Rememberance Day: Scott Lamberton - Rest In Peace
I don't remember exactly when I first met Scott Lamberton. I know I have been receiving email from him since 2007 when he started writing to me about an LPI newsletter, and wondering if I would be willing to contribute to it.
Scott became my conduit for submitting blog articles about the Linux and Open Source world and discussing programs that LPI was about to launch. In the process of creating these pieces, I got to know Scott very well.
Scott was very much a well-travelled “Canadian”, with a world view that I often found refreshing. My travels round the world, particularly to “emerging economies” (as I would call them) fascinated Scott. Often our conversations started off in email, with some ideas for the blog topic traded back and forth, but often escalated to video calls over Skype that could entail each of us drinking beer and talking until we were exhausted.
Scott was one of the people at LPI that was interested in bringing training and certification to developing countries. He was instrumental in getting me in contact with countries like Kenya, and enjoyed having me write about them when I returned from the trip.
It was Scott who encouraged me to write the “Software for a Small Country and Planet” series, and it was Scott who told me when blogs resonated with readers. He knew how to bring out the creativity in the people around him.
Of course Scott and I did not always agree on everything. From time to time the blog entries I wrote for LPI were rejected, mostly due to “business” issues, where Scott considered that I was a little too harsh on certain closed-source companies. These articles often appeared on the Linux Pro Magazine blog site instead of LPI's site. One time I was so mad at Scott for rejecting a blog that I did not talk to him for two weeks.....but we made up over Skype and carried on.
During these sessions Scott often talked about his family and what they meant to him. He also believed strongly in what LPI was doing, by providing a good, inexpensive way to certify GNU/Linux systems administrators. He was proud it was based in Canada, and that he had “a small part” in making it happen. He was so excited when Linux Essentials was created because it gave him a way to combine two of his loves, Linux and time with his treasured daughter.
Scott accepted people for who they were. He was 500% supportive when I announced that I was gay, and there was no perceivable difference in the way he treated me after the announcement that before, other than it gave us yet something else to discuss from time to time.
As blog readers know, I travel a lot and when I am traveling sometimes the Internet and communications is not as good as I would like it. Many times this resulted in “Urgent” messages from Scott when we had not communicated well in the previous weeks. The last of these was a week ago. Scott had another idea for the blog series, and asked that I call him. I had been traveling in Brazil for three weeks, had just gotten back to my house and was in the process of catching up with email when Medina Dupuis, a long time employee of LPI and good friend to Scott, sent me email telling me that he had passed away.
Even later I found the voice mail message from Scott asking me to call him at my first possible opportunity. It is with great regret that I did not hear that earlier and act on it, as it would have given me a great feeling to have had one more discussion and one more beer with Scott.