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A Conversation with Jim Gray

Written by Bill Graziano on 17 September 2003

Who would ever, in this time of the greatest interconnectivity in human history, go back to shipping bytes around via snail mail as a preferred means of data transfer? (Really, just what type of throughput does the USPS offer?) Jim Gray would do it, that's who. And we're not just talking about Zip disks, no sir; we're talking about shipping entire hard drives, or even complete computer systems, packed full of disks.

Gray, head of Microsoft's Bay Area Research Center, sits down with Queue and tells us what type of a voracious appetite for data could require such extreme measures. A recent winner of the ACM Turing Award, Gray is a giant in the world of database and transaction-processing computer systems. Before Microsoft, he worked at a few companies you might know: Digital, Tandem, IBM, and AT&T. He's also a member of the Queue Editorial Advisory Board.