Farewell to a forebear of open source, Marvin Minsky

Farewell to a forebear of open source, Marvin Minsky Image by :  Last week one of the founding fathers of personal computing, Marvin Minsky, died at age 88. It so happened that I’d been reading about some of Minsky’s work at MIT in Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by Steven Levy. Levy recounts how in 1961 Minsky encouraged and supported some of the first human encounters with real time computing, opening the door for undergrads to experiment with the DEC’s (Digital Equipement Corporation) first product, the PDP-1. These students formed a collectively brilliant group united by their obsessive love of computing, who came to call themselves hackers. Minsky is primarily known for his pioneering work in artificial intelligence, as cofounder of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He also was an innovator in hardware (scanners, microscopes, and…


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