Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Mon Jan 18 07:14:32 AEST 2021

On Sun, Jan 17, 2021 at 03:52:43PM -0500, Norman Wilson wrote:
> As to the origin of `It's all Greg's fault' as a meme,
> that was already around and established when I arrived at
> the Labs in mid-1984, though Greg himself had already
> moved west.  Maybe Doug or Ken remembers how that started.

I worked for Greg at SGI and loved that I got to do so.  This whole
EGREG thing is news to me and amusing, Greg was the sort to laugh
at himself.

I'm sure I've told this story but just in case.  Not long before he
died, the cancer came back, he called me up and wanted to come up
and hang out with me on my place in the Santa Cruz mountains.  I 
asked what was up and he was all "Kids these days with their shiney
frameworks and Javascript and $JUNK_HE_DIDNT_LIKE, I just want to
talk to someone who likes C and kernels."  I said fine, but you
have to run the excavator.  I had bought a used 12,000 pound Kubota
excavator, it's useful where I live, I have 15 acres, trust me, it
gets used a lot.

So he came up.  He was not in great shape, the only thing that he 
could "eat" was tiny chips of ice.  Actual food was baby formula,
or something a lot like it, that went into a tube that when to his

While his was body failing, his mind was 100% there, Greg was the
same Greg that I had met more than 20 years earlier.  I met him right
as he got cancer the first time, got hired and Greg went away for 
6 months and came back looking a lot older.

So we talked, it was pretty much what you might imagine, talked about
kernels and problems we had hit and solved, it was pretty basic,
nothing fancy.  It was pleasant.

He is getting ready to leave and I said you have to run the excavator.
"I don't want to run the excavator."
"I don't care, you promised."

The excavator tends to live next to a pile of logs and I put all sorts
of people in it, Greg was perfect because he was sick and weak.  The
machine doesn't care, if you can move a joystick, you can run it.

Greg being Greg, he refused to let me show him how it works.  It has
two forward/reverse joysticks that run the tracks, a 4 way joystick
that runs the dozer blade, and 2 4 way joysticks that run the two booms,
control rotation, and curl the bucket.  And there is a rocker switch on
the right hand joystick that controls the hydraulic thumb.  Greg wouldn't
let me show him anything, he just got on it and started playing.  If you
go through the pictures, I definitely got the concentration, I'm not sure
I captured how grumpy he was.  He was trying to pick up a heavy wet log
and it kept slipping out.  But at picture 7 and 8, big old Greg grin, 
he figured out how to curl the bucket under the log and that held.


That's the last time I saw Greg alive, sadly.  He was a gentle soul and
I miss him.

BTW, I told that story, and brought those pics, at his funeral.  That
story is so typical Greg all the way through.

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