folks , it' s time to adopt some religion.
Steve put all his energy and hope in airplanes (20+), it's insane and unhealthy.
he didn't have a full life as he claimed as well, consider his 4 kids left behind...
WRT Steve Appleton, he led a truly unique company. They had (I'm a bit out of touch with recent activity) a lot of internal R&D and didn't hesitate to develop their own solutions. In fact, in some areas with which I was familiar, they had some predatory IP of their own. I think you'll find that any large and successful (as judged by relative longevity) company will tend to be that way.
Well, as an "outsider" at the same JEDEC meetings that RAMBUS was banned from, the description from webserver227 above is quite different from the many companies attending. These included Micron, ATI, Hynix, Infineon, Intel, and many others. I don't want to badmouth Rambus, other than to say that there are two sides to the story.
It saddens me for so many of these comments to be focused on the RDRAM situation. There is so much more to the Steve Appleton story. There are few CEO's that are so approachable, so generous to their communities, and willing to forego salary during hard times. He will be missed.
Aside from Confucious getting lost in translation, Appleton took his chances and paid the price. There are other high profile pilots (such as John Travolta and David Gilmour) who fly safely and grow old. The first rule of doing something dangerous is "Don't screw up". If you can't guarantee that, don't do it.
Nice piece Peter. As you say, Steve played a sometimes poor hand of cards well. As a pilot myself, I also am very sorry to see that cause his death. Yes, those who never take risks may have a longer lifespan, but ultimately what's the point of life unless you make something of it.
In the movies, the coward guy normally runs to the cops for plea agreement for immunity. That is exactly what Appleton did after the doj investigated priing fixing charges during the time when Intel was transitioning to RDRAM for an amestry agreement and no Micron employees went to jail.