Yesterday I heard that an old and dear friend had died. By old friend I mean that I'd known him since 1985, but he wasn't yet 50. He died on Monday evening at Hewlett Packard in Bristol.
As I've not been at HP for almost 11 years Stefek was no longer part of my work life, nor had I been able to keep up with him socially. But once he, his wife and children were a big part of my life; and my heart goes out to those he has left behind - I weep with you Christina, Helena and Paul.
I'll remember Stefek as the Polish boyscout who never grew up; someone who smiled readily and was easy to work with, always ready to lend a hand. He was also very good at his work, a joy to be in the same team with. In 1987 we put together a proposal for a group, KEG, that meant we got to work together for a couple of years - probably the two best years of my working life. Certainly the funniest - his sense of humour was infectious.
I've been unable to excavate any of my own photos of Stefek to add to this post - I'll add one in if / when I find one. Meanwhile there is a great recent photo of him on: Goodbye, Stefek Zaba and the one I've borrowed here is from his home page which is also on his HP Labs Inventor Profile.
Update: His funeral service will be held at Clifton Cathedral on Pembroke Road a week Thursday, 5 April. Time yet to be confirmed. Everyone who knew him is welcome.
Enigma 407: Bug-in-a-box - From New Scientist #1557, 23rd April 1987 [link] A collector was ordering a thin rectangular box to house insects captured in the field. “Each of its edges...