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Old 16th October 2011
J65nko J65nko is offline
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Default Dennis Ritchie: the other man inside your iPhone

From http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...s-ritchie-unix

The groundbreaking work he did with Ken Thompson led to the operating system behind everything from set-top boxes to the iPhone, but who sings the praises of the late Dennis Ritchie?

It's funny how fickle fame can be. One week Steve Jobs dies and his death tops the news agendas in dozens of countries. Just over a week later, Dennis Ritchie dies and nobody – except for a few geeks – notices. And yet his work touched the lives of far more people than anything Steve Jobs ever did. In fact if you're reading this online then the chances are that the router which connects you to the internet is running a descendant of the software that Ritchie and his colleague Ken Thompson created in 1969.
You don't need to be a genius to debug a pf.conf firewall ruleset, you just need the guts to run tcpdump
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Old 16th October 2011
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Carpetsmoker Carpetsmoker is offline
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The article isn't 100% accurate, but it's "close enough".

Here's the thing that sort of bugs me about the whole thing.

Steve Job's death got enormous widespread attention, today is "Steve Jobs day", all newsprograms and newspapers were (and still are) full of it, there are TV-specials, and even the more serious newsprograms give attention to Steve Jobs. All possible good things are attributed to Steve Jobs and he seems to be presented as some sort of combined Jesus/Buddha/Zeus/Thor/Allah of all things related to computing.

By chance, Dennis Ritchie died just a week later, now, I don't want to start a "pissing contest" over who's contribution was greater, but I think all will agree that Ritchie's contributions to UNIX and C were very influential. Apple's OSX and iOS are based on UNIX, and Objective-C is, like the name suggests, based on C.
In any case, there was almost no coverage of Dennis Ritchie's death. No "Dennis Ritchie day", no TV specials, no newspaper coumns, etc...

The contrast is very striking ...

The media can do whatever it wants, but if you need more proof that the media presents a very warped and distorted image of the truth then I am at a los ...
UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things.
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Old 16th October 2011
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
All possible good things are attributed to Steve Jobs...
...because this is what the general public can wrap its collective mind about:
  • The Apple & Pixar cultures of "cool".
  • The abundance of Apple products in the marketplace, & the appeal & appetite of the buying public for these products. Pixar was also successful in merging cutting edge graphics with good story lines which appealed to very large audiences.
  • Steve Jobs was seen as being (financially) successful, & one thing he excelled at was orchestrating companies which successfully hid the complexity of technology repeatedly in its products. Plus, both Steve Jobs & Apple/Pixar have been visibly successful while the global economy sank.
The general public for the most part is not really interested in technology. Rather, the general public is interested in gadgets/products that fill some perceived need/want/use. How they work is secondary.
The contrast is very striking ...
...because most of the public has never heard of Dennis Ritchie & doesn't really understand his contribution.
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