Goodbye Walter Banks, Byte Craft founder

Dec 13, 2019

Walter Banks died earlier this week. For those of you who don’t know Walter Banks, he was the founder of Byte Craft in 1976. They made assemblers, and C compilers for all those venerable 8-bit architectures. He was an important figure in our embedded industry.

I’ve used Byte Craft compilers and assemblers. The first time I met Walter, I was a very green young programmer and attended a class he gave at one of the early Embedded Systems Conferences. Debugging Device Drivers in Assembly.  I shook his hand afterwards, and thanked him for the amazing insights. He was a big man with a big smile. I can’t say I knew him well, but I often thought that I would have liked to. Even after I joined a competing compiler vendor, we’d bump into each other occasionally at trade shows, and he always greeted me with the same warm handshake and a smile.

There is tremendous goodwill in this little industry of ours, and it struck me that it’s all built of bits and bytes strung together by programmers like us, aided by the vision of people like Walter Banks. So take a few minutes and check out a bit of embedded systems history, and remember that we’re all a part of the evolution of embedded systems.

Cheers Walter. It’s a bit late, but thanks.

—Mike Skrtic, VP Sales and Marketing, Percepio AB