Jim Bound - Rest In Peace


Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

Mar 03, 2009 GMT
Jon maddog Hall

I first met Jim Bound when I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation in their Unix operating system group. Jim was "in the field" as a pre-and-post sales technical support person. When a salesman needed some good technical help in selling a customer a technical solution, or when a customer needed someone who really knew what they were doing, they would call on these technical people to help them.

Over the years, our Unix group formulated a program called the "Unix Partners Program", and we invited some of these technical field people to consult with us once a quarter as a group, so that we could better understand the customer's needs. At first the group was small, with some of the more vocal and knowledgeable people actively sought out. Jim was one of the first, and continued to be a leader throughout my time at Digital.

Jim had a specialty in networking, this "new" thing called TCP/IP, and as this new networking grew in dominance, Jim would pound his fist on the table and tell us how important it was. You never had to guess where you stood with Jim, as he would tell you. Of course I liked him immensely, and there were many times we could get together with the other Unix technical people and have a beer together.

Jim was tattooed. Jim rode motorcycles. Of course today no one would think anything of this, but nearly a quarter century ago, in a rather conservative east-coast United States company, this was a bit unusual particularly for someone in a very visible customer-facing position. But Jim also knew his stuff, and that overcame any objections.

Later on, Jim started talking about this extension of IPv4, at first called "IPng" for "IP next generation" that eventually became "IPv6". He talked about the huge address space, the better security, the better features. Eventually to many people he became "Mr. IPv6", a tireless advocate for the newer protocol, a solid believer in standards. He came in from the field and joined central engineering at Digital which then became Compaq and finally Hewlett Packard.

After I left Digital (then Compaq) in 1999 I lost track of Jim. I would hear about him every once in a while, tracking him as he became the CTO of the IPv6 Forum, Chair of the North American IPv6 Task Force and a Senior Fellow with Hewlett Packard, the highest level on the HP technical career path. In my mind I could hear him leading the charge for IPv6, and probably fairly frustrated that IPv4 had not been completely retired by now.

Today I learned that Jim had died on March 2nd, 2009. He was only 58.

A short time ago I wrote in this column that I was still IPv4 bound, and that I wanted to become IPv4 clean by the end of 2009. Now I have two reasons, one because I think that it is the right path forward for the things I need to do, and the other reason is that I want to be able to tell Jim "I made it to IPv6" the next time we meet....



P.S. As a postscript, I received a note from a friend of Jim's that said:

For those wishing to send their expressions of sympathy we have setup at the IPv6 Forum http://www.ipv6forum.com/ a way for everyone to pay their respect. We will then collect all the postings and share it with Jim's extended family.


  • Family Friend

    I have meet with Jim a few times at my wifes family functions. I can tell you all he is very missed and this is a huge loss to his family. As a tech person , I am I know his wish would be to drive IPv6 as it was the future to him .
  • Jim P Bound

    I was seventeen when I met Jim @ a J Geils concert in Wellington Ohio, the aquqnqt plateau where the band was performing was on top of this plateau well it rained like hell & everyone was soaked, well @ least I thought. After the concert was over is when I met Jim, I over heard someone saying that they were going to Lakewood Ohio which is where I was living & went over to talk to him, Jim Immediately looked @ me and laughed , proceeded to give me a pair of dry socks & a poncho to stay dry the rain was intense and I was a mess, well that was a long time ago and I have many stories I'am almost 52 now & I will miss Jim very much grateful that him & I stayed in touch because of the way that man touched my & became a part of it. Jim once sent me a round trip ticket to come and visit him a time I will always remember. I Love & miss you Jim your friend always Jack LoPiccolo
  • Jim Bound

    Jim Bound has been a loyal personal and professional friend since we first met at EDS in 1985. As UNIX engineers, we tackled the challenges of evangelizing UNIX and network standards within a company then clueless about either.

    While at DEC, and subsequently Compaq and HP, Jim progressively made internationally recognized contributions to open, and next generation networking standards. Jim's passion for his body of work will benefit us for generations to come. International friends and colleagues are preparing fitting tributes at the IPV6forum, Internet Society, and other sites as well.

    This is a private man intensely loyal to his friends, who on occasion as guests in his home can testify, prepared five-star meals with intellectually stimulating conversation.

    I will miss Jim as we were each others white board for issues, ideas, and humor over the years. Maddog, we go back aways too, and your recognition for Jim is appreciated.

  • Well

    said, Maddog.

    In the middle of the masses of all these "generic" IT People we have these days, it is important to mention those who not only have the guts but the skills to stand out. There are few enough...

    To me, Jim Bound sounds like a Person I would've loved to meet and know, both on a personal and on a professional basis.


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