You don't need a beard to be a computing genius, but it definitely helps
Some of the most important men in the history of computing have not only made huge contributions to the world, but did so while wearing magnificent beards. Here are our top 10 bearded tech geniuses.
10. Marc Benioff
Benioff is the chairman of Salesforce.com, a cloud-computing company promising ‘no hardware, no software, no headaches’. Salesforce offers cloud-based applications for sales and CRM services – Benioff’s mission to bring about ‘The end of software’ has led to him being valued at $2.1 billion by Forbes.
His beard is a half-way house between the neatly clipped version espoused by Vint Cerf and Larry Ellison and the mess of Richard Stallman and Jeff Minter. It’s more like two month’s lack of shaving topped up with an occasional neck trim.
That much Brylcreem and that little shaving. It’s just scruffy, frankly
9. Steve Wozniak
Steve Wozniak, known as ‘Woz’ or ‘The Other Steve’, co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs and designed the Apple I and II computers. The man is a genius, but didn’t appear as interested in the business side of things as Jobs, and only ever wanted to be an engineer at Apple.
While Steve Jobs’ beard has come and gone over the years, Wozniak has maintained a permanent luxuriant growth. His round face and glasses make him look like a benevolent bearded Penfold. While Jobs is more of a divisive figure, you can’t help but like Woz. And his beard.
No pictures exist where Woz isn’t smiling. He’s adorable
8. Richard Stallman
Stallman is a passionate advocate of ‘free as in freedom’ software. He started the GNU project, in which manifesto he laid out four basic freedoms that he considered necessary for software development: the freedom to run the program for any purpose, the freedom to study how the program works and change it if you wish, the freedom to distribute copies of the original software and any modified versions you have made.
Without Stallman there would probably have been no open source movement. His beard is as long and tangled as the arguments surrounding the GNU/Linux naming controversy.
I call upon the open source movement to decompile and improve Richard’s beard
7. Jeff Minter
Any computer enthusiast over the age of 30 will have heard of Jeff Minter. As the founder of Llamasoft and developer of Llamatron, Revenge of the Mutant Camels and Metagalactic Llamas Battle at the Edge of Time, he introduced a whole generation of Commodore 64, Amiga and Atari ST owners to the joys of ruminant-based shoot-em-ups.
Jeff’s beard is scraggly and unkempt – it’s not quite up there with Richard Stallman’s, but he makes up for this with his chained-to-a-radiator-for-20-years hair. It’s hard to know where the beard ends and the hair begins.
Minter’s online handle is ‘Yak’, for obvious reasons