the TLD and identifies the specific website, such as google, amazon, wikipedia, etc.

Domain names are registered and managed by organizations called domain name registrars, which assign them to website owners for a fee. Domain names can also be bought and sold in the secondary market, where they can fetch high prices depending on their popularity, relevance, and traffic.

How did symbolics.com become the first domain name?

Symbolics.com was the first domain name ever registered on March 15, 1985. It belonged to Symbolics Inc., a computer company that made Lisp machines. Lisp machines were specialized computers that ran Lisp, a programming language used for artificial intelligence and other applications.

Symbolics Inc. was founded in 1980 by former employees of MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The company was one of the pioneers of Lisp machines and competed with other companies such as Xerox, Texas Instruments, and LMI.

Symbolics Inc. registered symbolics.com as part of the Domain Name System (DNS), which was created in 1983 by Paul Mockapetris and Jon Postel. The DNS is a system that maps domain names to numerical addresses called IP addresses, which are used by computers to communicate on the internet. The DNS makes it easier for users to remember and type website names instead of long strings of numbers.

Symbolics.com was one of only six domain names registered in 1985. The other five were bbn.com, think.com, mcc.com, dec.com, and northrop.com. These domain names were all registered by companies involved in computer technology or defense.

What happened to symbolics.com and Symbolics Inc.?

Symbolics.com remained the property of Symbolics Inc. until 2009, when it was sold to XF.com Investments, a company that specializes in premium domain names. The sale price was not disclosed, but it was estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

XF.com Investments stated that it bought symbolics.com as an investment and as a tribute to the history of the internet. The company also said that it would preserve the original website of Symbolics Inc. and create a new website that would showcase the history of domain names.

Symbolics Inc., on the other hand, went through several changes and challenges over the years. The company faced financial difficulties and legal disputes with its competitors and creditors. It also shifted its focus from Lisp machines to software development and consulting services.

In 1996, Symbolics Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection and sold its assets to a group of investors who formed a new company called Symbolics Technology Inc. In 2005, Symbolics Technology Inc. changed its name to Cycorp and moved its headquarters from Massachusetts to Texas. Cycorp is still active today and develops software for artificial intelligence and knowledge representation.