[LINK] A delightful post on Dennis Ritchie

Kim Holburn kim at holburn.net
Tue Oct 18 15:45:34 AEDT 2011

A delightful post on Dennis Ritchie (cross posted from clug.  Sorry to any clug subscribers.)

There is an interesting technical intro (or wadsworth constant) to this post, which is a fascinating description in itself, before the part about Dennis Ritchie.


> That is why the mainstream press and the general population has talked
> so much about Steve Jobs' death and comparatively so little about Dennis
> Ritchie's: Steve's influence was at a layer that most people could see,
> while Dennis' was much deeper.
> On the one hand, I can imagine where the computing world would be
> without the work that Jobs did and the people he inspired:
> probably a bit less shiny, a bit more beige, a bit more square.
> Deep inside, though, our devices would still work the same way and do
> the same things.
> On the other hand, I literally can't imagine where the computing world
> would be without the work that Ritchie did and the people he inspired.
> By the mid 80s, Ritchie's influence had taken over, and even back then
> very little remained of the pre-Ritchie world.
> Finally, last but not least, that is why our patent system is broken:
> technology has done such an amazing job at hiding its complexity that
> the people regulating and running the patent system are barely even
> aware of the complexity of what they're regulating and running.

Although wasn't Jobs the first to invent beige computers?

Kim Holburn
IT Network & Security Consultant
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