Dennis Ritchie and
They designed Unix back in 1969 mostly as a personal research tool. The design decisions they made back then were the key to the fact that the Operating System lasted 30 years without major changes in the design. Ritchie is also responsible for the C programming language, which he designed along with Brian Kernighan.
Richard Stallman founded the
Free Software Foundation in the early
80's. His goal was then and still is that all software should be
free. He is the pricipal author of Gnu Emacs and the Gnu C compiler.
He also wrote the lyrics to a
hymn about free software.
Linux started in 1991 as a pet project from
The biggest accomplishment of Torvalds is not the fact that he brought
us the Linux kernel, more likely it is the fact that he was the first
to start using the
Where would the Internet be without
Jon Postel? There is nobody
in existence who has written more RFC's
than this "numbers guru". Why do we use TCP/IP
port 25 for sending mail? Because Jon Postel said so. If anyone should
be credited for creating the Internet, he's the one. It is really sad that
he passed away in october 1998.
(rightmost in the picture) was a big
factor at giving a mathematical foundation to computer sciences. He
drew up the automaton now known as "the Turing machine" and was also
responsible for "the Colossus", a military digital computer that was
used by the Brittish army for decoding German cyphered messages during
the second world war.
While Alan Turing is probably the greatest computer scientist of the
past, the greatest computer scientist of the present is most likely
His work in progress, The art of Computer Programming is the
de facto reference for most topics concerning computer science. He
also wrote the TeX typesetting system. The versioning of TeX
inspired me for the versioning of these pages.
||This one has nothing to do with computers or programming, but I will list him anyway. I think Beethoven was by far the best composer that walked the face of the earth. Well, I take the first sentence back. Some of his music gives me the impression that he would have excellent programming skills|