- Richard Greenblatt (programmer)
Richard Greenblattfor other people of the same name."
Richard D. Greenblatt is a
Jewish Americanprogrammer. Along with Bill Gosper, he may be considered to have founded the hacker community, and holds a place of distinction in the Lisp and the MIT AI Labcommunities.
Becoming a hacker
Greenblatt enrolled in MIT in the fall of 1962, and around his second term as an undergraduate student, he found his way to MIT's famous
Tech Model Railroad Club. At that time, Peter Samsonhad written a program in Fortranto automate the tedious business of writing the intricate timetables for the Railroad Club's vast model train layout; for some reason, Greenblatt felt compelled to re-implement the program on the PDP-1. This feat of necessity led him to the AI Lab, where he proceeded to become a "hacker's hacker" noted for his programming acumen as described in Steven Levy's "", and as acknowledged by Gerald_Jay_Sussmanand Harold_Abelsonwhen they said they were fortunate to have been apprentice programmers at the feet of Bill_Gosperand Richard_Greenblatt[Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book-Z-H-8.html#%_chap_Temp_5and Structure_and_Interpretation_of_Computer_Programs]
Indeed, he spent so much time programming the PDP machines there he failed out of MIT as a sophomore and had to take a job at the
Charles Adams Associatesfirm until the AI Lab re-hired him.
He was the main implementor of
Maclispon the PDP-6. He wrote MacHack, in response to the claim by AI skeptic Hubert Dreyfusthat computers would not be able to play chess. Dreyfus was beaten by the program, marking the beginning of computer chess. He also wrote, with Tom Knight and Stewart Nelson, the Incompatible Timesharing System, a highly influential timesharing operating system for the PDP-6and PDP-10used at MIT.
Later, he was the main designer of the MIT
Lisp machinealong with Tom Knight. He founded Lisp Machines, Inc. (which later became Gigamos Systems), according to his vision of an ideal hacker-friendly computer company, as opposed to the more commercial ideals of Symbolics.
* [http://www.gnu.org/gnu/rms-lisp.html A speech from Richard Stallman in which he gives some background about Greenblatt]
* [http://www.uneaten.info/index.php?tag=factoids Blatties: Greenblatt's Legacy]
NAME=Greenblatt, Richard D.
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Greenblatt, Richard
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American programmer
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