A couple of people have asked, so here is a copy of the speech I gave at TNC2013, remembering Milan.
It’s an honour to be asked to stand here today and talk about Milan Sova. I could easily spend much of this time talking about the significant impact Milan had on the TERENA community. For many of us, he was the authoritative source for all things PKI and his insight and sharp mind help to form and shape REFEDS, the TERENA Certificate Service and eduroam to name just a few. Milan was part of the programme committee for this meeting; he very much should be here today.
When we learnt the sad news of Milan’s passing on the 31st December last year, what struck me the most were the memories, stories and anecdotes of Milan that people shared. I’d like to share some of those with you now, using the words of his many many friends in our world.
Milan could say No better than anyone else I know. It was always immediately followed by a detailed and insightful argument explaining why no was the right answer – and he was normally right. He was also very good at asking Why, and when I remember the input that Milan had in all of our many meetings and discussions I will always consider the importance of No, and the importance of Why.
Many of us had the ability to frustrate Milan a lot. There is a specific eduroam picture that was sure to see Milan putting his head on the desk in despair. He thought our endless discussions on federation names were amusing…but he was very patient with us. When Philippe developed the logo for his company AnyRoam, Milan looked at the proposal with a completely blank face. As Philippe began to panic and ask what was wrong Milan replied, no you do not understand, this is a good reaction. I did not say no.
Milan travelled the world not only for TERENA but also as part of his engagement with IETF and the IGTF and many of you had the opportunity to share those journeys with him. Whether it was getting lost in the snow, queuing for US SIM cards, or smiling as Milan ordered his standard of ‘green tea’ amongst a sea of beer orders, we all have personal memories of those trips. For me, the expression on Milan’s face as Heather and I explained the plot of a certain popular book will stay with me forever.
We will miss his sense of humour, his companionship and the insights and knowledge he shared with us. There is no way to adequately express our thanks for Milan but on behalf of TERENA we would like to present this small gift to CESNET for the CESNET office in memory of Milan and with our gratitude and remembrance.