The author of the enormously popular freeware network tool PING, Mike Muuss, died in a Maryland car crash last night.
The accident happened at 9.30pm (New York time) on route 95 as a result of a previous accident. Mike hit a car stuck in the middle of the road and was pushed into the path of an oncoming tractor.
Mike Muuss was a highly respected senior scientist at the US Army Research Lab in Maryland and specialised in geometric modelling, virtual reality, MIMD architectures, digital networks and OSes.
He was well known to the Internet community - always helpful and knowledgeable (and frequently witty) about his subject and will be sorely missed. He wrote a number of software packages and network tools but PING is the one he'll be most remembered for.
He was always a little bemused at the popularity of the thousand-line PING software, which he wrote in a surprisingly short time, and always said he would have spent more time on it had he known how popular it would become.
Due to its simplicity and usefulness (and, of course, the fact it was free) it was quickly hard written into a large number of apps including Windows 95 and NT. Usenix gave him a lifetime achievement award on the back of it. ®