Dennis Ritchie along with Brian Kernighan wrote a book that changed my life – The C Programming Language. My buddy C.J., who invented audio conferencing, calls it the Bible. I never cared much for Steve Jobs. Dennis, for me, was the man.
Notice how thin it is, how it’s not your typical big fat programming book. That’s the beauty of C – it’s thin and elegant. C, is the greatest programming language ever.
Judge Harold Greene was another important person in my life. Because of Greene, I’m in business today. Jimmy Carter appointed Judge Greene to preside over United States V. AT&T the anti-trust case that led to the breakup of the phone company and the creation of the 7 Baby Bells. It’s been written that Carter appointed Greene because he was the only one he thought to be capable of understanding the case.
35 years later, we’re back to a phone company. Google, Facebook and Apple have gained control of our lives. We get our computers from two companies, Apple and Google. They control all aspects of the computer; from how it’s made, to the apps, to what we read. Now Google wants to control the connection to the computers and Facebook has practically become the front door to the Internet.
Given the state of corporate control, I don’t think it’s realistic that the government will break up the tech giants. Instead, we’ll have to do it ourselves. Fine. Bill McKibben led the charge against big oil, we’ll make a new Internet.