There have been amazing technological advances in the past century. 2013 saw it’s share of innovative, pioneers that have impacted the industry dramatically. Young and old, each person on this list helped shape our technology industry with a lasting impression.
Here are the trailblazer’s and their accomplishments:
Hank Asher (Pioneered Databases)
Hank Asher didn’t make it through highschool but he did create “data
fusion”. A software integrating databases and mining them. Asher
founded two data companies; Database Technologies, and Seisant.
AutoTrack, Accurint and Matrix are some of his products used by law
enforcement for data-mining.
He died peacefully at his home at the age of 61.
Aaron Swartz (Programming Prodigy)
At 14 years old, Swartz contributed to RSS standard code. In his teens,
he founded a company that merged into Reddit. Swartz became an
activist, hacking the legal database PACER, so public court decisions
were freely available. JSTOR was also hacked by Swartz, an academic
database, which resulted in his arrest and charged with multiple
He committed suicide days before his trial at the age of 26.
Amar Bose (Genius of Boss)
Amar Bose the problem solver. In 1956 Bose had a problem with some
hi-fi speakers he purchased, so figured out how to make them better. He
started his “Bose” speaker company in 1964 and developed new approaches
on acoustics and noise-canceling headphones. Bose made breakthrough’s
with aviation, defense, and even nuclear physics.
He died at the age of 83 in Wayland, Massachusetts.
Ken Brill (Father of Datacenters)
Brill was an electrical engineer in training when he founded the
UpTime Institute in 1993. He used the platform to mark the data center,
which built the foundation on which cloud computing emerged. UpTime is
known best for its tier classification for comparing data centers.
Brill died at the age of 69 after developing cancer.
Doug Engelbart (The Mouse of Man)
One of computing’s greatest visionaries, Engelbart invented the
computer mouse. He contributed to the development of hypertext, word
processing, graphical user interfaces, networking and real-time
collaboration, including videoconferencing. Although he was the
visionary and inventor, he didn’t commercialize his ideas. That was
left to others at the Stanford Reasearch Institute.
Engelbart died at the age of 88.
Barnaby Jack (“Jackpotter”)
Barnaby Jack was able to make cash spit out money from atm’s like it
was “jackpotting”. He showed his ability to hack a pacemaker from 30
feet to make it discharge enough electricity to kill its user. Jack was
able to find flaws embedded in the devices.
The New Zealand-born hacker died the week before giving a talk to the
Black Hat security conference on how pacemakers and other medical
devices could be hacked. Barnaby Jack died at the age of 35 in his home
in San Francisco, with the cause unknown.
Ray Dolby (Amplification & Clarification)
In 1971, starting with A Clockwork Orange, Dolby
revolutionized movies with surround sound. Sound became an art form,
Dolby pioneered to work on inspiring technologies that fueled the
imagination of the entertainment and communications industries.
The modest Dolby, died at the age of 80.
Wayne Green (Take a Byte out of life)
Wayne Green began writing on amateur radio in the 1950′s. The
facinator of laptops, cell phones, e-mail, and consumer computing. Wayne
was the editor of CQ magazine before he went on to 73, 80 Micro, Byte,
CD Review, Cold Fusion and many more in his career. In the 1980′s,
Green created the groundbreaking Brazilian microcomputing magazine.
Wayne Green died at the age of 91.
Hiroshi Yamauchi (Game Man)
Hiroshi Yamauchi took over his family’s Japanese playing-card company
Nintendo in 1949, at the age of 21. Nintendo was revolutionary in the
gaming industry. Even though Yamauchi was not a gamer, Nintendo
dominated the business.
Hiroshi Yamauchi died at the age of 85 from phenumonia.
Willis Ware (Electronics Visionary)
Few saw the future of computing like Willis Ware did. Ware worked on
classified electronics during World War II. Ware built an early
digital computer with John von Neumann, then another for RAND. In 1972,
Ware recommended against secret databases, saying that people should
know what data is help on them and how it is used. He was ignored.
Ware died at the age of 93.
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Tech luminaries we lost in 2013 – ComputerWorld