Programming Blog

Jeremy Morgan

Mostly Coherent Ramblings of a Silicon Forest Software Developer

Greg Peckham - 1966 - 2012

In Memory of Greg Peckham

You’ve probably never heard of Greg Peckham. Yet the very website you are reading this on likely wouldn’t exist without him. That’s why I decided to dedicate this site to him, even though the site itself is named after me. I’ll explain in better detail.

I started this site in 1997 or so, then lost the domain and got it back on my sister’s birthday in 2001. At first I didn’t really have any real vision or direction for the site, i just wanted the domain and kind of used it as a pack-rat junkyard to store my crap. I hosted some of my amatuer photograpy. Sometime around 2006 I decided to start using it to spread information that would actually be of use to somebody.

I started posting articles about SEO and not suprisingly I set up the site to be recieved well by search engines. It took off slow but then a few bursts of traffic happened and soon I had a regular audience here, and kept writing stuff as much as I could. Soon it took off like crazy and people not only read what I had to say but started asking for more.

Now it’s a pretty popular website about Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Programming. I don’t make a bunch of money off it and that was never really the goal. All I’ve really wanted was to help people, teach them so they can start doing the awesome stuff that I’m doing. I’m so passionate about software development that I want EVERYONE who wants to do it to learn! I am not stingy with my skills or holding knowledge close so nobody shows me up, I want everyone to succeed. That’s why I built this site.

But why would I do that, and where did I get such an idea? Why on earth does it make sense to me to help others, even if it means creating my own competition?

Greg Peckham, that’s where.

About Greg

Greg was my Uncle, and a guy I liked right from the start. When I first met him I thought he looked like Weird Al Yankovich, which wasn’t a bad thing because I was a huge fan of him ( and still am ). Greg also had that sense of humor, where you just laugh at the world and all it’s crazyness. It was hard not to like Greg. If you were around him, you were laughing. He made sure of it.

Greg was also a “fixer”. He was a very intelligent man who always seemed to either know how things worked, or he could figure it out very quick. And it seemed no matter what it was if it was broken he could fix it. This helped him immensely with something he was very passionate about: Computers. Greg ended up becoming a logistics manager for Epson, then Sequent computers which later became a part of IBM.

When Greg was a teenager playing with Computers in the late 70s and early 80s you really had to know what you were doing. Computers at that time were not very intuitive and required a lot of intense study, but of course he worked at it and became a computer whiz. It in the late 80s and early 90s that I started bugging him because I had also been bitten by this bug.

By the time I’d gotten into computers they were easier to use but still nothing like they are today. We didn’t have a lot of books and manuals to tell us what to do and geeks were few and far between. Look it up on the internet? Well I hadn’t even connected to that yet. If I really wanted to know something I would ask uncle Greg. If he didnt have the answer he knew where to find it.

The Attitude

I’ll never forget the way Greg used to deal with me as a teenager. I had always made sure to research stuff before I asked him a question, because I didn’t want to waste his time and more importantly as a teenager I didn’t want to look like an idiot to someone I really looked up to. So when I came to him with a problem I made sure it was a good one. He always sat down with me and explained things in a simple way and made sure I understood. He never talked down to me or tried to make me feel dumb. He always wanted to build me up and make me feel better.

HIs attitude was always the same, he just wanted to help. Whether it was something like hex editing an executable to “extend” the demo time of a game or giving me a sweet ATA command for my modem, or fixing something that was broke, he always wanted to help out. He could have told me to learn it on my own. He could have decided that HE would be the computer guy of the family and prevent others from stealing the title. He could have been smug and told me to figure out on his own but he never did. He always tried his best to help others be like him.

That’s the attitude I try to replicate on this site. I don’t care if you take this stuff I teach you and become a better programmer or SEO than me. I don’t care if you take something from here and build on it and make millions. In fact, I have mentored a few people over the years who have passed me up in their careers. Am I upset or jealous? Hell no, I think it’s great! I’d rather have that happen then see them end up not acheiving their best. I owe this type of selfless, helping others attidude to my Uncle Greg.

Helping others succeed will make you feel far better than spending your time trying to outdo and trump others, and that’s something I learned from Greg. True success is being happy with who you are and doing what you love. You can climb the ladder of success in any area of life without being selfish or pushing others down.

When the tide rises so do all the boats, right? He was dedicated to this philosophy and so am I.

Greg’s Legacy

So what did Greg Peckham leave this world? As I mentioned earlier you’ve likely never heard of Greg, he was not a famous person or super public tech superstar that everyone knew. He was not a young startup CEO dynamo and he wasn’t a millionaire playboy. But Greg Peckham has influenced the world of tech. He mentored me and many others, in both a technical way and a spirtual way. Greg taught me things with an attidude I’ll never forget and then I went on as an adult and started teaching others. I have been out in the business world developing software for over a decade and teaching and mentoring others where i can. I use this site to teach thousands of people the skills and tips I know, and those people spread it out too. I’ll leave this world not being the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but I’ll help some people who will in turn help other people, and technology moves forward in such ways.

Greg will be missed by me and lots of other people, but he’s still around.