John "Jack" Perdue '96
April 6, 2021 9:38 AM
updated: April 6, 2021 9:59 AM
John “Jack” Kimbal Perdue
April 11, 1964 - February 5th, 2021
John “Jack” Kimbal Perdue recently returned to his Mother’s arms on February 5th, 2021. Following a year of general weakness and frailty, it was finally discovered that his body was filled with metastatic cancer on January 30th. He was brought to his home two
days later to receive hospice care surrounded by friends and family. Jack passed quietly and peacefully while enjoying his favorite music by Pink Floyd with his sister and father at his side. In facing his imminent mortality, he said “I have lived as I wished”.
Jack was born in a military hospital on Webb Air Force Base April 11th, 1964 in Big Spring, TX. His parents John R. Perdue and Sandra Rider Perdue welcomed him into this world as their first of two children. He resided in Houston, England, Tampa and eventually
back to the Houston area where he grew up in Bellaire and Kingwood. Jack participated in the Cub & Boy Scouts and played a few sports such as soccer, baseball, football and swim team. He got to travel to Europe as part of a group from his school in the summer
of 1977. In high school Jack joined the KHS’s Acting and Debating Squad (KADS) where he enjoyed debate. Initially attending Humble High School, Jack was in the very first class of seniors to graduate from the new Kingwood High School in 1982. His real passion
was computers and here’s his explanation of why he eventually called himself “Silicon Slick”:
Circa 1978 as a freshman at a humble high school in the great state of Texas I was introduced to computers by the husband of the Science Club’s teacher. My first class IIRC, taught by Mr. C. ("Mike"), demonstrated what an Apple II was capable of doing.
Unfortunately, at the time, my Humble High School had nothing like it to offer, the most sophisticated piece of technology being a teletype (TTY) machine hooked up through an acoustic modem (plug the phone handset in when you hear the funny noises... e.g. Matthew
Brodrick's "War Games") to the central Humble ISD office for some time-shared computing.
Not particularly exciting (TTY graphics suk when you've seen the Apple II’'s).
Given the lack of computing facilities at school, I resorted to vandalism. I made it a point, every time I visited the mall, to visit Radio Shack and type the following into every one of their TRS-80 based systems in sight:
10 PRINT "********* WELCOME TO RADIO SHACK **************"
20 GOTO 10
I shiver to think of the fear and panic I caused through such actions.
Fortunately, as I progressed through the school system, the computer systems progressed as well. By my junior year, at a new school of highness, we had a lab full of Apple II’s.... life was good. And then I went to college... wow... card punch… really.... Wow…
SILICON SLICK became my online persona (since 1984)
The summer of ‘82 Jack worked as a programmer for Trimarand Associates. He attended Texas A&M University that fall. Over the next 3 years he would work summers and winter breaks with Trimarand. He took a break from college and worked in the field as a Computer
Programmer/Administrator while staying in College Station, TX. He created his own business 6S - Silicon Slick’s Software, Supplies & Support Services. Which provided support in solving hardware and software problems in the PC clone realm - from building computers
to developing software.
Jack eventually returned to TAMU to complete his Bachelors in Computer Science ‘96 and by the encouragement of his advisor Nancy, he also got his Masters of Science ‘98. His thesis: Developing a Cost Model for Communication on a Symmetric Multiprocessor which
had to do with High-Performance Computing, Parallel Processing and Scientific Computing. He also attempted his PhD and completed most of the coursework, but the thesis was his nemesis and he eventually left the program.
Working with various employers in the years following, Jack landed at TAMU’s High Performance Research Computing where he continued until his death. His most recent position was as the Lead System Administrator working on their newest supercomputer named Grace.
One of Jack’s greatest pleasures this century was attending the annual Quakecon conference and having the opportunity to wear his “Medic” hat when playing Quake and Return to Castle Wolfenstein. His role inside the games was to help others, yet outside the
game he was also known for helping others by bringing extra cables and supplies. He had a brilliant mind and he was honest and kind. Jack leaves behind his father John Perdue of Houston, TX and his sister Pamela Perdue of Winter Park, FL. He is preceded in
death by his mother Sandra Rider Perdue.