Thursday, October 13, 2011

dmr - a true titan

Last week-end, one of the great minds of our time, a true Titan of Computer Science, someone whom I respect from the bottom of my heart for his contributions to the world, departed this physical world. He revolutionized the world of computers - a true pioneer, a superlative mind and a great person. He invented the language that formed the fundamentals of the computers that we so freely use today. He laid the foundation for an operating system that fuels the world we live in. It is on his giant shoulders that millions ride on today and will do so for ever. He won the Turing award and the Hamming medal, something that can only be dreamt by most people. Being the intellectual giant he was, he kept contributing to this world, until his very last days.

I hate making comparisons, but it pains to see such a great person like dmr departing the world unnoticed while that of an corporate innovator gets flashed in the headlines and is being mourned by millions. By what standards is a Turing award winner lesser than the corporate wizard? But then, this is how the machinery of the world works. I guess, it doesn't matter anymore. That said, I do hope there would be a few who will recognize the magnitude of his contribution to the world. I do. 

You are one of the few people whom I shall repent not having known personally despite being almost in the same building.  Your emails signed with the famous dmr will no more reach us. You will be missed, Sir. The world will most definitely miss Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie.

http://cm.bell-labs.com/who/dmr/




7 comments:

Ryan said...

We who use C, mourn the loss of dmr.

They who use iProducts, have no need to mourn him.

Kislay Verma said...

Everyone knows and mourns Jobs because he put a gazillion uber-cool devices in their hands. As consumers, that's what everyone remembers.

As computer engineers, it is our business and duty to remember the people who take the first steps and make it all possible, though junta might not know it.

RIP DMR.

Anonymous said...

dey, i got to know the news from your blog only.. everybody was posting/talking about Steve Jobs only.. i thought you are also repeating the same until i read the last line.

We really lost a great man.. i wonder why there was not any news about him in the popular medias..


Suresh

Mighty Titan said...

True. We who know him shall mourn his loss! As Suresh says, the lackadaisical attitude of the media is what irks me!

Vinessha said...

To make you feel better, if at all Steve Jobs is worth being mourned for (well i completely respect and salute his intelligence, no doubt!)like he is being now then it is only because of Dennis Ritchie!there could have been no mac without Unix and no Unix without 'C' and no 'C' but for Dennis Ritchie.R.I.P Sir.

Vinessha said...

I mean this perspective made me feel better, so i thot it shd help the few who are hurt at his loss gone unnoticed!

Mighty Titan said...

Vinessha, I know! All I could find on this piece of news was a blog in WashingtonPost and the technology section in NYTimes. We just can't get away from the fact that money still rules the roost.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/dennis-ritchie-father-of-c-programming-language-and-unix-dies-at-70/2011/10/13/gIQADGNbhL_blog.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/technology/dennis-ritchie-programming-trailblazer-dies-at-70.html