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Basebal bat and baseballI first met Irving Wladawsky-Berger sometime in 1992. I was impressed with his keen interest in technology and the things I was working on. We have continued as friends and colleagues ever since. Irving has had a distinguished career at IBM including heading up the IT group in IBM Research, getting IBM into the supercomputer business, managing IBM’s UNIX systems business, starting the Internet division, leading the charge with Linux, and now focusing on the new area of collaborative innovation. All of these important assignments have been intellectually challenging and not surprisingly, Irving has always been up to the challenge.
My first experience working with Irving was when he asked me some questions about the ThinkPad. No matter how technical an issue may have been, Irving got it instantly. In the early days many people had difficulty grasping the significance of the Web. Not Irving. With every new idea presented by anyone, Irving has always had an uncanny ability to see the implications even beyond the person with the idea. My ten years working with him were certainly the most rewarding of my 38 years at IBM. When I e-tired, Irving wrote a nice letter.
More recently, Irving has started up a new blog to focus on his interests in various aspects of information technology including the Internet, servers and supercomputing, standards and open source initiatives like Linux, the evolution to Web services, and content management. Irving has always been interested in public policy issues and I am sure he will be writing about key issues in health care and education, support for R&D, intellectual property, and other areas.
In addition to Irving’s depth in business and science, he is also a delightful person to know. Born in Cuba, Irving has not only supported diversity efforts but has taken time personally to mentor numerous high potential people in the company. I also have no doubts that Irving’s love of baseball will find a place in his blog. I for one look forward to reading his future postings. I have placed a link in my blogroll and also subscribed to his RSS feed in the new Opera 8 browser.