Dr. Fernando Corbato who has first invented the concept of Computer Password has passed away from this world at the age of 93. He has reportedly died as a result of complications caused by diabetes. He was the first person who used a password to secure his files and data on a computer.
Dr. Corbato introduced the basic security measure while developing methods that let more people use a computer at the same time. To make the computer handle different tasks at the same time, he developed a technique, called time-sharing, that divided up the processing power of a computer so it could serve more than one person at once.
He developed this technology while he went to study a doctorate in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1950. Although he went for having a doctorate in Physics, he was very interested in the machines that physicists used to do their calculations than in the subject itself.
However, using machines at the 1950s was such a difficult and frustrating tasks as they were only capable to handle one process at a time. In a bid to overcome this limitation, Dr Corbato developed an operating system for computers called the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS). Rather than have the machine dedicated to one person, CTSS divided up the processing power of a computer into small slices so it could do little bits of work for lots of people.
Now, to give privacy to each user on the system, he invented the concept of Passwords that will secure the files and data of each user on the same computer.
“Putting a password on for each individual user as a lock seemed like a very straightforward solution,” Dr. Corbato told Wired in 2012.
In 1990, Dr Corbato received the AM Turing Award – one of the highest honours given to computer scientists – for his pioneering work on time-sharing systems.
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