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Jon Postel has died.
----- Forwarded message from "bryan s. blank" <[email protected]> -----
From: "bryan s. blank" <[email protected]>
Message-Id: <[email protected]>
Subject: John Postel has died. (fwd)
To: [email protected]
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 13:07:47 -0400 (EDT)
|o| >Delivered-To: [email protected]
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|o| >Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 07:28:40 -0400
|o| >To: [email protected]
|o| >From: Dave Farber <[email protected]>
|o| >Subject: IP: Remembrance/postel
|o| >Mime-Version: 1.0
|o| >Sender: [email protected]
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|o| >Reply-To: [email protected]
|o| >I, and others I fear, have spent a sleepless night after hearing of the
|o| >death of Jon Postel last night. This morning there was a note in my mail
|o| >box from Vint Cerf that said many of the things I feel at this time. I
|o| >asked him for permission to send on which he granted.
|o| >I also remember Jon. I was his primary thesis advisor along with Jerry
|o| >Estrin and I remember with fond memories the months spent closely working
|o| >with Jon while his eager mind developed the ideas in back of what was a
|o| >pioneering thesis that founded the area of protocol verification. Since I
|o| >was at UC Irvine and Jon at UCLA we used to meet in the morning prior to
|o| >my ride to UCI at a Pancake House in Santa Monica for breakfast and the
|o| >hard work of developing a thesis. I gained a great respect for Jon then
|o| >and 10 pounds of weight.
|o| >I will miss him greatly. Jon was my second Ph.D. student. The first,
|o| >Philip Merlin, also died way before his time.
|o| > October 17, 1998
|o| >I REMEMBER IANA
|o| >Vint Cerf
|o| >A long time ago, in a network, far far away, a great adventure took place=
|o| >Out of the chaos of new ideas for communication, the experiments, the
|o| >tentative designs, and crucible of testing, there emerged a cornucopia of
|o| >networks. Beginning with the ARPANET, an endless stream of networks
|o| >evolved, and ultimately were interlinked to become the Internet. Someone
|o| >had to keep track of all the protocols, the identifiers, networks and
|o| >addresses and ultimately the names of all the things in the networked
|o| >universe. And someone had to keep track of all the information that
|o| >erupted with volcanic force from the intensity of the debates and
|o| >discussions and endless invention that has continued unabated for 30
|o| >years. That someone was Jonathan B. Postel, our Internet Assigned Numbers
|o| >Authority, friend, engineer, confidant, leader, icon, and now, first of
|o| >the giants to depart from our midst.
|o| >Jon, our beloved IANA, is gone. Even as I write these words I cannot quite
|o| >grasp this stark fact. We had almost lost him once before in 1991. Surely
|o| >we knew he was at risk as are we all. But he had been our rock, the
|o| >foundation on which our every web search and email was built, always there
|o| >to mediate the random dispute, to remind us when our documentation did not
|o| >do justice to its subject, to make difficult decisions with apparent ease,
|o| >and to consult when careful consideration was needed. We will survive our
|o| >loss and we will remember. He has left a monumental legacy for all
|o| >Internauts to contemplate. Steadfast service for decades, moving when
|o| >others seemed paralyzed, always finding the right course in a complex
|o| >minefield of technical and sometimes political obstacles.
|o| >Jon and I went to the same high school, Van Nuys High, in the San Fernando
|o| >Valley north of Los Angeles. But we were in different classes and I really
|o| >didn=92t know him then. Our real meeting came at UCLA when we became a par=
|o| >of a group of graduate students working for Prof. Leonard Kleinrock on the
|o| >ARPANET project. Steve Crocker was another of the Van Nuys crowd who was
|o| >part of the team and led the development of the first host-host protocols
|o| >for the ARPANET. When Steve invented the idea of the Request for Comments
|o| >series, Jon became the instant editor. When we needed to keep track of all
|o| >the hosts and protocol identifiers, Jon volunteered to be the Numbers Czar
|o| >and later the IANA once the Internet was in place.
|o| >Jon was a founding member of the Internet Architecture Board and served
|o| >continuously from its founding to the present. He was the FIRST individual
|o| >member of the Internet Society I know, because he and Steve Wolff raced to
|o| >see who could fill out the application forms and make payment first and
|o| >Jon won. He served as a trustee of the Internet Society. He was the
|o| >custodian of the .US domain, a founder of the Los Nettos Internet service,
|o| >and, by the way, managed the networking research division of USC
|o| >Information Sciences Institute.
|o| >Jon loved the outdoors. I know he used to enjoy backpacking in the high
|o| >Sierras around Yosemite. Bearded and sandaled, Jon was our resident
|o| >hippie-patriarch at UCLA. He was a private person but fully capable of
|o| >engaging photon torpedoes and going to battle stations in a good
|o| >engineering argument. And he could be stubborn beyond all expectation. He
|o| >could have outwaited the Sphinx in a staring contest, I think.
|o| >Jon inspired loyalty and steadfast devotion among his friends and his
|o| >colleagues. For me, he personified the words =93selfless service.=94 For
|o| >nearly 30 years, Jon has served us all, taken little in return, indeed
|o| >sometimes receiving abuse when he should have received our deepest
|o| >appreciation. It was particularly gratifying at the last Internet Society
|o| >meeting in Geneva to see Jon receive the Silver Medal of the International
|o| >Telecommunications Union. It is an award generally reserved for Heads of
|o| >State but I can think of no one more deserving of global recognition for
|o| >his contributions.
|o| >While it seems almost impossible to avoid feeling an enormous sense of
|o| >loss, as if a yawning gap in our networked universe had opened up and
|o| >swallowed our friend, I must tell you that I am comforted as I contemplate
|o| >what Jon has wrought. He leaves a legacy of edited documents that tell our
|o| >collective Internet story, including not only the technical but also the
|o| >poetic and whimsical as well. He completed the incorporation of a
|o| >successor to his service as IANA and leaves a lasting legacy of service to
|o| >the community in that role. His memory is rich and vibrant and will not
|o| >fade from our collective consciousness. =93What would Jon have done?=94 we
|o| >will think, as we wrestle in the days ahead with the problems Jon kept so
|o| >well tamed for so many years.
|o| >There will almost surely be many memorials to Jon=92s monumental service t=
|o| >the Internet Community. As current chairman of the Internet Society, I
|o| >pledge to establish an award in Jon=92s name to recognize long-standing
|o| >service to the community, the Jonathan B. Postel Service Award, which is
|o| >awarded to Jon posthumously as its first recipient.
|o| >If Jon were here, I am sure he would urge us not to mourn his passing but
|o| >to celebrate his life and his contributions. He would remind us that there
|o| >is still much work to be done and that we now have the responsibility and
|o| >the opportunity to do our part. I doubt that anyone could possibly
|o| >duplicate his record, but it stands as a measure of one man=92s astonishin=
|o| >contribution to a community he knew and loved.
|o| bryan s. blank (203)-351-1178 voice |o|
|o| senior systems analyst (203)-351-1186 fax |o|
|o| discovernet, incorporated (203)-979-5126 emerg |o|
----- End forwarded message -----
[email protected] http://www.shorty.com/~robbie/
L. Lange: "What role has Windows NT played in security issues?"
W. Schwartau: "NT and security should never be used in the same breath."