Bill Joy finished his 21-year career at Sun Microsystems, the huge technology company he helped create and build, early last September. At that time,
Sun sent out a press release to announce that its chief scientist was leaving and had no definite plans. This was true: Joy had only vague notions of
what he would do next. As he departed, he told a reporter he wanted to sit down and relax with a glass of wine and a blank sheet of paper. This was
perhaps not so true: it's hard to imagine Joy with a blank sheet of paper. Thoughts and ideas pile up furiously in his notebooks; diagrams and
scribbles and equations issue forth at all hours of the day and night. When Joy, 49, finally moved out of a small Sun office in downtown Aspen, where
he had worked since the late 1980's, he had to archive 900 pounds of professional papers. Then it took him months to go through his personal records,
which filled 20 fireproof file cabinets.
June 7, 2004