Eulogy text for +Christopher Yeoh
. Having gone to University with Chris (eulogized so beautifully by Susie Hopton and Iain Lockyer), and brought him to work at Maptek, then Linuxcare, it fell to me to describe his work, such a large part of his life.
Chris was an engineer. A good one. He was also a fan of Star Trek, a
show built on the premise that engineers make and fix the world we
live in, and a faith in what humans can do with technology.
That attitude is was what made him so valuable on every project he
joined. He was quiet, humble, and determined to fix stuff: to get it
Right. He never sought glory or the pinnacle of success, yet he always reached the summit of any group he joined. He did everything, as long as it was hard, and he never complained. Chris worked on projects around the world; he held his own among the best of the best, and all the time having far more humility than most.
He worked on software, and he worked on standards, critical stuff
which we take for granted. His work is all around us; he truly
engineered the world we live in. The majority of the internet's
servers meet the standards he helped set. He worked on message passing performance: if you're running a supercomputer these days, you're almost certainly running his code. If you're one of the 1 billion people walking around with an Android phone in your pocket, you're carrying a little bit of Chris' code with you.
Yet he was so polite and undemanding, he never blew his own
trumpet. Iain said he didn't even have a trumpet. So it might
be easy to miss his dedication or the breadth of his achievements,
but I worked with him for 20 years and I saw it every time we spoke.
One story I want to share today; a legendary programmer and friend
"Tridge", needed a haircut. He was horrified by the prices charged at
the nearby salon. The result was that we got to see Tridge with a
plastic salad bowl over his head, and Chris cutting his hair with
stationery scissors. Chris did mention that it was harder than it
looked, but he was an engineer, and always willing to try to fix
When I visited Chris on Sunday night, one of the first things he said
to me was "I'm going to have to find someone to do my presentation
at CBIT next month". Chris loved his work, loved sharing it, and
didn't want to let anyone down.
You didn't let anyone down Chris. You were a stellar engineer,
admired and respected by the hundreds of people you have worked with
around the globe.
And I'm proud to have been your friend.