Dennis Ritchie, aka ‘dmr’, is the interesting person in the history of computing to me. He is best known as the inventor of C the programming language and an important developer to the Unix operating system. One of these contributions to computer science alone is life changing, but both contributions changed the world forever. Before his death in October of 2011 he worked at Lucent Technologies, Inc. His work is literally in everything manufactured today, weather its in the product itself or the equipment that manufacturer it. Without his work we would have a programming language which gives people(programmers)a common way to express ideas in programming or Unix which served the base of many OSes of today. His work advanced a whole industry and secured our(Americas) spot in the Information Age.
Dennis Richie has received numerous Awards and achievements.
- Turing Award(1983)
- IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal(1990)
- Fellows of the Computer History Museum(1997)
- National Medal of Technology(1999)
- Industrial Research Institute Achievement Award(2005)
- Japan Prize for Information and Communications(2011)
Both of his works have been forked off and contributed to by thousands of people. Idea and concepts have been adopted and molded in to new programming languages or new operating systems. The server market share is dominated by Linux OS which is based upon Unix and languages like C# and C++ which is based off of C. While he is not widely know out side of computer science he has touched countless lives.
I was born in Pekin, Illinois on April 1st, 1992. I spent 5 wonderful years in Green Valley, Illinois playing with childhood friends and visiting relatives on a fairly regular basis. We’d all play down at the local park, watch movies on VHS or play video games on an Atari. Lots of fond memories were formed when I lived in Illinois. Like when I got left at a ballpark because of a silly joke or when I fell off a car while me and my siblings were washing it. I loved and continue to love the town I was raised in till I was five.
In 1997 our family got uprooted when my dad got a promotion at MGP(Midwest Grain Products). We moved 350 miles west to Atchison, Kansas. For the first few months we’d go back every weekend, then it started to taper off going to every other week, then once a month and finally ended up at only going back on major holidays. For the next 13 year I lived in a miserable town called Atchison. Okay. Okay. It’s really not that bad. Atchison is a small town in Northeast Kansas. It has a population of around sixteen thousand people. It’s famous for Amelia Earhart and is claimed to be the most haunted city in Kansas. I attended Atchison Elementary School, Atchison Middle School, and Atchison High School in my primary school career. My class had around 135 students. Everyone knew everyone. I made friends with nearly all of my classmates. In my 8th grade year I went overseas with 50 random kids from around the Midwest region. I loved every second of it. I went to three different countries: France, Italy, and Greece. It was a life changing experience.
In 2006 I started high school and there I became known as the IT kid that could fix computers and do “amazing” things with technology. In my spare time I’d fix computers, set up servers, or play soccer with my high school’s soccer team. During the off season I was part of a small video production class which produced a yearbook on DVD(aka YO-DVD). This class also broadcast a state basketball championship in Salina and a state football championship in Hutchinson. My senior year this video production class became my life. I was the lead designer of the DVD. I had to learn, develop, and produce a professional DVD. All in all the last few years in high school were eye opening and made me think of what I wanted to do with my life. I have always wanted to work with computers and now I’m going to K-state to do just that.