Tribute to Steve Jobs & Dennis Ritchie!

Posted on November 27, 2011


In 2003, I took admission for the course of Computer Science & Engineering. Although I took admission in branch of computer science, still I had never touched a computer by then. I know it’s hard to believe but true. I am a small town guy, and I am not ashamed of that. Yes now computer reached each home of my home town also, but during my school days it did not. We had at maximum 10 PCs in our town. We were getting opportunity to see it from very close only when our exams results were out on internet.

So it was really funny that, a 17 years boy who did not know anything about computer took admission in computer Sc & Engineering. But thank god, majority was with me as many of those people who took admission also did not know much about computer; but every one of us had that eagerness & confidence that we could learn it in those 4 years of our lives. We had that believe in us that, if one among us could make it, then why we could n’t learn it.

I still remember the first day of my engineering college. Seniors of mine were waiting eagerly for us; no do not think they were waiting to welcome us. They were just waiting to rag us, as that day was first day for them as senior and They were waiting to show their superiority on us. I entered my college and walked towards my class room. Some seniors called me near them. As i reached there, one among them asked me “First year”. I nodded. Then again he asked, “Which branch?”. I proudly answered, “Computer Science”; without much caring about what they were going to ask me next.Then one of those seniors asked me another question to prove that he was more intelligent than me; that was, “who is father of  ‘C’ ?”  I was about to say “who is she? If I do not know her; how can I tell her father’s name?” But thank god I did not. I preferred to remain silent, although usually  I do not like to show my ignorance in front of any one. Still it was first day; I was standing alone with more than ten seniors. So I do not know actually it was due to nervousness or fear, but I preferred to remain silent. Then only one of my senior started explaining what ‘c’ is? May be he was also among those millions of young people who dreamed to be a computer engineer, without even knowing A B  C D alphabets of computer. So I came to know that ‘C’ is a programming language, which we were going to study. And the father of that language is “Mr. Dennis Ritchie”.

So the first name that came to my knowledge in my journey to be a computer engineer was neither Steve Jobs nor Bill Gates, it was Mr. Dennis Ritchie.

Journey of Dennis Ritchie

  • Ritchie was creator of C languages; which is widely used today in application, operating system, and embedded system development, and its influence is seen in most modern programming languages. He is known as the Father of ‘C’. 
  • Ritchie worked together with Ken Thompson, the scientist credited with writing the original Unix; one of Ritchie’s most important contributions to Unix was its porting to different machines and platforms.

Journey of Steve Jobs-

  • Jobs was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. 
  • Jobs was co-founder and previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios.
  • He became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney.

Yes both of them are my heroes and both are icons in their respective fields. No one can argue on that. But for me Steve Job sold his knowledge, while Denis Ritchie preferred to share his knowledge with the world. Dennis Ritchie actually gave billions of young people like me chance to know computer even better not as a user, but as a creator. After gaining that knowledge he shared with us, we realized that, “yes it is human who actually made computer”.

‘Whereas Steve Jobs was a good business man; who knows how to make product using someone’s knowledge & how to sell them and yes there is nothing bad in this. It is one of the most difficult jobs in this world. I know I can only be dream of to be a man like him & I know I can’t be like him.

But still from my heart, I have little more respect for Dennis Ritchie than Steve Job. Because he not only dreamt for his own success, but helped us in dreaming those things which we also never dreamt that we could achieve. He helped us in realizing that, knowledge can also give you all those materialistic things, which we need in our lives. Due to him, people across world started realizing worth of us (software engineers). Today whatever products we software engineers are developing with the language which Sir Dennis Ritchie gave birth, are helping every common man of this world; but it’s a fact that not everyone has that luxury or credibility whatever you may say, to use those products which Steve jobs gave birth to. Someone has to be financial sound to buy those products.  Even lots of people like me, would not have in their knowledge that in this world apple is not only a fruit, if Dennis Ritchie would also prefer to sell his knowledge rather than to share it with us. But due to him we are able to get a salary for our jobs, which is enough to buy products developed by Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs died on October 5th 2011 & Dennis Ritchie on October 11th 2011, just a week later. When Steve Jobs passed away the media of whole word paid their tribute to this person, all social networking sites were full of praises for him & for his contributions. Yes he deserves it all. Even he deserves much beyond this for what he gave us. But what hurt me most is very few people even came to know that, Dennis Ritchie is no more with us, a person who contributed much more than anyone, not only to this computer world but also to whole world. It really hurts me, “Why we people never give a person what he deserves, even though its not costing us anything?” We must remember & praise this man called “Dennis Ritchie” just like we did for “Steve Jobs”.

NB:- Image Source : Wikipedia

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