See also Net Moguls and Wendy's Technoprophets
 

Important People | Important Dates in Internet History |
Important Dates in the History of Commerce on the Internet

 

Important People: Principal Figures in the Development of the Internet and the World Wide Web

 

Marc Andreessen  John Perry Barlow  Tim Berners-Lee  Jeff Bezos 
Vannevar Bush  Steve Case  Vinton G. Cerf  James H. Clark 
Steve Crocker  Doug Engelbart  David Filo and Jerry Yang
(external link)
Bill Gates 
Rob Glaser  Al Gore  James Gosling  Robert E. Kahn 
Mitchell David Kapor  Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider  Carl Malamud  Bob Metcalfe 
Nicholas Negroponte  Ted H. Nelson Mark Pesce Jonathan B. Postel
Linus Torvalds Larry Wall Phil Zimmerman Other pioneers
(external link)



Linus
Torvalds
photo  Linus Torvalds was born in Helsinki, Finland and led the worldwide team that developed Linux, a version of the Unix operating system that is freely available for downloading on the Web. Torvalds posted the source code for a revised version of Unix he developed as a college student in 1991 and fielded e-mail from programmers all over the world who had ideas for changes. He decided which ones would be used and incorporated them into the source code. The result was an operating system that rivals Microsoft's Windows. In September 1998 Linux received industry recognition when Netscape and Intel announced they would invest in Red Hat Software, the main vendor of Linux. Torvalds is still in his twenties and lives in Santa Clara, California.  


Larry
 Wall photo 

 

Larry Wall developed Perl, a powerful programming language optimized for text processing and availabe as freeware. Wall developed Perl in 1986 when he worked at Unisys. "Perl" is short for "Practical Extraction and Report Language." Wall has written books on programming in Perl and works for O'Reilly & Associates, a publisher of computer books and software.

Phil Zimmerman photo  Phil Zimmerman is an advocate for Internet users' right to privacy, and developed Pretty Good Privacy, encryption programs available as freeware on the Net that allow encryption of email, telephone and Web-related transmissions. Zimmerman was the target of a three-year federal criminal investigation for violating U.S. export restrictions on encryption software. The case was dropped in 1996 and Zimmerman founded Pretty Good Privacy, Inc., which was acquired by Network Associates in 1997. He serves on the boards of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility and the Advisory Panel of Americans for Computer Privacy.

Important People | Important Dates in Internet History |
Important Dates in the History of Commerce on the Internet
 

[top of page]


© 1997, 1999 University of North Carolina
Last modified: January 16, 1999 by Kathy Olson
Send comments and questions to daikat@email.unc.edu