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Many have only seen my post once looking for a consultant/support on
Exim. Clint Sim, the person who set up our servers died in a head-on
collision with a drunk driver on Saturday night - sadly for me - after I
had posted this request and before we had resolved issues which resulted
in the post to the group. Many of you may have corresponded with Clint
on this list. He did a great deal to make Linux a standard in Zimbabwe.
He was fervent about Exim. One of his last burning desires was to create
an easily configurable and installable version of Exim and Linux, but
wanted to find a way to authenticate his installation program which he
never managed to complete to his perfectionist satisfaction. Below is
what I wrote about Clint. I wanted to share it with you.
Whenever I touch my computer, look at our servers, read an email, I
can't help but think of Clint. It is not possible for me to fathom that
I'll not see him again. It is not possible to fathom that I will not
have a late night conversation with him on the phone or on a chat
session. I distinctly recall Clint saying, "I'm one of a dying breed of
people who know how to do what I know how to do in this country."
People who know how to do what Clint knew how to do - are few and far
between in this world.
Clint said once reflecting on his anger that I had changed the passwords
of every server at ZOL, "I helped build ZOL - I know every server in
there; how dare anyone lock me out of my servers." He was proud and he
was smart, and he danced to the tune of different drummer - the signs of
genius flashed through his words and his actions and his achievements.
Clint didn't just build ZOL. His mark is on each and every ISP- new and
old - as well as in most companies in this country. The ease with which
he handled every detail made it seem his job was easy, yet so few knew
how to fix what this eccentric man - who often complained Windows
keyboards could not keep up with his typing could fix.
Clint was not a material man and could hardly conform to the
practicalities of life - passports, a driver's license, permits and the
like seemed a bother in his world and he preferred not to bother with
them. His was a passion to prove that the "click-click" of Windows was
not the answer. He was beholden to no one, yet we were all beholden to
him. No one could employ or own Clint, no one could control him, and no
one could tell him what to do. Those in our respective businesses, who
kept secrets from each other, shared them willingly with Clint. My last
communication with him was about conflicts of interest - I never had a
chance to resolve that conflict "face to face" and never will.
His passion was his marriage, his children and Linux. He believed in
Linux and treasured the concept of "Open Source". But when he was to
choose between this passion and his family, he chose his family. He
built the success of many and reaped few benefits if any. He was as
compassionate as he was stubborn. He was as dedicated and responsible
as he was unconventional. When on yet another occasion, I tried to get
Clint to do the conventional and "report to me", his reply was simple,
"Samir, I do my work, I fix the problems that I find, I do not do
running commentaries whilst there are problems to be fixed. This is who
I am and how I work."
Clint, I will miss you, ZOL will miss you, the entire and small IT
fraternity of Zimbabwe will miss you. I wish we could still argue right
and wrong and the religion of Linux and GUI until the cows came home -
but alas that will not be. I join all of ZOL in sending our condolences
to the Clint and Wendy's family. My commitment is to the children that
in Clint's memory, I will do everything in my personal capacity and in
ZOL's capacity to do what he cannot do from far away - help to provide
for your education and future.
Shasha & Associates
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