From Sir Clive Sinclair to Masayuki Uemura, the tech pioneers we lost in 2021
The past year saw the loss of famous tech pioneers such as Sir Clive Sinclair, Masayuki Uemura and Charles Geschke. Although they are no longer with us, their work will be remembered and cherished for generations to come because of the eternal imprint they have left on millions of lives. As we approach the end of 2021, we remember the tech luminaries we have lost over the past year.
Sir Clive Sinclair
Sir Clive Sinclair, British inventor of the ZX Spectrum personal computer, died in September at the age of 81. He died in his London home after a long illness. Sinclair will be best remembered for creating the ZX Spectrum, one of the first personal computers for mainstream consumers.
In fact, the ZX Spectrum was the device that started the love of video game creation and coding for many people. The real successor to the ZX is the Raspberry Pi, the under $ 50 computer designed to make PCs more affordable and help kids learn to code.
Sinclair was knighted in 1983. He also invented the first slim pocket calculator as well as the Sinclair C5, a battery-powered single-seater vehicle, introduced in 1985. However, the C5 failed due to safety and performance issues. . The following year, Sinclair sold his IT business to Amstrad.
Masayuki Uemura, who died in December at the age of 78, also played an important role in the spread of video game consoles. Uemura was a game engineer and the main architect of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). âIt all started with a phone call in 1981.
[Nintendo] President Yamauchi told me to create a video game system, a system that could play cartridge games, âUemura once said. Kotaku. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), as it was called, made its debut in the United States in 1985 and became the most popular gaming console at the time with 60 million units sold.
Born in Tokyo in 1943, Uemura studied electronic engineering at the Chiba Institute of Technology and joined Nintendo in 1971. After retiring from Nintendo, he taught game studies in 2004 at Ritsumeikan University. .
Charles Geschkle, Adobe co-founder and co-inventor of Portable document Finder (PDF), died in April of this year. He was 81 years old. Geschke and John Warnock founded Adobe, which today is one of the largest software companies in the world, with a current market value of around $ 300 billion.
Charles Matthew Geschke, known as Chuck, was born in September 1939 and raised in Cleveland. Geschke received a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, then worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center where he met Warnock.
The duo left Xerox in 1982 and founded Adobe. Their first product was Adobe PostScript, the programming language that powered the DTP industry. Geschkle made headlines in 1992 when he was rescued after being kidnapped by two kidnappers.
Lou Ottens, the Dutch engineer behind the invention of the cassette, died at the age of 94 at his home in the village of Duizel in North Brabant. He was a long-time engineer at the Dutch electronics and technology company Philips, where Ottens looked after the product development department.
Under his supervision, Philips unveiled the EL 3585, the company’s first portable tape recorder, which will sell over a million units. But the biggest breakthrough in Otten’s career was the launch of an audio cassette at electronics fairs in Berlin in August 1963.
From the start, Otten envisioned the tape that should fit in his jacket pocket. Soon Japanese companies began to offer their versions of audio cassettes, but Otten orchestrated a deal between Sony and Philips to make their model the standard in the market.
But Otten didn’t stop there. In the early 1970s, he participated in the development of compact disc technology, better known as CDs. Audio cassettes and compact discs have become the de facto standard for listening to music for decades.
Otten was one of the most decorated inventors of his time, and perhaps the best of his generation. Born in 1926, Otten showed interest in engineering from an early age. After obtaining an engineering degree, he landed a job at the Philips factory in Hasselt, Belgium, in 1952.
John McAfee, the man behind one of the most widely used virus protection programs, ended his life in a Barcelona prison after Spain’s High Court allowed his extradition to the United States for tax evasion . He was 75 years old. McAfee was a controversial figure with long run-ins with the law.
He was born in England in 1945 and raised in Salem, Virginia, by an American father and a British mother. It rose to fame when it launched the world’s first commercial antivirus in 1987, a company Intel bought in 2011 for $ 7.68 billion, when McAfee was no longer involved.
McAfee is said to have failed to file taxes for four years despite earning millions between 2014 and 2018 through promoting cryptocurrencies, consulting work, and selling the rights to his life story for a documentary. In 2012, he was questioned in connection with the death of Gregory Viant Faull, shot dead on the island of Belize where the two men were neighbors.
McAfee was living with a 17-year-old girl, and police discovered a large number of guns in her house. Although McAfee was successful early in his career, he was unable to replace the same success he had with his antivirus company with his other companies.