Recognizing an equally great man in Digital Era: Dennis Ritchie – The inventor of C Programming and Unix Systems


       All who studied computer subjects, computer courses and IT professionals today that includes me knows how to create programs using C Language or C Programming and this programming language is still widely used today but do we really know who is the person that invented it? I would raise my hand as guilty on that question. Even though I got books about C Programming but I often see who’s the author and in fact that it’s my first time to see or heard about certain Dennis Ritchie. I may read his name before from a text-book but I cannot remember it,  Mr. Ritchie my topic for today is our main man and with one important tool available in the Internet our online friend and personal consultant Mr. Google and reading some blogs about his death I’m inspired to write this  blog to show appreciation to his contributions in the computer world and to recognize him as such and which is due to him.          Many of us, cried, showed support, tribute and blog about the death of Steve Jobs the visionary man who created and invented Apple Computers, Mac, iPod, iTouch, iPad and Pixar Movies but few knows about the death of another important person  and equally great man who has a greatest contribution in Digital Era and the Internet today, the man who created a widely used programming language as of today and in fact co-creator of Unix Operating Systems that Steve Jobs used to his Apple products the ignored one this  is no other than Mr. Ritchie. After a week of Steve Jobs death came the death of Dennis Ritchie who were both died of health problems it’s just that Ritchie’s unspecified disease but according to reports when he died  on October 12, 2011 at his home in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, where he lived alone at the age of 70 his death and prostate cancer and heart disease are the cause.

On a shared link or picture on Facebook an anonymous writer said the following:

Without Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) we would have:
No iProducts
No over expensive laptops

Without Dennis Ritchie (September 9, 1941 – October 12, 2011) we would have:
No Windows
No Unix
No C
No Programs
A large setback in computing
No Generic-text Languages.
We would all read in Binary..

They died in the same year and the same month but it seems only few notice the death of Dennis Ritchie compared to Steve Jobs.

Photo: AP

          Just to add this information from The Telegraph (The Technology Obituaries) on their opening write-up about his death they started by saying “For those with only a sketchy knowledge of computer-speak, the job of an operating system is to organise the various parts of the computer – the processor, the memory, the disk drives, keyboards, video monitors and so on – to do useful tasks. A programming language, meanwhile, is usually an artificial shorthand of words, numbers and punctuation used to build computer programs – including operating systems themselves. Such is its utility in the modern world of computing that Unix been described as “the best screwdriver ever built”. The operating system powers many of the world’s data centers, such as those at Google and Amazon, and its technology serves as foundation of many operating systems”. Click here for full stories.

ThinkClay said on his blog and permits everyone to re-post any of its context to instill awareness and appropriate memorial to him through social media said that “At least 75%  of the web as you know it (60% Server Share13% client share93% of web servers), powered by the developments of Dennis Ritchie over his lifetime. Apple, the World Wide Web, and iPhone probably wouldn’t even exist had Dennis never invented C programming language (which since stemmed PHP and C++) and the contribution to Unix. So why is it that the brain and code of Dennis which exists in almost ALL our lives is so less noticed at the end of their life? My guess is simply publicity. For example: I’d bet far more people can name actors vs producers in hollywood.” Click here to read full story.

          Without DMR’s contribution Android applications is not possible today as variants of Unix OS called Linux the first truly free Unix-like operating system launched by Richard Stallman in 1983, who originally develop it and called GNU project with intention of  distributing the OS entirely free until Linus Torvalds continued the project invented Linux itself in 1991. Wanted to know more about the history of Linux click here.

         To my best of knowledge, the first time I heard of Linux OS is from my favorite professor and I can say that his the only instructor that introduced Linux to me when I was in college that  changed my computer life and ignited me to think like open-source, sharing techie knowledge with others and together develop it. Not even my classmates had interests on Linux because their minds was monopolize by Windows haha but that’s what I think never heard of them anyway. He called himself MhykGyver as his alias and I created SilentPal as mine and he is working as a freelance programmer and instructor.

As of this writing, we still communicate through email and I’ve visited him at his house provided I heard that he is home. Thanks to you sir/friend/mentor/fellow father and One Piece addict the great professor that I declare Mr. Michael Manasan and I hope to learn from you more.        In line with this, one form of Unix variant in my opinion is the Android OS that consists of a kernel based on the Linux kernel, with middleware, libraries and APIs written in C and application software running on an application framework which includes Java-compatible libraries based on Apache Harmony so I hope Dennis Ritchie be praise, recognized and given proper honor just like what I am doing now. If you think there is more information that you need to add feel free to leave a comment below and just like Think Clay feel free to re-post, copy contexts of this blog to make the creator of C Programming and Unix OS to the World Wide Web just like Steve Jobs. That’s all!

Sources:,, Wikipedia and Facebook.

Photo: AP and Google

About Kalongkong Hiker

I am Paolo Mercado for 20 years I've been riding a bike, walking a lot and running a lot. I am Kalongkong Hiker, a trail runner, mountaineer and a biker that can also write a blog of my travels, adventures and places that I visited through walking, running and biking. I write to encourage others to stay healthy and fit. #KeepOnRunning #ShareTheRoad #KalongkongHiker
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4 Responses to Recognizing an equally great man in Digital Era: Dennis Ritchie – The inventor of C Programming and Unix Systems

  1. Jaguarpills says:

    Here is my blog about basic unix commands..


  2. SpiderHam says:

    Dennis Ritchie? Kamg-anak ba ito ni Lionel Ritchie?


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