Saturday, February 17, 2007

"Friends of Jim" Halt Volunteer Search for Jim Gray

The Tenacious blog reports that the search for Jim Gray, the renown large-scale database and transaction-processing pioneer, by a team volunteers known as the Friends as Jim has ceased its activities as of February 16, 2006. The "Search Status" post by Mike Olson states:

In the last several days, the Friends of Jim group has reviewed all the data with Coast Guard officials. The fact is that we have no evidence as to what has happened to Tenacious or to Jim Gray. Neither we nor the Coast Guard can come up with a surface search plan that is likely to find either Tenacious or Jim, given everything that has been done already.

Accordingly, the Friends of Jim group is suspending its active effort to find Tenacious that has been centered here at the blog. For both the Coast Guard and the Friends of Jim, “suspension” means that the active search has been discontinued due to exhausting all present leads and the lack of new information. Of course, should we or the Coast Guard receive any new information, we will investigate it.

James Nicholas Gray 1944 - 2007? Rest In Peace

The "U.S. Coast Guard Searching for Jim Gray off San Francisco Coast" post on this blog includes a chronology of the search efforts with quotes from Coast Guard sources, video news segments, and print stories. There are links to additional articles about Jim and the search on the James N. Gray Wikipedia page. The Help Find Jim site has a photograph of Jim's sailboat, "Tenacious," and links to downloadable posters that volunteers hung at marinas and other Pacific Coast locations.

Microsoft Research's "Update on Search for Jim Gray" page expands on the Tenacious site's statement:

There is tremendous interest both inside and outside Microsoft in paying appropriate tribute to Jim. But his family believes it would be premature at this time to hold a memorial service, because it has been less than three weeks since he disappeared. We are respecting the family’s wishes.

This has been an extremely emotional time for all of us who consider Jim a colleague and a friend. The tremendous outpouring of support is a true testament to how many lives he has touched. We all miss him, and we continue to keep Jim and his family in our thoughts.

All who knew him or knew of his work will miss Jim greatly.

Update 5/2/2007: Mark Whitehorn has posted an eloquent "Tribute to Jim Gray" on the UK's The Register.