From time to time I have thought about writing of my experiences at my first employer, Geoworks. It was a fun place to work, there were a lot of really smart developers, and I met my wife there. The company is gone now, although there’s a website holding on to the domain. Wondering if anyone else was writing about their Geoworks experiences, I came across a couple of entries. The last one is pretty amazing, a beautiful example of how I wish I could write. I never met Dave, but I did get to work closely with Stevey (I just called him Steve) for two weeks in Bartlett, Tennessee in the summer of 1997. Like everyone else at Geoworks, when Dave died, I sent my condolences to Steve and Mike, who was also a friend of mine. At the time I wanted to say something meaningful, hoping to help them feel even just a little better. I knew it was impossible given I didn’t know them very well, but it was what I wished for. Even now, more than 10 years later, I can’t think of what to say. At this point, I’m just glad Steve didn’t “off” himself. He is an inspiration in more ways than one. In addition to being a thoughtful and entertaining writer, he’s also a talented speaker.

Reading Steve’s blog has forced me to evaluate how I spend my time on the computer. He has a knack for putting what I’ve often taken for granted into an enlightening perspective. What’s interesting to me is that I didn’t discover his blog until after I ventured outside of the Java realm. Working with nothing but Java for a decade, and not just Java but Java tools, left me so insulated from everything else going on the industry that I was completely unaware of Rails, del.icio.us, or the many clever people blogging on every conceivable topic, including Steve.

Cheers to you, Steve, for surviving, thriving, and inspiring others to be more than they started out being. If you ever read this, please forgive my lamentable writing, but know that you are the single most remarkable person I ever met at Geoworks, and we only barely knew each other. Thanks.