Passwords – the combination of symbols we enter to unlock our systems – are the integral components which made the computer truly ‘personal’. Though passwords have given way to numerous other methods of security on handheld and laptops, it was the password’s invention that truly made personal computing possible.

And the man responsible for creation of passwords, Dr. Fernando Corbató, passed away at the age of 93 at a nursing home in Massachussets, US on July 12. At the time of his death, Dr. Corbató, a recipient of the distinguished Turing Award, was a professor emeritus at the MIT.

Dr Corbato was a pioneer in computing studies who created the password based access for designated files on shared computer systems. He also worked on time-sharing systems which helped a single system multitask.