It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Rich Brueckner. His passing is an unexpected and enormous blow to both his family and our HPC family.
Rich was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 12, 1962. His first taste of combining HPC and writing was at Cray Research, where he crafted technical documents that were widely used in the company and with customers.
His career with large technology vendors spanned 25 years. In addition to Cray, Rich also held key marketing positions at Silicon Graphics and Sun Microsystems. In 2010, Rich purchased InsideHPC and found his true calling. Over the years, he’s published innumerable articles and literally thousands of videos. He also founded InsideBIGDATA along the way.
Rich was an institution in the HPC community. You couldn’t go to an event without seeing his red hat bobbing in the crowd, usually trailed by a fast-moving video crew. He’d be darting into booths, conducting interviews, and then speeding away to his next appointment. But Rich would never be too busy to exchange a back-slap or hug with friends as he traveled the show floor.
One of the most important pieces of information at any trade show was the location of Rich’s home base for evening activities. At the SC shows, you’d always have to find someone in the know to get this information, since the cities changed every year. But at ISC In Frankfurt, it was always the patio bar at the Marriott. You could find him there every evening either working or holding court or usually both.
While the venue of these events was different in every city, one thing was the same – there was always great conversation and loud laughter. The mixture of people was always amazing – marketing types sitting next to physics professors sitting next to designers of the largest supercomputers in the world.
Many ideas, good and otherwise, came out of these sessions, including the idea of portraying the leaders in supercomputing with sock puppets. These were heady times with Rich’s distinctive laugh ringing out all night long.
Please join Rich’s friends and colleagues from the HPC community to celebrate the life of a most extraordinary man, ‘the man in the red hat.’ Rich’s Celebration of Life will be a Zoom meetings that will take place on Tuesday, June 2, from 4-6pm EST – Learn More
His Midwest roots kept him grounded and easily approachable, which is why he was loved by so many. One thing that always shone through with Rich is his genuine interest in people regardless of their background – our Rich was no snob. Rich was one of those guys who you called “solid.” This means that you knew he’d always be there if you needed an answer to a question, wanted to discuss a new business idea, or just needed to talk to a friend.In his coverage of the HPC market, he was tireless and thorough. What Rich brought to the table was a deep curiosity about computing and science, and the people that made the two happen.
He was an incredibly hard worker. In addition to his voluminous output for InsideHPC, Rich also found the time to write several works of fiction and film charitable documentaries. This content probably isn’t familiar to the HPC community, links to it can be found on the “About” page of InsideHPC.
While Rich has passed on, his legacy will continue. InsideHPC, will continue to operate, grow, and become even more influential. He will of course live on in the stories we tell when we’re together and the memories we have when we’re alone. Rich, we who knew you will never forget you, you left us wanting more.
(In lieu of flowers and because Rich was an avid dog lover, Rich’s family asks that donations be made to Multnomah County Animal Services.)
This announcement was written by Dan Olds with assistance from Timothy Prickett Morgan and republished with the permission of insideHPC.