Twenty-nine years ago this spring, Gary Thuerk sent a “mass e-mail” to 600 West Coast computer geeks on ARPAnet to let them know that his company, Digital Equipment Corp., was about to unveil its latest computers at a pair of open house events in California.

Thuerk, who was the marketing manager at DEC, sent the same message to everyone at once instead of e-mailing each person individually. What he didn’t realize at the time was that he had sent the world’s first spam.

This week at Interop, as tech companies announced their latest gear to computer geeks, Gary Thuerk shook hands and took photos with attendees as the featured guest in the booth of Sendio, which makes anti-spam appliances. The irony was unmistakable — and purposeful — and Thuerk was obviously having a lot of fun with it.

Here’s a photo of me with Thuerk at the Sendio booth.