Ken—an introduction in three syllables

How I got to know the great man — around forty years ago

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Ken and Joe used a plotter to guide the wire-wrapping tool that connected the chips on the PCB board.
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The boards were then inserted in a rack, with a PDP-11/23 driving them. The configuration outpaced most million-dollar mainframes and won the Computer Chess World Championship in 1980.
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Joe Condon and Ken Thompson working on Belle, back in 1977 — picture courtesy of Bell Laboratories.
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Volker with Ken at his home in Fanwood
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Ken Thompson in London 2010 | Photo Frederic Friedel

Written by

Frederic Alois Friedel, born in 1945, science journalist, co-founder of ChessBase, studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford.

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