British software architect, designer and developer, who is known for sending the world’s first SMS on 3rd December 1992. The message was sent from a personal computer (not a phone) to a Orbitel 901 handset of Richard Jarvis. The two word SMS – Merry Christmas – was transmitted over the Vodafone GSM network in the UK.
Papworth was part of a team at Sema Group which was developing a Short Message Service Centre (SMSC) for their contractor, Vodafone. The team was involved in integrating and testing the software. He remained at the Sema Group and its successors for several years.
Neil Papworth would have been forgotten had it not been for an article on the BBC web site celebrating the 10th anniversary of text messaging. Since then he has received considerable media interest and become a celebrity of sorts with articles written about him in several newspapers around the world, been featured in a Super Bowl advertisement and been an answer to a Jeopardy question!
His web site is at NeilPapworth.com.
The extremely popular number game, Sudoku, does not come from Japan. It was invented by Howard Garns, an American architect, and published for the first time in 1979 in the Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games. The puzzle remained relatively unknown. In April of 1984, Sudoku, then known as Number Place, was published in the Nikoli magazine in Japan and became a instant hit in the country. Incidentally, the Japanese still call by its original name - Number Place! The credit for making Sudoku popular around the world goes to Wayne Gould, a Hong Kong judge. He first created a computer program that could produced countless puzzles automatically and then convinced The Times to publish them in Britain. On 12th November 2004, the first modern Sudoku was published. It then crossed the Atlantic and became a sensation in the US. By the way, the word Sudoku is of Japanese origin and means digit-single. The term is copyrighted in Japan by Maki Kaji, the president of Japanese publishing company Nikoli. [more...]