I was flipping through The Wall Street Journal on my smart phone, waiting for the waitress to bring my breakfast. A name caught my eye: Fernando Corbató. The man who had made computing accessible to the masses back in the 1960s while a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had died July 19. He was 93.
Long before the cloud, social media and even email, Corbató led the “democratization” of computing, which had been limited to intellectuals with access to mainframe computers. While at MIT, he developed one of the world’s first operating systems, the “Compatible Time-Sharing System” that allowed multiple people to use a computer at the same time. He’s also recognized as the creator of the world’s first computer password. Next time I forgot mine, I know who to blame!
We should all thank Corbató for his work at MIT that sparked the digital revolution, a revolution that includes our ever-present smart phones and so much more. Read about his life well lived here >