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Fw: Sad news: Alan Kotok

From: Mary Ellen Zurko <Mary_Ellen_Zurko@notesdev.ibm.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 14:51:29 -0400
To: public-usable-authentication@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFD089A321.78C44BE5-ON85257185.006761EF-85257185.00679AE3@notesdev.ibm.com>
Perhaps everyone else knows, but I just found out. The last time I saw 
Alan was on the train back from our workshop. He taught me to play Sudoko, 
which up until that point I had resisted as too potentially addictive. It 
was a lovely ride. He will be missed. 

Mary Ellen Zurko, STSM, IBM Lotus CTO Office       (t/l 333-6389)
IBM Lotus/WPLC Security Strategy and Architecture

----- Forwarded by Christopher B Ferris/Waltham/IBM on 06/01/2006 09:02 AM 

Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org> 
Sent by: chairs-request@w3.org
06/01/2006 08:56 AM

w3c-ac-members@w3.org, ab@w3.org, chairs@w3.org, tag <tag@w3.org>

Sad news: Alan Kotok


Dear Colleagues,

It is with tremendous sorrow that we share the news that our great 
friend, colleague, and mentor Alan Kotok has passed away. He died 
peacefully in his sleep over the US Memorial Day weekend.

Alan's W3C involvement goes back before its formal inception, when he 
was still employed at Digital Equipment Corporation. His early ideas 
shaped W3C, and helped lead it to what it is today.

Long before Alan came to W3C, his experience established him as one 
of the early wise men of computer science.

His interest in computing and his gifts were apparent in his 
undergraduate days at MIT.

One of Alan's undergraduate creations was the first video game, 
Spacewar, which he and several classmates created for the PDP-1 in 
1962. Alan was also part of the team which invented the joystick, an 
icon of many young computer gamers' experiences. As a member of the 
MIT Tech Model Railroad Club, he proved to be highly adept at 
understanding complex technical systems and making them do new things.

Alan wrote a number of important programs for early DEC and IBM 
computers, including the well-known Kotok-McCarthy chess program at 
MIT, which became his B.S. thesis.

Alan spent 34 years with Digital Equipment Corp. in numerous 
leadership roles. He served as Technical Director for product 
strategy and development groups in Telecommunications, Storage, and 

He was chief architect of the PDP-10 family of computers, a logic 
designer for the DEC PDP-6 computer and played a key role in the 
development of the DECsystem-10 timesharing computer system. Alan 
provided thought leadership as a member of the Corporate Strategy 
Group which advocated early adoption and integration of Internet and 
Web-based technologies.

Alan held a wide range of roles at W3C. He carried the title of 
Associate Chairman, but he also served as the MIT site manager, 
managed the Systems Team, and worked closely with the Advisory Board. 
His contributions to membership and financial issues were highly valued.

True to the talents he showed in his undergraduate days, Alan shone 
as a problem solver, especially in important and complex areas: 
patent policy development, Patent Advisory Groups, whatever 
processes, policies and procedures were needed to improve the W3C as 
a standards body. His precision of thinking and language was a 
welcome feature to many W3C meetings.

His dry wit and attention to detail on the outside did not hide the 
kindness and generous heart within. His passion for trains, early 
music, and pipe organs were well known; one recent AC meeting 
included a special tour of the Tech Model Railroad Club, which ended 
up being one of the most popular events W3C held.

Alan is survived by his three children and one grandchild. His wife, 
Judie, passed away last year. Those who wish to contact Alan's family 
may send email to Amy van der Hiel <amy@w3.org>.

We have opened a publicly archived mailing list, public- 
memoria@w3.org, http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-memoria/ 
to which remembrances and photographs are welcome to be sent.

The W3C Team and our organization was immeasurably better for his 
presence. We will all miss him for who he was, and all that he achieved.

Tim and Steve
Received on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 18:51:55 UTC

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