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Paying Respects to another great man, Father of C and Unix, Dennis Ritchie

In the last few weeks when we lost Steve Jobs, we also lost another man who had immense influence on our industry, and immense influence on Steve Jobs. Dennis Ritchie. Modern computing as we know it would not have existed without Dennis Ritchie, father of the C programming language and Co-creator of the UNIX operating system.

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (b. September 9, 1941; found dead October 12, 2011), was an American computer scientist who “helped shape the digital era.” He created the C programming language and, with long-time colleague Ken Thompson, the UNIX operating system. Ritchie and Thompson received the Turing Award from the ACM in 1983, the Hamming Medal from the IEEE in 1990 and the National Medal of Technology from President Clinton in 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007. He was the ‘R’ in K&R C and commonly known by his username dmr.

Without Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) we would have:

  • No iProducts
  • No over expensive laptops

Without Dennis Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – October 12, 2011) we would have:

  • No Windows
  • No Unix
  • No C
  • No Programs
  • A large setback in computing
  • No Generic-text Languages.
  • We would all read in Binary..

They died in the same year and the same month but it seems only few notice the death of Dennis Ritchie compared to Steve Jobs.  Let’s share and pay our respects.

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