People

I get to work with a lot of great people. I really enjoy working with Irving Wladawsky-Berger and Lou Gerstner. Irving was just included in The Elite 100 of Upside Magazine and Lou was on the cover. Lou was also just on the cover of BusinessWeek. A nice story about IBM was inside. I’ll be adding links to other people I work with soon.

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Recreational Vehicles

Most of my fun things are high technology electronic things like computers. However, when I get a chance to get away for a break I also like RV’s. Here are pictures and a little history on each of them.

1977 Honda CT-70 TrailBike

Soon to be twenty years old, our trailbike has 2,290 miles on it as of September 1, 1996. It has never been outside of the small lakeside community where we use it. About 5 years ago a neighbor of ours gave the trailbike to us. He had bought it originally for his children who are now grown up. The one catch was that it needed “some” work. Turned out to be about $600 worth but it has worked great ever since. Well, until recently when the muffler went bad. I searched everywhere, new and used, to find one and finally got a used one for $80! The new ones were $85 but Honda discontinued them. I took a chance and bought the 15+ year old muffler and it turned out to be in good shape. Didn’t fit right but after some reengineering of the brackets it now works like a champ. Lots of fun puttering around in the woods with this.

1987 Kawasaki 220 Bayou

Kawasaki has a lot of interesting things about the Bayou on their Web site. Their Bayou’s look so nice and new. Here is a picture of my dirty ten year old one. It has about 2,400 miles on it as of September 1, 1996. Not much more than the Honda trailbike but in quite a few less years. It provides a lot of utility for moving things around and it also tows the JetSki from the lake.To see a full size picture (50KB), click on the image

1996 Yamaha WaveVenture 700

The WaveVenture is the latest addition to the RV collection. Never thought I would want one. In fact some people were quoting me the other day as having suggested they be banned from the lake. Maybe after turning 50 things like this get more interesting! I really enjoy going out on the lake early in the morning or just before dusk when there is very little choppiness in the water. The top speed I have reached is 51 mph. It will do about 40 with two adults and something less with three. As of September 1, it has about 32 hours on it. To see a full size picture (50KB), click on the image.

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I really prefer having an engine!

Airplane
Nick Nash was a summer intern at IBM shortly after we had formed the Internet Division of the company 15 years ago. Nick went on to get a degree, magna cum laude, at Harvard. He is now a Vice President at General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm. Nick was an excellent communicator and he asked me one day if he could do an interview on the subject of aviation. Following is a transcription of the interview, which Nick titled “I really prefer having an engine!”
Tuesday, August 20, 1996
John Patrick reflects on his early interest in flying
Interview by Nick Nash
IBM VP of Internet Technology John Patrick is best known today for his role in shaping the evolution of the Internet, but before there was the Web, Patrick took to the skies to enjoy the thrill of “flying by the instruments”. I was curious to learn how this unusual hobby began.
Q: What got you first interested in flying?
A: I was stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida during the Vietnam Era as a member of the headquarters of the U.S. STRIKE Command. Although I was an army draftee, I was stationed in this multi-service group on an Air Force base, and therefore had a chance to take flying lessons at a private flying club hosted on the airbase. I got my private license in a Cessna 150.
After leaving the army and returning to Bethlehem,  Pennsylvania, I was able to continue and earn my commercial pilot’s license in a Cessna 150 using the VA Benefits. A few years later, after moving to the Philadelphia area, I got my instrument rating and bought a Cessna 172 with two acquaintances. We shared it for a few years, but after moving to Armonk, New York, in 1981, with the busiest TCA in the nation, I decided this was a hobby I couldn’t continue.

Q: What’s a TCA?
A: The TCA, or Terminal Control Area, is a “control zone” which the FAA puts in place over key metropolitan area airports. The TCA is designed to improve safety by imposing a lot of rules and controls, but if you don’t fly in the TCA on a frequent basis you can easily forget the rules. It wasn’t the TCA per se that impacted my decision to stop flying but more the need I felt to fly on instruments a couple of times per week in order to stay sharp. Got to the point where I just couldn’t fly often enough. Now I fly with the Microsoft flight simulator using the Logitech Wingman joystick.
Q: What kind of trips did you make? What was it like?
A: I did some flying for business purposes, and at several occasions took customers to an IBM plant or laboratory for business purposes, and took family vacations. It was a weekend hobby. Flying “on instruments” was really a very intellectual hobby, very rewarding — it was fun. And by owning a plane with two other people, it was affordable.
Q: Have you tried flying other airplanes?
A: I’ve flown Piper Cherokees – they’re bigger than the Cessna. I also tried flying a glider once, but I really prefer having an engine. Maybe I’m a control freak, but I really prefer having an engine!
Q: How much have planes changed since you left flying? And what are some ways airplanes could benefit from the latest computer technology?
A: Not much can change on the outside. The basics of aerodynamics for a propeller driven airplane are centered around basically very simple ideas. You have thrust from the propeller and drag from the plane in the horizontal direction, and lift from the curvature of the wing and the weight of the plane in the vertical direction. Inside the airplane….well, I haven’t kept up with it. I’m sure the gauges are more digital than analog. Pilots might be using GPS, for example. I suspect that the accuracy and capability of autopilots and direction finders and VOR/VORTAC are significantly greater, and I suspect that these are the areas in which the most progress would be, moving forward. I know this is already happening in corporate and commercial jets.
Q: Do you follow amateur flying on the web, or do you subscribe to any flying newsgroups?
A: Not really. Back in the days when I was flying, there was no World Wide Web, so if you wanted to have a chat session, you did it in the hanger!
(1) STRIKE stands for “Swift Tactical Retaliation In any Known Environment”. This went on to become led by General Norman Schwartzkopf of Gulf War fame.

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Visible Human Project

A prisoner in Texas spent his life as a drug abuser, alcoholic, robber and killer. In 1993 the state of Texas injected him with lethal chemicals and took his life away. Through a federally funded project called “The Visible Human the prisoner (who had willed his body to science) was digitized and put on the World Wide Web for all to see. Gray’s Anatomy has been replaced and medicine will never be the same again.

A teacher in a Colorado school uses the Visible Human to let his students see a body in a way that has never been seen before. Instead of dissecting a frog, they can dissect a human being on the Internet. There’s no smell and no blood.

The technology used to create the Visible Human is quite amazing. After the body was frozen high resolution CCD photographs (2,000 x 2,000) and CT scans were taken from “head to toe”. After each series a millimeter was milled away. For the Visible Man there were 1,878 “slices” and for the Visible Woman (milled every 1/3 of a millimeter) nearly 5,000 “slices”. The resulting data captured was used to reconstruct or “reverse engineer” the human body. Each voxel of data can now have meta data attached to it which can include characteristics of that part of the body. Examples might include consistency, color, resistance to a needle, friction toward a scalpel, etc. Current technology is yielding approximately 2 billion voxels1 for the body. With 12 bytes of meta data per voxel the characteristics of the entire body could potentially be represented in just 24 gigabytes of data.

Now that a human body has been reengineered it will become possible to perform human simulations; i.e. moving a muscle or emitting blood after a scalpel cuts through the skin. Future possibilities are boundless. We will be able to age and de-age the Visible Human, amputate an arm, add a torn ligament, introduce a heart attack or throw in a bullet wound. Doctors will be able to perform angioplasty insertions and actually experience the feel that would have been present if he or she were inserting into the arm of the Texas prisoner. Kinetic models based on real human data will surely lead to artificial knees that someday may run a marathon. Perhaps with enough computing power the Visible Human will be made to sit or walk or run opening up amazing simulation possibilities for sports medicine and saving of lives.

If all this becomes possible what are the implications? Wired Magazine had a story that described in great deal why BMUS (Beam Me Up Scottie) would not be possible. I am not so sure since I have learned about the Visible Human project. If a voxel is actually a subatomic voxel and the meta data includes every possible aspect of state and if a simulation can enable the Visible Human to move then could a scanning technology be developed to capture living voxels which could then be teleported? Still not something in the foreseeable future but thinking about the Visible Human project makes me think that someday BMUS may actually happen. Let’s see, now where would I like to get beamed up to?

You can learn more about the Visible Human at www.nlm.nih.gov/research .

1 A voxel is point in three dimensional space with a defined x, y, z position, color, and density.

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China Visit

In February I had a wonderful trip to Beijing to offer an Internet seminar to many officials of the Chinese government. Hugo Krawczck from IBM Research accompanied me on the trip and provided the security expertise that made the trip so valuable to our Chinese customers. Gloria Zhao of the IBM government relations office in Beijing was invaluable to Hugo and I as interpreter, guide, and professional associate throughout the trip. Here are a few pictures that show a history of the Great Wall, Hugo and I at Tianamen Square, and Gloria and I on the Great Wall at Badaling.

History of the Great Wall

History of the Great Wall

Gloria Zhao and John Patrick standing on the Great Wall

John Patrick and Gloria Zhao

Hugo Krawczck and John Patrick at Tianamen Square

John Patrick and Hugo Krawczck

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