Tuesday, August 07, 2007

He became a legend..

Dr Per Brinch Hansen, my compiler design professor, Chief architect of RC4000 minicomputer(That had the first real OS), inventor of monitors, author of first concurrent programming language:Concurrent Pascal, author of the first book on OS, a voracious reader and a drop dead geek(in a good way.. although he always said that the word was coined by Stupid Americans to pick on smart people, including Americans.. so don't take it personally guys :), because it's difficult for a dumb guy to rise up to the level of a smart person) died on July 31, 2007. He was 68 and was diagnosed with cancer in June.

This was his last email to me that I'll cherish forever:

Dear Sridhar,
Thanks for your kind email of June 1. I am still recuperating after my hip surgery.
I am happy to hear that you found an interesting job in Santa Clara. Everybody should live in California while they are young.
Keep in touch!

Per Brinch Hansen

It's hard to imagine him gone, partly because I never considered him a mortal being. Although he was suffering from senile decay, he had a really overpowering personality and you could really see the halo of knowledge. Frankly, he was seen as a really eccentric person by many of my friends, but since I tend to be eccentric at times, I was totally comfortable with him (Probably for the same reason I chose supposedly the most difficult professors as my advisors in undergrads).

May his soul rest in peace. I wouldn't say that he died.. but became a legend. His legend will inspire many future generations of Computer Scientists/Engineers.

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