This morning, on my way back from COMMON, I received email from a friend informing me that Al Barsa had passed away last night.
This news hit me very hard … Al has been a pillar of the AS/400 (yes, I use that name deliberately) community for many years and a friend. His passion and enthusiasm for the platform could be matched by very few.
He’s been an active participant in the midrange.com lists almost from the their inception … always willing to share his knowledge, never hesitating to help someone out, pointing them to the right manual, or clearing up some technical detail.
His COMMON sessions were always well received and very informative (if a bit rushed … but, heck, how else are you going to get through all the system values in a 2 hour session 🙂 ).
My flight leaving Nashville this morning was delayed due to thunderstorms in the area … which, in retrospect, make sense … there’s bound to be some turbulence when a spirit with the the passion and enthusiasm such as Al’s has passed.
From the accounts I’ve heard, he passed away in his hotel room while working on his laptop … no doubt revising his sessions for the next COMMON conference.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Al’s family.
midrange.com will be making a contribution to the COMMON Educational Foundation in Al’s memory.
David is a Principal Software Engineer for PTC, Integrity Business Unit. He cut his teeth on the S/36 and has more than 25 years of experience on the IBM i / System i / iSeries / AS400. He primarily works in Java and ILE RPG specializing in cross platform integrations. David has received the COMMON Distinguished Service award and was named an IBM Power Systems Champion. David is an active volunteer with the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure fundraising bike ride. He is currently captain of Team RED Chicago. David runs and maintains midrange.com. His personal blog is Geeky Ramblings.