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Keep It Simple


Dennis Ritchie, a great computer scientist, the founder of modern operating system, was born in Bronxville on September 9th, 1941. At his age of 13, his father decided to move his family to New Jersey, which is tens of kilometers away from Bronxville, in order to work conveniently. 13-year-old Dennis Ritchie with his father came to New Jersey. At that time, no one would have thought that this quiet boy would stay there for a lifetime, and create the invention to change the world so greatly.

After high school, Ritchie obeyed his father’s advice and entered the Harvard University of Applied Mathematics. During his university life, he was attracted by the original computer science, so he made a decision to join the Bell Labs to engage in the computer research when graduated.

His first assignment at Bell Labs was to participate in the Multics project, an unprecedented operating system. Many companies joined the development. But because of the design is too complex, it can not produce results, so Bell Labs announced its withdrawal. Though his first project was so fruitless, he did not give up. Ken Thompson came to the door and said he was interested in taking part in a personal project called Unix, drawing on Multics’ design ideas. Ritchie immediately agreed.

Ritchie drew lessons from the complexity of Multics’ design and its failure. Ritchie defined Unix’s design principles as “Keep it simple stupid.” After going through plenty of problems, Unix has been initially run by the time the Christmas arrived.

It is universally acknowledged that a man who wants to be successful needs many factors, such as talent and effort, but in my mind, the key factor is to be simple and quiet. As he puts it, “Keep it simple”, when he was working, he can ignore all the outside interference, focusing on his research. If we were like him, we can also maintain a peaceful heart in pursuit of the dream road.

Taking all the factors into consideration, we can naturally come to the conclusion that the innermost feelings are stable, are not pleased by external gains, are not saddened by personal losses, only then can we have limpid mind lake, and finally end up as a success.


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