A long time ago, I got to be the editor of Jon Udell's BYTE column, which gave me the opportunity to work with one the smartest guys I've met. Of course, my first rewrite of his first column didn't go over too well (our editor neglected to tell me to leave his text alone), but after a brief email exchange we reached a good working relationship: he wrote and I submitted to the copydesk without changing anything. :-)
Jon's a true synthesist able to look at emergent technologies and extrapolate the future. Get him to tell you about his d-http application (distributed HTTP) written in Perl in about 1996 as one example.
In any event, he's now joining Jeff Sandquist's team at Microsoft. Check out at least one classic reaction to the news. I'm really looking forward to see how Jon changes Microsoft.