ComputerEdge magazine has named the ” 10 Most Influential People in Computing History.” Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs landed in the number three position.
ComputerEdge has this to say about Jobs: “Although Steve Jobs never actually invented or programmed anything of consequence, he can be credited for being the driving force behind the first truly widely used personal computer by non-techno hobbyists — the Apple II. The Apple II proved to the world that a personal computer could be useful to a (relatively) non-technical person.
“Jobs, a master marketer, was also responsible for the popularization of the graphical user interface (GUI) and the mouse with his Macintosh project at Apple Computer. (He picked up the unused ideas from Xerox.) Today, no major company would even consider releasing an operating system that didn’t have a GUI and mouse.
The other nine people on the list are:
1. George Boole, who clarified the binary system of algebra, which said that any mathematical equation could be stated simply as either true or false.
2. Blaise Pascal, whose “contributions to geometry, and his work on proving that a vacuum could exist, led modern computer scientists to name a programming language after the mathematician.”
4. Walter Brattain, inventor of the transistor, “which became not only the foundational tool of the modern era of computing, but of most all modern electronics and telecommunications.”
5. Tim Berners-Lee, who developed all the components of the World Wide Web.
6. Jack Kilby, who developed the first integrated circuit (IC).
7. Herman Hollerith, the founder of IBM.
8. Bill Gates is a “Harvard dropout who secured his place in computing history by developing some of the first Basic computer languages and licensing them during the ’70s.” Currently the world’s richest man, Gates “changed the course of computing history when he licensed his Disk Operating System, know as MS-DOS, for IBM’s personal computer in the early ’80s.”
9. Charles Babbage, the first person to develop plans to build a general-purpose computer.
10. Bill Atkinson: best known for the development of the first widely hypermedia development tools, which inspired hypertext and the Web. Atkinson also was one of the original programmers of the first Mac operating system, and wrote MacPaint (both debuted in 1984), “one of the first graphics editors that set the standard for all graphics programs to follow.”