Les Earnest

Les Earnest. Unix, finger protocol, SAIL, Stanford, AI.

Les Earnest, 2019.

Les Earnest is a computer scientist best known for his work on the ARPANET — the precursor to today’s modern Internet. Earnest invented the finger program and protocol which was the first network-wide service for determining presence information about users — a feature now readily copied by most chat and messaging applications. The name “finger” came from Earnest’s observation of people trying to determine if a user was online by running their finger down the long list of logged in usernames on microcomputers running UNIX.