Unix is Dead! (Or at least its creator)

By Clive Gold, CTO Marketing, EMC Australia and New Zealand.

This week Dennis Ritchie died. For those who don’t recognise his name, he was the creator of the C language and with Ken Thompson created Unix. My introduction to ‘real’ computing was with Unix at Hewlett Packard and I spend the next 15 years involved in this area with companies like Pyramid Technology, (enterprise SMB based Unix servers).

I remember when you could not read a magazine without some discussion about Unix System Five, now I don’t even know who owns the rights to the code. Was it
Novell that purchased them?

The key issue to my mind is that so much of today’s computing owes its existence to Unix. I would suggest that the largest company in the world today is Unix based! Apples OS X is a Unix derivative and so I’m assuming that OS 5 would also be!

You could argue that the most disruptive technology in the operating system market has been Linux. Today it’s hard to name an electronic device that doesn’t have a version that is based on a Linux based derivative, from phones to high performance computing.

I find it a bit sad, (being a technologist), that his death was hardly reported, from a technology point of view he certainly made a massive contribution to our industry.


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