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The first registered domain name ever was Symbolics.com, by the computer company Symbolics Inc. from Cambridge, Massachusetts. As well as being the oldest domain name, it is also the longest running and you can still visit it today, although it is no longer in use by its original owners, who sold the domain in 2009 after 25 years of ownership.
Today, Symbolics.com is owned by a small investor group in Irvine, CA, who bought the domain for an undisclosed sum, presumably as a means of marketing its services, although there’s definitely a cool factor to it. owning the web’s first domain name.
Symbolics Inc. was a spin-off from the MIT AI Lab, which designed and manufactured a series of Lisp machines (designed to run software coded with the Lisp programming language), the first commercially available general-purpose workstations.
The second domain name to be registered was bbn.com (BBN Technologies), followed by think.com (Thinking Machines) in April and May 1985. Other, more recognizable names at the time, such as DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), which was later purchased by Compaq/HP, dec.com registered in September 1985. Xerox registered xerox.com in January 1986, becoming the seventh domain name. HP, IBM, Sun and Intel all registered their domain names in March 1986.
* The only domain names that previously existed belonged to the public sector and were restricted to organizations with access to the US Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA).