One of the professors I've had once commented that the really cool part about studying computer science is a lot of the original people are still around. Unfortunately, may of these people are starting to be in their 70's and 80's. But there are still a lot of them out there.
On Monday the computer world suffered a loss - Jack Kilby passed away. He invented the integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments in the 1980s. Of course this curcuit was extremely simplistic, but it is a major influence on computers of today. Without his circuit I can't even imagine what would have become of the computer field. But that's one of those tricky 'what if' question that I would rather avoid.