Some time has passed since these two computer history icons passed themselves into the afterlife. They both died the same week last October, both legends, or at least their work will span following generations. But one of these bad boys was overlooked during this period by the media.
In fact, if you were to listen to the media from that period you might come to believe that Steve Jobs was an unbelievable wizard who single handedly created home computers and Pixar movies, all the while inspiring folks to “think different”. It is true, Jobs stood for an amazing standard in entrepreneurial theory and practice. If he had entered God into it all, Apple and it’s purchasers could quickly garner cult status. The thing is, Jobs was not a developer, he was a designer. I don’t want to say he didn’t understand “under the hood” stuff, but it wasn’t his concern. “Make it do this, you know, for the kids.”
So, who is this Dennis Ritchie? He developed the C programming language and was a major proponent of the Unix operating system. After C came C++ and a whole league of similar languages. After Unix came Linux (which this website is running on). Ritchie defined a standard for high level programming languages, languages that make programming much more accessible. Without them there would be a lot less software in the world. A computer is practically useless without software.
…and now a bunch of related links that have cluttered my browser for months now…
Where were you when Apple II? – one of the last machines I think of (had one) when people mention 8bit due to it’s lackluster graphics and sound during it’s era
Foxconn – Jobs might have helped build Pixar, but Apple outsources labor to an abusive firm
The Oatmeal – Apple Products – great comic about Apple diehards and the lack of upgrade options
Serving at the Pleasure of the King – an argument about Apple’s app store not nurturing it’s developer community
On the Media Reaction . . . – industry experts from O’Reilly Radar discuss the adulation of Steve Jobs
Remembering Dennis Ritchie – much less controversy, much less articles about his passing :(