Weekend Open Forum: Tech innovators who deserve more attention

By Leeky · 29 replies
Jul 27, 2012
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  1. With the rapid advancement of modern technology, it's increasingly humbling to look back at the computer industry's beginnings. Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, Tim Berners-Lee and the late Steve Jobs are all famous for their contributions, but there are hundreds of…

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  2. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Evangelist Posts: 621   +122

    I would have to say Douglas Engelbart. He did a lot of early work with computer input devices and networking. I could write more but fortunately its all already written for me here:

    I definitely dont hear his name much but I think he was pretty foundational to the development of computers as we know them.
  3. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,678   +759

    John Ambrose Fleming. Started it all with the invention of the vacuum tube and it's ability to manipulate electric currents.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,396   +3,410

    I think I deserve more credit, I stayed out of their way. :)
    Marnomancer likes this.
  5. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,952   +203

    Håkan Lans fror his inventions for the color display for computers
  6. Zoltan Head

    Zoltan Head TS Booster Posts: 247   +27

    How about Taylor, Cranston, and Longstaff - pioneered the trackball back in the 'fifties (later shrunk & turned upside down for mouse)?
  7. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Douglas Engelbart (with assistance of Bill English) invented first mouse, perhaps that is one of the most important computer related innovations.

    John Logie Baird (development of first tv, although it was partially mechanical) and Vladimir Zworykin and Philo Farnsworth for the development of purely electronic television.

    John Backus for inventing Fortran.

    James Fergason for inventing much improved LCD.
  8. TS-56336

    TS-56336 TS Addict Posts: 609   +109

    Ada Lovelace as the world's first computer programmer.
  9. Nikola Tesla - besides obvious work he was the first one working on wireless energy transfer.​
    On matter how powerful Your laptop or smartphone is - each and every one would kill for decent energy source, to sustain more than a couple of hours​
  10. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TS Booster Posts: 723   +51

    Well, there are practically many guys out there whose code is probably running on a large number of machines ATM, but were never known.
    lol, +1!
    Stay outta my way too! :D Another great pioneer inbound! ;):p:D
  11. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 920   +489

    Douglas Engelbart, who made a precursor to the GUI. Then Alan Kay for being the main guy at Xerox to actually take that and make the first GUI...
  12. Chuck Peddle. http://tiny.antville.org/stories/189659/
    Steve Wozniak built his computer from parts available on the market, but Chuck Peddle built his machines starting with raw sand.(Brian Bagnall)
  13. I can tell who deserves less credit and that would be wait for it....
    steve jobs
  14. ghasmanjr

    ghasmanjr TS Booster Posts: 363   +86

    +1 for Nikolai Tesla! He also contributed alternating current. I believe Edison fried cats with AC in the middle of the street to show everyone how harmful it is so he could push direct current. Selfish asshat. Tut tut
  15. WTF is Jobs famous for contributing, except the incessant patent trolling ? He hasn't done anything worth mentioning alongside those other great names listed.
  16. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,010   +18

    Come on, you have to be fair to the guy. He was a great salesman, and he made people want to buy his products and he pushed competitors to try to match his sales figures. When I was growing up computers were seen as this super nerdy thing, nobody wanted to touch them. People who never wanted to touch a computer started buying iPhones, which were basically computers.

    When I was in high school you would NEVER find a girl who knew anything about computers. Some of my classmates are relatively fresh out of high school, they know how to root phones, install warez, etc. Jobs was one of the people who made that happen.

    I couldn't stand the guy myself and was vocal about it, but he had a vision, and people with a vision are always polarizing, and very often they're dicks.
  17. for me :
    1.All Person Who's Make ENIAC!
    2.Dennis Ritchie
    3.Bill Gates
    4.Linus Torvalds
  18. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 815   +332

    If you want a real unsung technological hero, look no further than Tommy Flowers, the father of modern computing.

  19. aspleme

    aspleme TS Enthusiast Posts: 56

    I have to agree about Tesla. A lot of technology that we are only just now starting to realize how useful it can be was originally pioneered by Tesla. Besides radio, wireless power transmission, and encrypted radio, Tesla also fought Thomas Alva Edison's push for direct current. The whole infrastructure of modern power owes Tesla. Yet he is still considered a crackpot and has his inventions overlooked. How many people still think Marconi invented the radio?
  20. WithoutAnyMilk

    WithoutAnyMilk TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +10

    I came here to mention Nikola Tesla, but I see that the matter has already been handled for me. The people of his time characterized him as a madman (in no small part thanks to Thomas Edison's slander) - and he very well may have been - but the raw genius behind his creations became much more clear as time went on. He discovered so many things that even now we do not know because he did not keep exhaustive paper records. A madman he may have been, and a dangerous one at that, but also clearest illustration of raw genius that humanity has ever seen (that is my opinion).
  21. Edward Teller (for his contribution to the H-bomb)
  22. M1r

    M1r TS Enthusiast Posts: 45

    Einstein. He does receive a conspicuous amount of attention, but people fail to comprehend the fact that, without his notion of relativity, today wouldn't be the same. Especially in technology.
    Zoltan Head likes this.
  23. Doctor John

    Doctor John TS Enthusiast Posts: 204   +15

    Seconded! He also discovered the photoelectric effect, which is handy.:)
    Zoltan Head likes this.
  24. spydercanopus

    spydercanopus TS Evangelist Posts: 848   +114

    Whoever invented the Palm Pilot really changed my perspective on computers. When I first saw a hand-held computer with a touch screen, I was instantly blown away.

    A lot of peeps think Microsoft's XP Tablet Edition set the stage for the iPad, but I think Palm set the stage for both. How they went downhill would be a good article to read.

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