[LINK] A delightful post on Dennis Ritchie

Adrian Chadd adrian at creative.net.au
Tue Oct 18 16:38:10 AEDT 2011

On Tue, Oct 18, 2011, Kim Holburn wrote:

> > 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?

.. part of my (32 year old) self really does wonder about the nerd-focus
that seems to be gripping the Ritchie vs Jobs thing.

Exactly how much of the microcomputer revolution was influenced by
Ritchie and a few degrees of separation from him? From what I recall
reading and experiencing as a kid, everything was about BASIC and
Assembly. C, UNIX and such wasn't even a part of the hobby microcomputer

It's almost like computing took 20 years to claw back from the path
laid out by cheap, plentiful, single-CPU microcomputers, programmed in
assembly and debugged using LEDs and an NMI switch. This seems in stark
contrast to the PDP and UNIX path.


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