A look back at the past…

Written by  on October 2, 2018 

Since politics seem to be what everybody talks about right now, I thought it would be interesting to point out stuff not political that might be of educational value.

Something people take for granted in {$Current_Year} is their computers and the internet itself. A handful of people are widely known as pioneers for the modern age of computers, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Tim Berners-Lee and others. However tons of people have contributed to creating what people use daily and are not as widely known.

Some people of note:

Dale Heatherington and Dennis Hayes – Created the first PC modem, the 80-103A. Their company (Hayes Microcomputer Products) created the command set for modems that’s still used to this day.

Dennis Ritchie (who died at the same time as Steve Jobs and didn’t get as much media attention) – Invented the C programming language and created the UNIX operating system with colleague Ken Thompson. The C Programming language (in various variants) is used for creation of several software products widely used today. The technology created from the UNIX operating system is used in several computer operating systems to this day.

Vint Cerf – designed the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), which is the primary data protocol used on the internet today.

Gary Kildall – Created one of the first programming languages for the Intel 8088 and 8080 processors, PL/M. He also created one of the first OSes for that processor, CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers). CP/M would later be copied by other companies using its reference material, one of which was Seattle Computer Products. That company would later license its OS, 86-DOS to Microsoft to be sold as MS-DOS.

There’s tons of other people out there, these are just ones that I know of from memory. Out of the ones on the list, I’ve been doing research the most on CP/M and its creator, Gary Kildall. In 2019, CP/M will be 45 years old, and mostly if not forgotten by nearly everyone.

A concern of mine is people not wanting to learn where what they use daily came from, or if they do come across information, see what was done and consider it inferior to today. In modern terms, it is technologically inferior, however things take time to build up and develop over time. So take some time, go look up one of those names and start from there. You might learn something new.

 

 

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