Being on parental leave and not that up-to-date on the world, I wasn’t aware of the disappearance of Jim Gray until this morning, when I opened my New York Times and saw a familiar face, much to my surprise. (The last and only other time that happened, someone who was in my class in college had won a Pulitzer.) I don’t really know Jim well, but have crossed paths with him more than a few times in the past several years. The latest was my trip to Japan for the launch of VS 2005 and SQL Server 2005, where I did the VS keynote and Jim did the SQL Server keynote. For someone who has done so much amazing work in the computing field, I found Jim to be an amazingly down-to-earth, gracious and friendly guy. I’m not at all surprised by the outpouring of concern and effort on the part of the computing industry to help find him.
I can only hope that he will be found alive and well. My thoughts are with him and his family.
Jim has help me with several projects, primarily demonstration apps with TerraServer/TerraServices.
There’s an fairly extensive chronology of the search effort so far with links to local (Bay Area) video segments during the first five days of the search effort at http://oakleafblog.blogspot.com/2007/01/us-coast-guard-searching-for-jim-gray.html.