Re: Don't think his invention is the precursor to what we now call email.
I think the point is that he didn't invent anything. He implemented an existing standard to create a program that could send an email.
Implementation != invention.
I have written a very simple program that sent SMS texts to a SMS gateway when this stuff was somewhat newish. 2 entry boxes (to & content) with a 160 character limit. And a counter to show how many characters you had left, and a print button. Simple, but effective and it stayed in use for something like a decade. Doesn't mean I invented SMS. If I had of done then i'd have implemented a better queing system and failure notification for starters.