Joe Miller

The news of Joe Miller’s passing has been circulating through the SL community for the last 24 hours, and has included a short tribute to his time with Linden Lab published on the Lab’s blog.

Mr. Miller served as the Lab’s Vice President of Platform and Technology Development from May 2006 through until December 2010, and as such, oversaw many of the key technical developments within Second Life.

Joe Miller's alter-ego at the Lab: Joe Linden, as seen on his Twitter page
Joe Miller’s alter-ego at the Lab: Joe Linden, as seen on his Twitter page

These included such activities as moving the grid away from the traditional “black Wednesday” downtimes while things were being banged upon for around eight hours, and users were faced with having to find something else to do with their online time; overseeing the arrival of voice in Second Life; improving the look of SL with the introduction of Windlight; and improving the overall stability of the viewer.

Throughout all of this, Mr. Miller, through his robotic alter-ego, Joe Linden, was popular among SL users, and not averse to meeting residents and participating in meetings. Via the Lab’s own podcast series, Inside the Lab, he discussed many of the challenges involved in running a service such as Second Life which, as Ciaran Laval (who has my thanks for providing the link) pointed out, can be as pertinent today as they were six years ago.

I didn’t actually get to meet by Joe Miller in-world while he worked at the Lab, but we did seem to share something of a passion for space exploration and astronomy. On Twitter and elsewhere, he would point to stunning astronomy and space images; one in particular that springs to mind is also a favourite of mine – a shot of the Earth and the Moon sitting against a backdrop of stars as captured in 2010 by NASA’s Messenger space vehicle when it was 183 million kilometres away, en route to a rendezvous with Mercury.

Joe Miller (Joe Linden) remembered in the show (Image: Sportvision.com)
Joe Miller, a keen sports fan, joined Sportvision as VP, Engineering after leaving Linden Lab in 2010 (image courtesy of Sportvision.com)

Outside of his tenure at Linden Lab, joe Miller had a wide-range career in technology spanning some 30 years, and included time at Atari, Convergent Inc., Sega America and SegaSoft Inc. At the latter two, he respectively served as Senior Vice President, Product Development; and Executive Vice President, CTO, and board member.

Alongside of this, he also founded a number of companies and organisations during his career, including the Perilux Group, a product design company, which was engaged to develop several award-winning products now offered by LeapFrog (he is credited as one of the co-inventors of the original Leapster hand-held educational gaming console for young children), Bright Things, Apple, and Fitniks. He also founded the Knowledge Universe Interactive Studio, where he served as both President and CEO as well as serving on the board of directors.

Following his departure from the Lab, he went on to work at Sportvision Inc, as Vice President, Engineering,

Mr. Miller passed away peacefully on July 27th, 2014, with his family at his side. A memorial page has been established by his family where those who know him can remember him and perhaps leave a few words.

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2 thoughts on “Joe Miller

  1. I was saddened to learn of Joe Miller’s passing. I had a pleasure of working with Joe on several occasions as he was in charge of formulating Linden Lab’s policy on third party viewers and the creation of TPV directory among other things. He earned tremendous respect by not being one of those executives that used excuses like “lawyers insist on that”, but used common sense and actually stood up for what was best for the company he was working for and its customers. As an example of that, the first draft on the TPV policy had “shared experience” clause, that basically prevents any innovation coming fromt the third party viewer developers. Joe organized a meeting with us, heard all our comments, and actually went back to the drafting board with Linden Lab legal team and insisted that “shared experience” clause be removed from the policy. He stood out in the corporate culture that would normally very rarely take any action based on the wishes of their users. Linden Lab lost a great deal when Joe left, and now, sadly, the rest of the world is poorer by one great man.

    Liked by 1 person

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