This Sunday, felt it only proper to take moment to recognize a life we’ve lost which has touched most all people on this planet and many simply just don’t know it. As the passing of the charismatic as well as enigmatic Steve Jobs caught fire with the global media, the passing of Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie has not brought the same attention, however without Ritchie. Well, let’s just say Steve would have never been Steve, as Dennis came up with two critical things in his life which provide for our technological life blood today.
The first is the “C” programming language which has become the standard of all languages no matter the operating system, all core applications as well as the OS’s are written in “C”. This allowed [language and compiler] allowed us to write programs which could easily be converted into the computers native language making programs “portable” as well as fast.
The second was UNIX itself, as being the key operating system of the internet as until Windows came along it was really the only kid on the street and even after 30 years it still kicks windows butt for availability as it just runs. In addition it also fueled the Linux revolution as well as Free BSD and on down the list. Too least you think that it is reserved only for those anti-social geeks hanging in the back room with some unnatural Kung-Fu your wrong. As if you’re a MAC user, just look down at your keyboard as you’re using UNIX! MAC-OS is actually UNIX! This is why you don’t get virus’s and this is why Steve Jobs became Steve Jobs as without UNIX as a springboard, we wouldn’t have the MAC’s we have today.
Since I’m paying homage to Ritchie (this is sort of how he is known by us geeks) is in the day when I programmed, and would hit a spot of rough water if you will. I would stop and ask myself “what would Ritchie do” and this was all LONG before the thing about “what would Beakham do”. As you look at Ritchie’s code, it truly is beautiful as in the way of art how he crafted the flow and logic of what became UNIX. In fact it almost carries with it a musical quality as if one conjures up and image of the code in their mind, closes their eyes they assuredly will hear Mozart playing away…