I affectionately called Jim "Smails." My nickname reflected our shared fondness for the movie Caddyshack and the character Judge Smails, played by Ted Knight.
I called him "Smails" because of his judicial qualities. He was contemplative, thoughtful and not prone to following fads. And as a well-respected judge should, he had an avuncular quality -- always instructive and helpful. At times, he was even professorial.
His body of work was superb -- at times, breathtaking -- even when we were in disagreement. I loved having him as an adversary because I knew that I would come out of our polemic far more educated than when we began.
I admired his insights and ideas. You don't have to look further than
Most people associated Smails with tech, but I knew better. His constant instant messages to me over the past 12 months revealed a knowledge base far beyond personal computers and wireless phones.
And those instant messages revealed a humorous side of him, one well versed in literature and wit.
That's what I will miss most about Smails.
The good die far too young.