Richard Greenblatt (programmer)

Richard Greenblatt (programmer)

:"See Richard Greenblatt for other people of the same name."

Richard D. Greenblatt is a Jewish American programmer. 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 Lab communities.

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 Samson had written a program in Fortran to 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_Sussman and Harold_Abelson when they said they were fortunate to have been apprentice programmers at the feet of Bill_Gosper and Richard_Greenblatt [Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, 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 Associates firm until the AI Lab re-hired him.

He was the main implementor of Maclisp on the PDP-6. He wrote MacHack, in response to the claim by AI skeptic Hubert Dreyfus that 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-6 and PDP-10 used at MIT.

Later, he was the main designer of the MIT Lisp machine along 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.


External links

* [ A speech from Richard Stallman in which he gives some background about Greenblatt]
* [ Blatties: Greenblatt's Legacy]

NAME=Greenblatt, Richard D.
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Greenblatt, Richard
SHORT DESCRIPTION=American programmer

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