When Steve Jobs passed away everyone was bawling because a billionaire died. A man who evaded taxes, denied fathering his daughter, cheated others out of organ transplants, basically sued for or stole most of his ideas and did very little philanthropically with his mountains of cash. He was a beloved crook and marketing talent who swindled communities into some feverish orgy of brand loyalty.
Meanwhile, every last person who has ever touched a computer in basically any form owe their livelihoods, entertainment, ability to communicate, hell even their lives to Dennis Ritchie. He was a Titan to the IT world who truly crafted a thing of infinite genius, and everyone, everyone has been standing on his shoulders since. Here is someone to write articles about and ponder their impact on us all, and no one knows his name.
Ritchie was the principal designer of the C programming language and co-inventor of the operating system Unix, two inventions that revolutionized modern technology.
The C programming language was widely considered simple and elegant compared to the more cryptic and inaccessible B language that preceded it, and is now widely used. Based on C, Ritchie and Kenneth L. Thompson invented Unix, which is the foundation of today’s predominant operating systems.Not a flashy man, Ritchie worked for one company (Bell Labs) his entire career and did not seek the spotlight. He was well liked, well respected, and paved the way for the younger Olympians who stood on his shoulders...and who are far better known.