26 Oct 2011

DMR, 1941-2011. The inventor of modern computing logs out

Overshadowed by the high profile departure of Steve Jobs into an iCloud this month was the equally notable death of Dennis Ritchie, a name the vast majority will not be familiar with however without him the world of IT and computing would be a very different place.

Along with his work partner, Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie was responsible for inventing and developing the greatest computer operating system of all time, UNIX.

The impact of UNIX cannot be underestimated for it underpins every aspect of modern computing. The infrastructure of the internet runs predominately on variants of UNIX (Linux) and Apples very own OSX is actually a branch of UNIX under the skin (Darwin UNIX).

As if creating UNIX wasn't enough Ritchie was best known for the creation of C, the most widely used programming language in the history of computing. Impressed? You should be.

I love computing history, not only is it fascinating to see where our modern day systems evolved from, it also provides a great opportunity to post fabulous retro photographs like this..

Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson plus PDP-11 system - Circa 1972
Picture courtesy of - http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/dmr/picture.html

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