Dennis Ritchie’s Death

I somehow missed the news that Dennis Ritchie died on Saturday. For anyone that doesn’t know, he is the father of C, one of the most widely used and influential programming languages, and one of the inventors of the UNIX operating system. He was not only an influential figure in my life, but in the lives of anyone that uses a computer.

While my very first programming experiences were with BASIC, I didn’t really start to learn programming until I started to write in C. It taunt me to think like the machine, from the memory management to the CPU. I wouldn’t be the programmer I am today if I hadn’t learned C. I have such fond memories of working late on complex school assignments or the countless hours I spent programming MUDs in vi.

Steve Jobs’ death got all the press, but Dennis Ritchie helped lay the groundwork that became all of the devices we use today. Few people have such an impact on the world.

Now I just need to find my copy of K&R.

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