8 Aug 2000 beldon   » (Apprentice)

Just got news today that an old friend and mentor of mine died on July 12.

"Dear Rob,

You introduced me, when I was 12, to the concept of computers, programming, logic circuits, and mathematics. I fell in love with all but the last of these at that young age as you were discovering them.

You immediately went into the sciences and I went more into music. As time went on, my love for computers and tech things never left me and I was able to teach myself most of the technologies I now use today.

I know you were a great supporter of Linux and Free Software. I know you had a number of DC LUG members working with you and encouraged the use of Linux on the basis of its technological strengths and open philosophy.

I've always looked up to you-- a true "Geek Big Brother" that I needed at a very vulnerable time in my life. I remember you teaching yourself Integral Calculus over a summer between your Junior and Senior year in High School. For fun, even!

Perhaps ironically, your death occurs at a time when I'm starting down the path you trod years before me. I begin calculus (well, pre-calc) this Fall semester in preparation for finishing my comp-sci degree. Strange to see that I've discovered a love of mathematics in reviewing my College Algebra.

And what eulogy would be complete without a list of regrets? I'm sorry I couldn't visit you more often this past year. I'm sorry we had that long period of non- contact. Mostly, I'm sorry that you won't be around anymore.

Even when we were out of contact, you always were-- and will still be-- a mentor and model for me to look up to.

I wish you peace on your journey, and hope we will meet again somewhere, somewhen.

With much love and great admiration, your friend


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