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Mourning For A Friend

January 10, 2017

It’s sad when a dream dies. Sometimes it’s a relief. A couple of times I’ve run small businesses and while they were successful, they were also stressful. Occasionally, they take off and become bigger small businesses. And sometimes they last for 13 years.

My friend, Tim ran such a business. It was called NDS8. That name was a bit of a technological pun. Novell used to be a software company that made a product called NetWare. The directory that sat behind NetWare was called the Novell Directory System(NDS.) And as it was updated the version number was added; NDS5, NDS6. When Tim created his company the current version of Novell Directory System was NDS7. Tim took NDS8. The versions of NetWare and NDS continued on, but the name stuck. Eventually, Novell transformed. Then it transformed again. And again.

Through it all, Tim was there and NDS8.

BrainShare is Novell’s big user conference. You would have recognized Tim even if you had never met him. He was a fairly typical looking IT person. Average height. Brown hair. Glasses. A logo’d free t-shirt and a kilt. Yes, a Scottish kilt, as in

You know you’re wearing a dress, right?

Tim is also a former British military officer, so I typically say that with a smile.

Yesterday he announced that NDS8 is shutting down. We don’t talk as much as we used to, so I don’t know the background. But, having worked with him for years, I know how much the company meant to him. And having run small businesses, I know how attached I became to mine, and I didn’t run them for 13 years.

Tim’s a brilliant engineer. And an extremely upbeat person. I have no doubt that he will have no trouble moving into another position, whether that’s as a consultant, or joining an existing company. I know, if I were hiring, and had anything that was even close to being a fit, I’d hire him in a heartbeat. There’s the problem of him living with his family in Scotland and me in Utah, of course.

I have a few more stories of how Tim helped me when I really needed it that I’ll tell over the coming days. I’m still trying to process his news. I’m probably taking it harder than he is.

But, then, he’s Scottish, so I’m not sure I’d really know anything about his emotions that he didn’t want to share.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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