Folks, I hate to talk about death, but often when someone whose influenced you on so many various levels passes away, it becomes an inevitability. Mr dmr was no ordinary programmer or computer scientist, he was quite simply put, a God in the computing field.
When dmr met with ken and built the almighty OS that was Unix, a simpler version of the failed Multics, I am pretty sure a new galaxy somewhere on the edge of the universe was formed. That was the moment which everything that you now consider to be technology in your life came into existence. As I like to refer to it, the Computing Big Bang Moment (CBBM). That extremely pivotal moment in history marked a complete shift in the attitudes of everyone involved in software (and eventually hardware) worlds to the better.
For starters it brought about the C programming language, which is pretty much one of the building blocks of DNA that your machines and softwares all rely on in some form or another. C was needed by dmr and ken to build a faster version of Unix, and that was needed because they had to pretty much beg Bell Labs to get them a faster computer at the time, so they sold the idea to the corporate heads by promising to deliver fast text processing software through developing Unix!
Later when corporate greed kicked in and AT&T tried to pretty much steal Unix and start marketing it, a certain rms started the GNU project, widely responsible for all the open source fashionista movement that exists today, although discussing how the GNU project evolved and how corporations also tried to capitalize on that would be a subject to be discussed at length later on. Other massive contributions emerging from that time was the BSD and later on Linux.
But I would suspect one of the most influential (unfotrunatly!) products to come out of the CBBM was Steve Jobs’s NeXT computer. During that time Jobs had been ousted from Apple, but being the Unix head that he was, he orchastrated his return to Apple using Unix and NeXT. Unix then became the base OS for all future Apple OS and subsequently all their products. Your fancy iPad and iPhones owes more of it’s petty existances to dmr than they do Steve Jobs! And I won’t even delve into social media and how they were all concieved from that same DNA building block!
The internet as we know it is a result of that CBBM, but it was Usenet that benefited most from that CBBM. Usenet came into being almost a decade before there was a world wide web, and Usenet’s influence of the progression of software is simply to immense to comprehend. What Usenet offered to the hacker community was just too inextricably linked to the progress of software and open source (in it’s pure forms). dmr himself once said that “Usenet is a strange place”! Indeed it is the strangness of that all powerful alternate universe that continues to foster innovation and internet freedoms. Corporations like Apple and Google constantly try to quell your internet freedoms, on an unbelievably obtrusive scale! Usenet is the true haven in the face of the degradation of software that we are witnissing today, and it represents that go to zone for copyleft, internet freedoms and free software.
dmr’s legacy will live on as long as there will be machines and software. His contributions are so immense to the progress of the field that quite simply the majority of anything to be created in the future that is atleast remotely loosely related to software will have dmr’s innovations in it’s DNA building blocks.
printf("RIP comrade dmr, the battle goes on.\n");