This is perhaps a bit of strange answer, but I've always been fascinated by Terry Davis. It's definitely a sad story - Davis was schizophrenic, and his support system deteriorated over his lifetime. His interactions with the community were often combative and racist and when he died he was homeless.
However, the product that was his life's work is absolutely fascinating. He built TempleOS, entirely alone. Not only that, he created his own JITting C dialect first, used for system programming and shell interaction. So, we're talking a compiler, a kernel, a userspace. It's a multitasking OS, multicore, operates entirely in ring-0, with 8-bit graphics. He build both 2d and 3d graphics libraries for it, and went on to implement a full suite of applications for it, including a flight simulator.
This is a staggering undertaking. There's some fascinating engineering here, and a fascinating human behind it despite everything.
Nice, thanks for sharing! I didn't know about Terry, but it's an amazing piece of software and wonderful achievement!
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