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  • Writer's pictureAdventures with Jim

Memories of Working with Jim

It was exactly 22 years ago this time, end of March 1999. My project was coming to an end and my consulting company was trying to place me. They arranged for two interviews, one with a globally known bank and the other with a small company I never heard of. The interview with the bank was mostly programming language intricacies, it went quite well.

The environment at FaxSav was a complete contrast with the bank’s office... No stifling suit and tie. Jim gave me a tour of the lab, a tiny data center. He asked me the difference between fork and vfork, which I could answer correctly. He then asked the difference in implementation of those, which I was not very sure of, so he took the time to kindly explain to me. My consulting company asked me where I would prefer to work, and I immediately said FaxSav!

Working with Jim was a pleasure and learning experience. His vast knowledge and wide-ranging interests are phenomenal and discussions with him were always very engaging. I miss the free-wheeling sessions on diverse topics like the design considerations of slide rules, or how the First World War sowed the seeds of the Second, or the difference between regular calculators and Reverse Polish Notation ones. I am so grateful to Jim for extending the offer to me to work at FaxSav, it has been a wonderful journey.

Even though the company name has changed half a dozen times, we still daily use the software he designed and built over a quarter century ago. In the software industry, where products get obsolete in a couple of years, it is a testament to his technical wisdom that his work continues to be an essential part of the business three decades later.

~Amitava Dutta

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