RIP Dennis Ritchie (and Steve Jobs)

This was originally going to be a post about Steve Jobs.  I had a draft going, but then I put it off.  And then just now I heard that Dennis Ritchie, one of the creators of UNIX, died today at age 70.

My original draft was going to be something along the lines of how Steve Jobs was sort of overrated in that he was more a marketing genius as opposed to a great technological innovator, but at the same time was a very important figure who helped to make technology more accessible to the masses and inspire people.  Well, Dennis Ritchie was certainly more the innovator.  UNIX and C are the foundation of so much in computing, from microcontrollers all the way up to super computers, and they likely will be for a long time.

So, long story short, there are many ways to have an impact, and it doesn’t just have to involve appearing in front of large crowds in jeans and a turtleneck.