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Re: [RPRWG] FW: [RPRWG] Dave James

I worked with David extensively while helping edit 802.17. He was an
extraordinarily prolific and hard worker, technically brilliant, and always
aimed for both technical and stylistic perfection while creating the
standard. He had a significant impact on just about every area of the
document, because he would never refrain from rolling up his sleeves and
diving into whatever task he felt needed doing.

Truly an unforgettable person. I'm very sad that he went out this way. Rest
in peace, David.

- Tom Alexander

-----Original Message-----
From: Raj Sharma [] 
Sent: Sunday, January 20, 2008 9:56 AM
To: VINAY BANNAI;; Charles Barry; Sanjay Agrawal
(sagrawal);;; Atul
Shinde-comcast; Mike Takefman; Peter Jones; John Lemon; John Hamburger; John
H. Shuler; Tom Alexander
Subject: Re: FW: [RPRWG] Dave James

That is a sad news.
I respected his tenacity, perserverance, passion,
and pioneering innitiatives. And most of all
his spirit that we were on to something big.
I will never forget him and 
involvement in our lives.

May his soul rest in peace.


--- VINAY BANNAI <> wrote:

> I was saddened to hear the demise of David James. 
> Vinay Bannai
> E:
> W: 650.429.2257
> -----Original Message-----
> From: David B. Gustavson [mailto:dbg@SCIZZL.COM] 
> Sent: Friday, January 18, 2008 8:09 PM
> To:
> Subject: [RPRWG] Dave James
> Dave James was discovered dead Tuesday, of
> intentional carbon 
> monoxide asphyxiation. He was under treatment for
> serious depression. 
> Depression causes people to do unreasonable,
> irrational things; 
> treatment is not always successful.
> Dave was my closest friend.
> Over the 20 years I knew him and worked with him, I
> found him to be 
> absolutely honest and forthright, and a true
> professional--he always 
> strove for the most general and correct design
> possible within the 
> time and budget available and other practical
> considerations.
> He was the most ego-free person I've ever known--he
> would put forth 
> the best solutions he could see, but if someone
> showed him he'd made 
> an error, or there was a better solution, he
> immediately abandoned 
> his own brainchild in favor of the better one, and
> did his best to 
> give credit to whomever made that contribution. He
> was extremely 
> patient with ignorance or honest doubters; less so
> with BS artists, 
> bullies, or those who intentionally obfuscate,
> complexify, or 
> sabotage for their own personal or corporate gain.
> This generated 
> enemies who caused him great pain, as well as
> depriving us all of 
> some of his best work. One could argue that his
> approach to life was 
> unwise, even foolish in a political sense,
> personally very costly. 
> But it was always ethical.
> Dave believed that until ideas or designs are
> described clearly and 
> unambiguously in written and graphic form, and in
> considerable 
> detail, it was not possible to evaluate them. As a
> result, he worked 
> hard to document his own work and that of others
> (even, perhaps 
> especially, his opponents) in a professional way
> that exposed 
> unsolved problems whenever possible. He could
> generate good 
> documentation about six times faster than any other
> person I've 
> known! It was amazing to see. His generosity was
> unfortunately not 
> always appreciated.
> I first got to know Dave well when he gradually
> became the chief 
> architect for the Scalable Coherent Interface
> project, ISO/IEC 
> 13961:2000 (the original IEEE 1596 (1992) has still
> not incorporated 
> the (few) corrections that were put into the ISO/IEC
> document). This 
> was a very ambitious project, which thanks in great
> measure to Dave's 
> experience and efforts completed in about 2 years,
> achieving far more 
> than I'd seen done in any 10 years of my previous
> experience. It was 
> far ahead of its time, and was used mainly in
> supercomputers instead 
> of becoming the standard PC chip I/O/memory/MP
> interconnect we'd 
> hoped for. (It (as IEEE 1596.3) was also the origin
> of the ubiquitous 
> LVDS signals that are in wide use today, essentially
> the only legacy 
> of this work that is visible to the public.) He also
> made major 
> contributions to Futurebus, SerialBus (FireWire), a
> unifying software 
> architecture for these (IEEE 1212-1991), and many
> other standards, as 
> well as to his employers' projects at several
> companies.
> When I first encountered Dave, at the start of the
> SCI project, I was 
> very skeptical--I didn't think it likely that he was
> correct about 
> several of the things he seemed to think he knew.
> Gradually I became 
> convinced, as I watched him argue the issues with
> some of the top 
> people in the field, and usually convince them. When
> they convinced 
> him instead, it amazed me how he could change course
> rapidly to take 
> advantage of his new understanding, and work with
> them to reach even 
> better solutions. It was a real privilege to see
> this process in 
> action.
> People like Dave don't come along often. I'm glad he
> came along 
> during my life. I'm going to miss him a lot.
> Dave Gustavson
> p.s. Dave's family intends to hold a celebration of
> life after a 
> couple of months have passed.
> Condolences can be sent to:
> Mrs. Barbara James, Silja, and Spencer
> 3180 South Court
> Palo Alto, CA 94306
> -- 
> --David B. Gustavson, tel:650/961-0305
> fax:208/475-7525
> 1946 Fallen Leaf Lane, Los Altos, CA 94024-7206

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