None of the softwares would be working today !!
Ken Thompson was one of the inventors of the UNIX operating system, perhaps the most widely used computer system in the world. He invented the C programming language with Dennis Ritchie and also co-developed several chess-playing machines. Besides UNIX he also invented PLAN 9 operating system.
Ken Thompson was born on February 4, 1943 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was son of Lewis Elwood Thompson, who was fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy, and Anna Hazel Lane Thompson. He married Bonnie on July 2, 1967 and they had one son, Corey. Thompson received his B.S. in electrical engineering in 1965 and his M.S. in electrical engineering in1966 from university of California, Berkeley.
Thompson first started his job in 1960s at the Computing Science Research Center at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. He had been assigned to work on developing a multitasking and multi-user system. Together with engineers from General Electric and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Thompson and other Bell Lab programmers began working on what was called Multics.
While writing Multics, Thompson created the Bon programming language. Thompson & Dennis Ritchie left the Multics project when Bell Labs withdrew from it, but they used the experience from the project. In 1969, Thompson and Ritchie became the principal creators of the Unix operating system.
Unix is a computer operating system that manages the housekeeping functions within a computer. By enabling the user to create, open,
edit, and close data files, as well as move data from a disk to the screen or printer, and to store data on disks in addition to activating and using other programs, an operating system makes computers easy to run and fast.
In 1978 Thompson stopped working on UNIX and began other projects. Later he started working for an OS(Operating System) called Plan 9 and computer chess. Thompson had developed the CTSS (Compatible Time Sharing System) version of the editor QED(Quick EDitor – A text editor), which included regular expressions for searching text. He also worked with some of his friends. He developed UTF-8 (a widely used character encoding scheme) together with Rob Pike in 1992. Along with Joseph Condon, he created the hardware and software for Belle , a world champion chess computer.
In 1983, Thompson and Ritchie received the Turing Award for their “development of generic operating systems theory and specifically for the implementation of the Unix operating system.” He was also awarded the National Medal of Technology and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Tsutomu Kanai Award, both for his work on Unix. The Japan Prize, one of the highest honors awarded for outstanding contribution to science and technology, was awarded jointly in 2011 to Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie for the creation of Unix.
Since 2007 Ken Thompson works at Google Inc. in Mountain View, California as a Distinguished Engineer, and co-created Google’s programming language Go.