Friday, October 14, 2011

To Two Great Pioneers: Thank you, Steve Jobs and Dennis Ritchie

This has been a disheartening October to all of us. As most of you may already know, we lost a great visionary who has changed the way most of us live today. That is Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, Inc. and the mastermind to all the i's in the world - the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and the list goes on. Unknowingly to most, we lost another pioneer who also had contributed greatly to the software and application development industry. He is no other than Dennis Ritchie, the creator of the C programming language, and one of the main developers for the UNIX system.

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, 70 
September 9, 1941 to October 8, 2011

To those who do not know who Mr. Ritchie was, or doesn't have any idea with programming languages:

Dennis Ritchie developed the C programming language way back 1960s. A programming language is a set of instructions to tell the machine what to do. So programming languages are like the nerve cells of our computers who reports input on our senses to our brain to tell us how to react. E.g., you touched a hot object, your nerve cells will rush to tell the brain that we need to get our hands off the hot object. In any case, you get the idea.

The C programming language has been a major influence to most languages you may have heard of: C++, C#, Objective C, Java, Perl, PHP, and JavaScript to name a few. Without the C programming language, the direction to the creation of applications could have lead to much toilsome paths. Since Facebook is built with PHP, there wouldn't be Facebook if there was no C. And yes, you wouldn't be reading this post at this moment if there wasn't a C. That's a fact.
main() { printf("Thank you, dmr\n"); }
This will print Thank you, dmr on the screen (using the original syntax.)

Steven Paul Jobs, 56 
February 24, 1955 to October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs, on the other hand, is much popular as not all people get into the hoods. He and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computers around 1980s. Apple products were not that popular in the Philippines years ago. I wasn't aware of who Steve Jobs was until I watched the Pirates of the Silicon Valley.

To be honest, I haven't used any Apple products ever. Not even iTunes. I'm not a fan of digital music and ebooks as I believe there's something missing when you don't plug in your favorite CD or you don't flip your books. Anyway, though I haven't used any Apple products, I have witnessed what it has done to our world. 

The most important thing is, what Steve Jobs has influenced in me. Since I watched that movie, I became interested in Jobs and what he has done. I badly wanted an Apple product though I find it unaffordable and impractical to posses such product thinking of our current state of living.

Then came that time that I discovered that Steve Jobs didn't finish his college. It was when I watched this video from his speech at a graduation in Stanford University last 2005:

What pulls me was not his success, but his confidence to express his self and his dreams. The way he believes in himself and his dreams are purely irreplaceable by any success or failures. 

In a way, he has influenced me greatly that he had been a great factor to why I decided to drop out of college. He's not the main reason, though - for when you think for the major decisions in life you don't base from one perspective. But his life and philosophies has contributed greatly to that decision. And to be honest, I'm pretty happy to where I am now, not successful yet. But we'll get there someday.

It is sad that he had to go. Cancer has no mercy and is indeed evil. Though he mentioned that he doesn't care about legacies, he indeed carries one great legacy.

"Almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."
- Steve Jobs

iThank You, Steve.

Note: Please do not compare. I was planning to post about Steve Jobs' death a week after, then the news of dmr's passing was suddenly brought to light. And they both did great on their works. So no need to debate over who deserves most of the attention.

Special thanks to Kris of for the info about dmr's passing.


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