Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dennis Ritchie Passed Away 8 Oct 2011

Dennis Ritchie - the co-inventor of UNIX and C - has passed away at the age of 70.

In addition to his work on UNIX and C, Dennis contributed to the Plan 9 operating system (1995), and the Inferno operating system, which was announced in April 1996. 

Witout Unix and C, every major Operating systems today wouldn't be the same. The Internet may not even exist without Unix and C that is the bases for every web server, Router, and desktop OS today. Most smart phones are based on Linux which is a work alike version of Unix and on several occasions been accused of using Unix code it's so similar in functionality.

His book the C Programming Language has never been far from me since I have first picked it up back in the 80's. It's been my Bible. My whole life, my career, my businesses, most of my accomplishments were based on C, Unix and the Internet. When I first ran in to them as a Hacker, they came together as a natural package , a collection of Technologies along with many more. Technologies that were refined from years of college students screwing about trying to do "Cool things" . The result was cool. And more over Practical. So much code these days is just people getting caught up in testing every aspect of a language rather then the simplest cleanest way to get the job done.

The Unix Source code was brilliant. It was the first time I had ever seen well written code beside the little short basic programs floating around.
It was overwhelming at the time the amount of code. We spent month, no years, trying to download and store the 40 megabytes of source code. We started at 300 baud, and 360K floppies off a hacked phone company computer. Eventually I ended up working at Stanford and got it at 10 Mbps from a VAX server down the hall. First thing I did was try to get it to run on a PC. I can't tell you how precious that Source code was. How much risk and trouble I could get in to just for having it. How much I tried to learn all I could from it.

Mr. Ritchie, I owe you so much. I can't thank you enough. You are missed and will be remembered.

See my that talks about the C programming Language Book.


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