Sad to lose Harlan Smith : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This might be old news, but Harlan Smith died of a heart attack at 2:10 P.M. last Tuesday August 10th.

Harlan was responsible for making me aware of y2k, and he and I spent many hours chatting about it. His energy surely made a difference, and he wasn't one to base any conclusions on wishful thinking, one way or another. His passing leaves a void in my life, very real.

There is some discussion going on now in csy2k about Smith's loss, for those who are interested.

-- Flint (, August 14, 1999


Thanks Flint,

I was saddened to hear about Harlan. He was one of the big names in this whole arena of IT work and Y2k discussion. Maybe he can give a few of us, who need it, a nudge from the other side now. If your computer starts cranking out some strange code now, before you get ticked off, look at it closely. It may be Harlan with a message for you.

-- Gordon (, August 14, 1999.


I cannot express my sorrow for someone like this. I am thankful that he has at least got you to think about the situation. He must have been some kind of man.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), August 14, 1999.

Very sorry to hear this sad news Flint, my condolences to his family.

-- Andy (, August 14, 1999.


Thanks for sharing this bad news. I've always held Harlan's opinion higher than Rick Cowles'. you may have read in other threads, I was a founder of another Y2k forum at one time. One of the regular posters there had a heart-attack two weeks ago, went through 5 bypass surgeries, suffered a stroke after all that, and now has respiratory problems to boot. He's still fighting (yesterday afternoon's word from the family), but the doctors don't see any hope. The guy was 51.

-- Anita (, August 14, 1999.

I too will miss Harlan's vital contributions. A few months ago, there was a lot of controversy when a Digital Equipment Corporation engineer (actually Compaq, since they bought DEC) claimed that after 1/1/2000 even PCs with a Y2K compliant BIOS would still have big problems due to an idiosyncracy that affected some real time clocks. However, people who tried to re-produce the findings were getting mixed results. As I recall, Harlan devoted his time and attention to the issue, and single-handedly put it to bed, essentially based on his well reknowned expertise, honesty and reputation. (He could find no validity to the problem claimed by the DEC engineer.)

We will definitely miss Harlan Smith.

-- Jack (, August 14, 1999.


Harlan kind of took on the job of synthesizer of the research into that problem being done by several principal investigators (Mike Echlin, myself, Dave Eastabrook, and a few others). The problem itself was never clearly defined, but those who had the strongest interest in finding it (Crouch and Echlin) eventually admitted that their observations (1) weren't date related at all; and (2) were artifacts of a fairly wide variety of fairly rare BIOS bugs or poor coding practices, which could strike at any time equally.

Harlan's ability to combine the various results and present them clearly, and his willingness to listen to feedback and suggestions, made him very valuable during those efforts.

-- Flint (, August 15, 1999.

Harlan taught me and others a lot on the Compuserve Y2k forum. He certainly demonstrated what one person could wisely and productively contribute to the overall Y2k discussion. I, too, appreciate his synthesis of the Crouch-Echlin effect investigations.

-- Richard Woods (, August 15, 1999.

Friends -

I was deeply saddened to read this news. When the opportunity arises, let us lift a glass to Harlan Smith. His intelligence, wisdom, and ability to not only find the facts, but clearly communicate their meaning will be sorely missed.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), August 15, 1999.

He was a good Engineer. Listen to everything, but at the same time, doubt and question everything. We need more like him, particularly in the Y2k arena.

Here's to Mr. Harlan Smith, and my heart to his friends and family. I know he will be missed. Till we meet on the other shore,


-- Jon (, August 16, 1999.

I trust Mr. Harlan Smith was the learned, articulate gentleman his words presented him to be.

I envy the opportunity you had to know him, Flint.

-- PNG (Peter Gauthier) (, August 16, 1999.

I am very sorry to hear this sad news Flint, my condolences to his family and others feeling this loss.

-- Bob Barbour (, August 16, 1999.

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