Computer password inventor Fernando Corbató dies at 93


Pioneering computer scientist Fernando "Corby" Corbató, regarded by many as the inventor of the computer password and a key contributor in the development of time-sharing computer systems, died last Friday, 12 July, in Newburyport, Massachusetts in the US, at - 93.

Corbató’s Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) allowed multiple users to work on a computer simultaneously, according to an online obituary posted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Corbató was a professor emeritus. However, this innovation necessitated the creation of computer passwords so that users could create their own personal accounts and securely access their private files.

The -arrival of time-sharing computers made computers vastly more efficient and accessible to users. Corbató also spearheaded another time-sharing effort called Multics, which directly inspired operating systems such as Linux, the obit continued. Corbató and his colleagues are also credited with developing early versions of email, instant messaging and word processing for computers.

"Corby was one of the most important researchers for making computing available to many people for many purposes," said Tom Van Vleck, Corbató’s MIT colleague, according to the obit. "He saw that these concepts don’t just make things more efficient; they fundamentally change the way people use information."

This article was originally published on SC Media US.

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