Jerry Pournelle RIP (1933-2017)

I had just heard the news that Jerry had passed away.  While famous for his scifi writing, his work for the military and pushing ‘smart weapons’, getting kicked off the ARPANET for wrong think, and of course being the first person to use a word processor to write a book and get it published.

He was also known as quite the tinkerer and getting the luck of having people send him stuff to play with, and he’d write about it in his column on Byte back in the day (starting in 1984!), and you can find his full BYTE credentials here.

Although at the time I had thought of it as very chaotic, all over the place, and full of, well just simple bonehead mistakes, in retrospect Jerry’s chaos had a tremendous impact on me, and in some unconscious way I had inadvertently followed in his style through virtualization.  And I can say that although some things are pretty obvious in hind sight, when you are in the middle of it, some bad things seem like good ideas!!  Although the price for ‘bricking’ a virtual machine is a lot lower, and the ability to quickly go back and forth, and experiment more pretty much consequence free is definitely a plus!

He, along with John C Dvorak were frequent guests on TWiT, with I think his last appearance in 2015, which I have to say I had always admired their cantankerous old man style.  One that I find myself increasingly take on with age.

From Jerry’s son Alex:

I’m afraid that Jerry passed away.
We had a great time at DragonCon.
He did not suffer.

(8 Sep 2017 – 3:45pm PDT)

He was 84

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About neozeed

What is there to tell? I’ve loved UNIX like things since I was first exposed to QNX in highschool (we had the Unisys ICONS!), and spent the better time of my teenage years trying to get my own UNIX… I should have bought Coherent in retrospect.. Anyways latched onto Linux in 1992, and then got some old BSD admin books and have been hooked on the VAX BSD & other big/ancient things since…!

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