I knew Mark Finlay through his emails. He was smart, insightful, and helpful. Most of all, he understood how people use computers, and he conveyed that knowledge to the GNOME community to make a great desktop. In every conversation that had an interface or usability issue, I waited to read Mark's opinions. I was surprised to learned he started at Trinity this fall, and was 'studying' computer science and learning Java. In GNOME's meritocracy, he had quickly risen to the top because he had talent way beyond his youth.
Maybe Mark excelled because he knew he had little time to leave his mark on this world. He has achieve some immortality, because his emails are archived, and his ideas are in GNOME. We had such great expectations from him.
I'll miss you Mark.