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If you thought that C is the kind of language that only 60-year-old white men know, think again. Yeah, it’s the dinosaur among today’s programming languages. But it’s still alive and kicking in more areas than you’d think.

For one, Unix is written in C. Originally written in assembly, the Unix kernel was rewritten in C back in 1973. This made Unix a lot more portable across different machines, and helped make it popular. And without this, we wouldn’t have all the beautiful operating systems of today — think Linux, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Chrome OS, and whatever your router is running with.

If you’ve ever worked with databases, you’ve definitely used C, too. Even if you weren’t aware about that! Database management systems like Oracle Database, MySQL, and others are written in C. Most of them have since been rewritten in C++, but that’s also a direct descendant of C.

And even if all you do is Python, you’ve probably been using C all the time. Unless you’re opting for Jython, IronPython or PyPy, you’re using CPython. That’s the original implementation of Python: you’re writing Python code, but the interpreter — the thing that translates your human-made code into something the machine understands — is actually written C.

In short, C is everywhere. It’s not just a big fat dinosaur that somehow managed to survive in the modern age. It’s incredibly successful because it’s extremely useful.

That’s why it may come as a surprise that C didn’t originate from success. It came from a decade-long string of failures, and might not be around without a school teacher who liked to code during holidays.

The school teacher who was buddies with Alan Turing

Meet Christopher Stratchey. Born 1916 into an influential British family, he studied at Cambridge University and got to know many a famous scientist there. However, he seemed to have a years-long tendency to neglect his studies, and his performance in the final exams was rather underwhelming.

That might be the reason why he didn’t pursue an academic career like many of his peers. Instead, he spent the war years in industrial radar research. He then became a schoolteacher and remained one until 1951.

That’s when everything changed for him. A friend introduced him to the facilities of Britain’s National Physical Laboratory. Stratchey ended up spending his school holidays and downtime with the lab’s Pilot ACE, the first computer with Alan Turing’s Automatic Computing Engine.

Stratchey aimed at teaching the computer how to play checkers. Tackling such a logical task was remarkable at a time where computers were primarily used to quickly solve equations.

He didn’t succeed in his first attempt because the Pilot ACE didn’t have the storage capacity to do the job. You might be laughing at just how small that memory must have been — that’s legit — but remember that these were the 1950s!

Stratchey managed to wind up a better machine, though, the Ferranti Mark I, through his old buddy Alan Turing. With his friend’s guidance, he finally succeeded.

The word quickly spread about this unusual accomplishment, and soon Stratchey got called to promote the developments in computer science for the British government.

Man sitting in front of computer showing a brain with label “unapproved”
Cambridge university was skeptical about a new language, but the three Davids won. Image by author

Three Davids want a language

Meanwhile in Cambridge, the university wanted to buy a new computer. That was a big deal at the time, and because the computer was brand new, they pondered about inventing a new language for it.

It was clear that a new computer needed a new operating system, but not necessarily a new language. Nevertheless, three researchers, David Hartley, David Wheeler and David Barron, wanted to have fun creating a new language.

In addition, the three Davids didn’t ask the future users about the pros and cons of old languages. Fortran IV, for example, was already being used at the time and would have been fit for the job.

The three Davids thought that they could easily create something better, though.

They dubbed it CPL, short for Cambridge Programming Language. That became Combined Programming Language after a couple of researchers from the university of London joined the three Davids.

In hindsight, notes David Hartley, trying to make this new language was “a damn stupid thing to do.”

The language got too complicated

Perhaps it was also “damn stupid” to bring Christopher Stratchey to oversee the project. His computational abilities couldn’t be doubted, but he seemed so in love with the project that he was unable to set priorities. The development team therefore got hooked up on minor issues instead of treating the big ones effectively.

Soon enough, CPL was known as Christopher’s Programming Language.

Because of all the minor details that the team implemented on Stratchey’s insistance, the language became far too complicated. When they wanted to write a compiler, it largely failed because the resulting machine code was inefficient.

Doctor holding stethoscope again computer screen showing some code
Richards removed everything that wasn’t important from CPL. Image by author

The language got too simple

When Stratchey left for a few months’ stay at MIT, Martin Richards joined the CPL team and set out to simplify it. The goal was, of course, to get something that produces a good compiler and efficient machine code.

That’s how Richards made BCPL out of CPL — Basic CPL. In a way, that was a new language — but also an admission that the old CPL had failed miserably.

When he joined Stratchey at MIT a little later, a colleague from Bell Labs came over to see what the two of them were doing. The colleague, Ken Thompson, had been working on Multics, another operating system that was about to be abandoned. (It eventually survived, but that’s a different story.)

Thompson eventually pivoted to developing Unix, one of the most-used operating systems to this day. He managed to install Unix on a small computer, a PDP-7, but BCPL was still too voluminous to fit on that same machine. He cut it down to the features that he thought were most important, and dubbed the new language B.

C is born — finally

In 1971, Dennis Ritchie had adopted B and was adding features to make it useful for more powerful computers. This language he called NB — New B.

Thompson, meanwhile, was working on rewriting Unix in a high-level language. At the time, most operating systems were still written in assembler, but because of this one had to develop a new operating system whenever one bought a new machine. A high-level Unix, in contrast, would work on any machine.

Thompson tried to use NB for this task but failed. Ritchie and he then added one feature after the other into NB until he was able to write Unix. Notably, they added structures, which weren’t to be found in any other languages at the time.

Structures were a change notable enough for the two to call it a new language. Voilà, in 1973, C was born!

Woman sitting in front of computer screen showing “<code/is/beautiful data-src=

Naabiae Nenu-B is a Medical Health Student and an SEO Specialist dedicated to flushing the web off fake news and scam scandals. He aims at being "Africa's Best Leak and Review Blogger" and that's the unwavering stand of Xycinews Media.

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Technology

Amazon’s best MacBook Pro deals of 2021 are available right now

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Are you looking for the fastest and most responsive experience possible on a laptop computer? You don’t need to spend a small fortune on a custom gaming machine with a gazillion gigabits of RAM. All you need is a new Apple notebook with Apple’s incredible M1 chip. And prices actually start much lower than you might think! That’s especially true for Apple’s Pro-grade M1 laptop. As a matter of fact, Amazon’s best MacBook Pro deals of 2021 are happening right now!

2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (256GB) List Price:$1,299.00 Price:$1,099.99 You Save:$199.01 (15%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

The latest-generation M1 MacBook Air is Apple’s most affordable laptop you can get with the new M1 chipset. As if you don’t already know, Apple’s M1 is the SoC that’s making all kinds of waves right now. This entry-level Apple laptop is still powerful enough to computer crush rival Windows laptops that cost twice as much. And that’s especially true while Amazon is discounting the MacBook Air by up to $150.

Best MacBook Pro deals

Apple’s new Air laptop is lightning-fast indeed, but there’s another M1-powered Apple notebook that’s even more powerful. If you want the best of the best, you’re likely eying a brand new Apple M1 MacBook Pro instead of the Air. If that’s the case, we have some fantastic news: Now is the time to pull the trigger because Amazon is offering all-time low prices on both the 256GB model and the 512GB version, with $200 discounts on either size!

Searching for the fastest and most powerful Apple computers ever made? You now have four models to choose from. The new Mac mini is one, plus the new MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro. And now, the new M1 iMac has finally been released (plus, it’s $50 off at Amazon!). These computers are all insanely powerful, and they’re all very new to Apple’s lineup. Despite how new they are though, Amazon already has some remarkably deep discounts.

Apple’s new Mac mini is the only M1-powered desktop that isn’t an all-in-one model. It’s so affordable, especially considering the fact that it crushes Windows PCs that cost twice as much. The same can be said of the MacBook Air, which is also on sale with discounts up to $150. But it should go without saying that the most exciting new M1-powered computer is the M1 MacBook Pro. And Amazon just slashed this incredible laptop to its lowest price ever.

The M1 MacBook Pro was between $50 and $60 off ahead of the holidays last year. Procrastination doesn’t often off, but this time around you’ll be very glad that you missed those deals. Head over to Amazon today and you’ll find that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with 256GB of SSD storage is $200 off. And if you want to bump your storage space up to 512GB you’ll still save a whopping $200!

Both of those deals are all-time low prices for Apple’s new M1 MacBook Pro models. But the bad news is we have no idea how much longer Amazon’s awesome sale will last. In other words, hurry up or you could miss out!


M1 MacBook Pro

  • Apple’s M1 chip is a revolution in the personal computing space, offering unrivaled CPU and GPU performance
  • Instant wake means no more waiting for your laptop to load
  • The 8-core CPU delivers up to 2.8x faster performance, while the 8-core GPU brings up to 5x faster graphics
  • The M1 is also Apple’s most efficient chipset ever, enabling up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge
  • The dedicated 16-core Neural Engine enables advanced machine learning capabilities
  • There has never been anything like this before on comparable notebook computers

2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (256GB) List Price:$1,299.00 Price:$1,099.99 You Save:$199.01 (15%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
2020 Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip (512GB) List Price:$1,499.00 Price:$1,299.99 You Save:$199.01 (13%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission


M1 MacBook Air

  • Powered by Apple’s M1 chip, the first M series chip designed entirely by Apple to optimize performance and efficiency
  • Apple’s 8-core CPU delivers up to 2.8x faster performance and the 8-core GPU powers up to 5x faster graphics
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life on a single charge — leave your bulky power supply at home
  • Instant wake enabled by the M1 means your MacBook is ready to go as soon as you open it

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop with Apple M1 Chip (256GB) List Price:$999.00 Price:$899.00 You Save:$100.00 (10%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission
2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop with Apple M1 Chip (512GB) List Price:$1,249.00 Price:$1,099.99 You Save:$149.01 (12%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission


Go here to see this month’s best deals on Amazon!

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HBO Max free episodes are available right now to anyone

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Over the last few years, the number of streaming services on the market has increased at an alarming pace. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, Paramount+, Disney+, HBO Max, and more are all competing for your time and money. But there are only so many hours in a day and dollars in our bank accounts. It’s a fierce competition, which is why every service is constantly finding new ways to reel in subscribers. To that point, HBO announced this week that episodes from some of the biggest shows on HBO Max will be free to watch for non-subscribers.

Today’s Top Deal Fire TV Stick 4K just got a rare 20% discount — don’t miss out! List Price:$49.99 Price:$39.99 You Save:$10.00 (20%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission Available from Amazon BGR may receive a commission

If you’re curious about the HBO Max library, this is a great way to get a sneak peek before spending any money. HBO says the collection will initially include 13 episodes of HBO and Max Originals. New titles will rotate in and out of the collection periodically. Here are all of the pilot episodes that HBO says you can watch for free without a subscription:

With that said, when I visit the HBO Max free episodes hub, I see far more than what is listed above. Beyond those shows, I also see The Nevers, Mare of Easttown, The Undoing, Insecure, I May Destroy You, and Gossip Girl, to name a few. Perhaps those were already part of a separate promotion.

How to watch HBO Max free episodes

There are a number of ways to watch the free episodes on HBO Max. In addition to clicking on the link above in your browser, you can also access the free episodes on all of HBO Max’s device partners. This includes Fire TV, Android TV, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, LG, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung, and Xbox. Basically, if you have the app, you can watch the free episodes.

Signing up for HBO Max

If the company’s gambit works, these free episodes might convince you to subscribe to HBO Max. If you’re a movie buff, you might want to take advantage of the ad-free tier for $14.99 a month. For the rest of the year, Warner Bros. Pictures movies will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. If you’re not interested in watching The Matrix 4 or Dune at home, you might prefer the cheaper tier, which costs $9.99 a month, but includes ads.

Today’s Top Deal Fire TV Stick 4K just got a rare 20% discount — don’t miss out! List Price:$49.99 Price:$39.99 You Save:$10.00 (20%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission Available from Amazon BGR may receive a commission

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Windows 365 trials are now locked because everyone’s swarming to try it

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Microsoft brought Windows 10 to the iPad a few weeks ago, in what seemed like an extraordinary feat. However, you don’t actually get to install Windows on the iPad, and Apple will never allow that. But you can run the full Windows 10 experience on any internet-connected device that supports an internet browser. That’s because Windows 365 runs in the cloud, allowing businesses to offer their customers virtual Cloud PCs. Admins can customize these cloud computers in real-time, offering the kind of upgrades and downgrades that aren’t possible with real computers. Microsoft made Windows 365 available to businesses earlier this week, and it didn’t take long for the new Windows experience to sell out. Microsoft confirmed as much on social media, noting that the Windows 365 trial is locked for the time being.

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It might seem impossible for a cloud service to sell out, but Microsoft ran out of cloud capacity to meet the massive demand. Brand new devices routinely sell out as companies hurry to mass-produce more units. But with a device in the cloud, the buyer doesn’t interact with a physical device. Microsoft could theoretically offer infinite Windows 365 virtual computers. But, in practice, that’s impossible.

Microsoft needs to have the cloud infrastructure in place to support all these concurrent Windows 365 sessions. And the company has run out of capacity less than two days after making Windows 365 available to businesses.

How Windows 365 works

Users added to a Windows 365 trial subscription will consume the virtual PC resources allotted to them. Admins can configure only certain key aspects of a Cloud PC, including CPU, RAM, and storage. They can add and remove resources as needed. They can remove people as well.

That’s a great type of Windows product that some businesses might find very useful. Rather than buying and maintaining new hardware for employees, some companies might want to deploy fleets of virtual Cloud PCs. Each employee gets their unique Cloud PC that’s hooked up to fast internet. And they can access their Windows 365 PC from any device that can connect to the internet. Hence, running the full Windows 10 experience on iPad is now possible.

Best of all, the user’s hardware will not impact Windows 365 performance. The Cloud PC experience is streamed to any internet-connected device. It’s the internet connection that matters here, not how powerful the user’s personal computer is.

Microsoft paused the trial

Microsoft did not disclose full pricing details for Windows 365 in mid-July when it announced the service. But the company opened the trial on August 3rd, revealing that Cloud PC rentals start at $20 per user per month. The cheapest Cloud PC features one CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The price goes up to $24 per month if you don’t own a Windows 10 Professional license.

That’s a great starting price, but it’s only available to businesses. Regular users who dream of a full-fledged Windows PC in the cloud can’t get on Windows 365. The best part of the service is that businesses get to try it for free for two months. That helps explain why Microsoft sold out all its Windows 365 trial “units.”

Microsoft confirmed everything on Twitter. Businesses that weren’t sure whether or not to get on the Windows 365 trial a few days ago will now have to wait. They can sign up to be notified when cloud resources become available.

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