Five Things

Happy New Year everyone! My blog’s been dark for a few weeks, what with closing out our December quarter, and spending some time with my family over the holiday (and enjoying all the various and sundry flu bugs going around San Francisco).

But while all that was happening, I was tagged by a couple folks – and asked to provide five facts about myself that most people don’t know. Hey, I was asked, so here goes.

1. I once worked as a security guard in this museum:

As astonishing as that may sound, I was also the only security guard on duty. Thankfully, most visitors were from local elementary schools, not fugitives from Interpol’s most wanted list.

2. I am one quarter (Asian) Indian, one quarter Welsh (on my Mother’s side), one quarter Hungarian, and one quarter Russian (Father’s side). I love being a mixed breed.

3. I was a passenger on a train that crashed outside of Chase, Maryland in 1987.

The accident had a profound impact on my life.

4. I love to cook (and eat) – a passion I share with Greg Papadopoulos, Sun’s CTO (I just found out we happen to have the same oven).

5. I sincerely believe technology improves the world – from the solar panels on my home, to my choice of employer for the past 10 years, to the causes I believe we should all support, in and out of the holiday season.

There you have it.

And at the risk of being impolitic, given that Time Magazine thinks I am Person of the Year, let’s run an experiment – I’ll tag those whose content I always read, but who don’t have blogs in a traditional sense. John Markoff, David Kirkpatrick and Ashlee Vance – for good measure, I’ll add Chris Keene (an old friend I haven’t seen in forever, but whose travels I tracked via his wonderful family blog), and Greg, because every time I share a meal with the guy, I learn something fascinating.

And again, Happy New Year – may yours be filled with all kinds of new insight.

(Update – thank you for catching the typo, Anjan… missed tagging Ashlee, who I’m sure will be thrilled to join in.)


Filed under General

39 responses to “Five Things

  1. hi jon,
    you tagged only 4 people — aren’t you supposed to tag 5 ?

  2. China

    Hi, Jonathan:
    Happy new year!You said “Whether in the US, Brazil, Poland, China, Tibet, Taiwan, Europe, Mexico” in your blog “A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats”.
    You know, Tiber and Taiwan are both parts of China.I hope you can correct it.
    Your Chinese friends.

  3. Alok

    I am of Indian origin, and I was curious about the order in which you put down your ancestry. Nice list and I vote for number 5. too.

  4. Jim H

    Wow – you were on the Chase train. I lived not far the accident and had a good friend who lived a mile from the accident. Who would have thought… I’m glad you survived and are steering Sun’s ship!!! Look out for trains coming your way with a “high” engineer at the helm! 😉

  5. Happy New Year you too ! Those 5 points are amazing.

  6. John McClain

    So what oven do you and Greg have?

  7. Were you the security guard in “Night At The Museum”?
    May 2007 be the year of sweet harvest of Java beans. 🙂

  8. dave wyeld

    This is my first time responding. In regards to being on the Chase train – I remember that! How, specifically, did that affect you? Tragedies and disasters bring about profoundly different responses. Thanks, Dave.

  9. Hi Jonathan,
    I’m not only amazed that a CEO like yourself maintains a frequent blog, but that you would disclose five things about yourself via the blog tagging ritual.
    Thanks for leading where others (hopefully) will follow.
    Jonathan Kantor

  10. Heh, you wrote that a crash had an “impact” on your life.
    I never would have suspected Indian in you. I’m half Japanese, quarter Italian, and part Choctaw, along with some Caucasian in there too.

  11. William Cruz

    Hello Jonathan,
    I have followed the growth of Sun for some years. I tailed off for about two years. Recently I saw an ad and heard a news boardcast about you and these messeges opened my curiousity once again. I am investor looking to find an up and coming company which will grow and provide a good financial future for me and my family. I have done some research on you and it appears that you character is one that draws goodness. Your train accident seems to have inspired your
    inner will for life. I had a similar experience. But it wasn’t an accident. family is important this is why i know that you will help so many others succeed. Enjoy Life with your family. It makes for a better life within us.
    William From Anchorage, AK.

  12. Wish you a Happy New Year too (albeit its a bit further in the year now 😉

    BTW, that quarter Indian part of you, which part of India is it from?
    Obviously North India, but I also have a strong feeling its Gujarat.

  13. waltz

    The main thing I was left wondering is how did the accident have a profound impact on your life?

  14. Is the museum now firewall protected :)?. Sir, A very happy new year to you as well. Things happens in phases and each phase has its own wonderful moments, I am sure you must have enjoyed every diversified moments. Wishing you all the best and congratulation for being “Person of the Year”. My Best post of all times, which I have applied at various levels .
    Sir, I am also running a blog hunt for Indian Business Schools, I wish you could spare some 5 hours during Feb 2- Feb 5. It will be a great help for Indian blogosphere.

  15. cam

    A a long time shareholder I wish you would use your blog time to update us on operational/tactical details. I would like some information on SUN’s profitability!!! I can’t understand how a 13 Billion dollar company can’t turn a consistent profit. For that matter, any profit at all. Please update us on these type issues. Nuts and Bolts type of information.

  16. Bob

    Very cool I really enjoyed the Five Things blog-tag. I think I’ll start on the

  17. You look Indian alright. I can see the strong call center DNA… oops or is it the Data Center?

  18. Since I’m:
    1. Also 1/4 Hungarian
    2. Also love food
    3. A member of the “railfan community” and am aware that Ricky Gates both had THC metabolates in his bloodstream and purportedly was also watching NFL playoffs on a portable TV (which of these is the “cause”?) when he overshot the signal that took his Conrail “light engine move” into the path of the Amtrak you were riding
    4. Work as the Chief Architect for an important Sun customer in Chicago
    5. Have your blog on my blogroll and subscribe to your RSS feed
    I’m simply compelled to say hellom wish you a Happy New Year and hope for a good 2007 for Sun.

  19. NA

    Thanks for your weblog, and being connected to your audience this way. Jonathan, would like to hear your thoughts on this topic. I’m sure many will think of this as “trivial” , but I think it’s AWESOME to see a man with long hair running a Fortune 500 company. I say this, because when I was an MBA student, I was constantly told how I would’nt get anywhere in life with long hair etc. There are so many negative stereotypes about men with long hair in the business world and it would be great to hear someone at your level of success address this.
    It would be great to hear your expeeriences and how you overcame any hurdles or discrimination. Also, any advice for other men out there who are proud to wear their hair long, and don’t want to “conform” to the typical corporate, so called “professional” image.

  20. Indian,Welsh,Hungarian, Russian, however Schwartz is typically German.
    How does that work?

  21. Happy new year. Sorry to be off-topic, but please can you turn into a web service this year? Having people sign in, upload stuff, wait, download results seems so very last year. I’d hate to see Amazon steal your thunder with their Elastic Computing Cloud. PS What oven do you and Greg use – an Aga?

  22. Charles

    G’day Johny from down under & Happy New Year!
    We’ll keep ordering those E25K’s from you. They’d sell even better with a free iPhone coupon!
    Appreciate your openness and insight. Thanks for turning Sun into a company with a bright future. All the best for 2007.

  23. I didn’t know that you have an Indian connection. So the next time, as people gather at JavaOne, I guess the popular one liner would be – “Do you know the way how Indians behave?”…Looking forward to hearing your keynote at JavaOne ’07.

  24. I can’t imagine what it’s like to share an oven with Greg Papadopoulos 😉

  25. “Indian,Welsh,Hungarian, Russian, however Schwartz is typically German. How does that work?”
    A lot of people from Germany settled in Hungary after the 17th century to repopulate deserted farmlands and cities. Many of them “magyarized” over the centuries but their family’s origin is still reflected in family names.
    Happy New Year Jonathan, BTW:)
    janos (ex-sun, ex bsc/csj 🙂

  26. Jonathan, I feel proud as an indian !! Indians are rocking !! They are taking over the world and they are creating a mark on the face of the earth!!
    I am fresh into this IT! and Love SunMicrosystems from the past 7years!! I used to feel bad when SUNW share used to fall. I love Java verymuch and i teach Java for free to underprivelaged students! I even met Mr.BHASKAR PRAMANIK to say how much i love SUN! Continue your innovation in technology side, hard core developers like me are there to make every product success and i am even member of JAVA BETA Program.
    Waiting for JAVAONE’07!

  27. Cestmir Konecny

    Dear Jonathan,
    Happy New Year to you!
    On September 19, 2006 I sent the SW technology proposal to Sun.
    This document (patent application) represents quite a lot of work I have done. Since that time I have received three messages from the Sun: “We still working on your request, please be patient..”
    Please, send me some statement, negative is welcomed too.
    This would be helpful for my current work and stop my attempts to contact Sun.
    Thank you very much
    Best regards
    Time is a mustang ..

  28. Lisa

    I appreciate your and Sun’s efforts at eco-responsibility. I’m happy to read 1) that you have solar panels on your roof, 2) that you have friends (Chris Keene) who drive Prius’s, and 3) about Sun’s eco-responsibility program.

  29. Prince

    hello Jonathan,
    SUNW at $6 + is indeed a sign of good things to come.
    I am confident of your leadership steering the ship to double digit

  30. Shari

    I have missed your blog. This is my favorite of them all. Sun is a GREAT PLACE TO WORK!!! Who needs a Porche (HOT WHEELS – model that is) when we have a CEO who blogs.

  31. It’s great to see your blog has Simplified Chinese versions. Do you know Chinese? or Someone is translating it?

  32. lakshmi

    Happy to hear that Sun CEO has an indian gene in him.
    Happy Newyear to u.
    Wish u and Sun all the success

  33. Taiwan

    to whoever censored my previous post,
    i am the guy who posted not long ago about a comment made by some guy named China. you allowed his post about Taiwan is a part of China crap and you DISALLOWED my post about Taiwan is NOT a part of China. i know you guys want to do business in China but censorship is never a good thing especially for a company like SUN. Come on guys, DO NO EVIL!!

  34. HAPPY NEW YEAR Jonathan… It is good to know that you have an indian connection.. I did hear about it from my friends but it was hard for me to beleive it Now that it got confirmed by you, I am really happy to tell them that they were right! Just curious to know Have you ever or how many times visited India ?

  35. Cyndee Soriano

    I am elated to hear that Jonathan also has SOLAR PANELS for his home just like me. We are models to the rest of California. COME ON, the rest of you, just like our honorable Governor says, get with it and buy those SOLAR PANELS!!!

  36. Simply amazed at your mixed breeding.

  37. Ilgaz

    Lets hope you don’t hear Mr. Jobs recent comments about Java and why it isn’t needed on iPhone 🙂
    Would be a bad year start.
    Seriously, someone from Sun, highest level should explain why every phone comes with J2ME and why it became such a standard everyone agrees.
    Perhaps there is a way to change Apple’s decision.

  38. Looking at the photo of the museum, it really doesn’t look like the hang out for Interpol’s top 10. Kids can be just as terrifying though. Potential for damage… high!

  39. Ituloy, Sun doesn’t make Java for Mac OS X, they forced Apple into a position where they had to write a compatible JRE and JDK, and Apple in the end not only made their own version but added Cocoa and interface bindings, and an optimized shared memory mechinism to offset concurrent application Java memory consumption.
    Maybe in Sun doing so caused Apple to not consider adopting J2ME at all. J2ME and J2SE aren’t fully open-source yet, and the classpath won’t be. The GPL is also very viral and makes the open version hard to use with non-GPL operating systems, including BSD, Solaris and Windows.
    I really wish Sun itself would just get it over with and take charge of Java on FreeBSD and Mac OS X, since they drift for a few months between releases. I think Sun loves Windows since they apparently think it is the only desktop OS. Mac OS X accounts for 50+ million users these days, I personally own two machines and do almost all UNIX work on them. I also do some work on an Ultra 80 which I just bought, and I’m hoping Sun doesn’t drop support for it for a few years since it is a good machine.
    I think Sun’s per socket support pricing is overkill, my Ultra 80 is quad socket, and would cost me like 2000 bucks for standard coverage, that makes no sense. The quad core Intel systems cost one socket at 720 for standard coverage, maybe you guys should charge less for SPARC since they are expensive to get in the first place. You need to charge for every two cores and every two sockets, but not double. Just because a system has 4 processors doesn’t make any sense why it’d cost more, it isn’t less reliable, or more costly for you to support, they cost the user more for electricity which you don’t pay, give us a break. I’m not even buying support regardless of how many sockets my machine has, because the pricing is overkill to begin with on both platforms.
    The iPhone is touch screen and they probably don’t intend for it to be used as a PDA, since PDA’s can get somewhat messed up due to the ability to add software. The iPhone is based on ARM, not PowerPC or x86, so it isn’t running a Mac OS X derivative, my guess is that it is a home grown embedded OS with aesthetic design elements carried over from basic elements of Aqua and Apple Human Interface Design Guidelines. I’d like for ZDNet’s stupid security and IT complexity articles to be de-railed regarding the iPhone, they’re very ignorant amongst most their other articles.
    Jonathan, for some reason my posts never make it onto the blog, and I’m not using vulgar words.

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