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The Rodney O. Lain Archive

What Ever Happened to Don Crabb?

Rodney O. Lain - 2000.01.20

This article was originally published on The, a site which no longer exists. It is copyright 2000 by RAC Enterprises, which also seems to no longer exist. It is thus reprinted here without permission (which we would gladly obtain if possible). Links have been retained when possible, but many go to the Internet Wayback Machine.

Note: Talk about scary timing. As soon as I'd published this article early this a.m., I began to receive e-mail concerning Dr. Crabb's whereabouts. The sad news on his condition follows the end of this article below. RL

I was going through some of my older columns last night, trying to archive them on my home page. That's when I noticed a column that Id written a few months ago, titled "Say it ain't so: Apple to sell itself to highest bidder?" This column was written in response to Don Crabb's Internet pontification that Apple was prepping itself to sell off the family jewels, the crown jewels and anything else of value.

For the uninitiated, the eminent Don Crabb is arguably the dean of Mac journalism, having at one time been known to put out a voluminous amount of regular columns and articles for several print- and Internet Mac publications. He did all of this while holding a "day job" as a professor of computer science at the University of Chicago. He moonlights for high-profile publications like Mac Today, as well as on-line zines like MacCentral. On top of this, he has a popular radio show and a column for one of the Chicago newspapers.

The last Id read from him (other than his current Mac Today stuff), he was getting a big wrinkle between his eyebrows over a few bones of contention he had with the current Apple management, and he wrote from that perspective.

Some writers on the Mac web took umbrage at his critical commentary and responded with jihad-like articles like "Don Crabb is smoking crack." ( I'm not kidding. Keep in mind that this was during Apple's recovery from the dark days of 1997-98 and every Mac user was in a collective siege mentality.) Hindsight shows that he had valid concerns and brought to the fore valid points that needed to be addressed. He asked hard questions.

And then, suddenly - in my mind, anyway - I began to find fewer and fewer of his writings.

What happened, Don? I understand that you may have pared back your writing chores to make way for the things that really pay the bills, but wed like to think that you keep abreast of the Mac community and computer industry. I, for one, valued your insights. Id be interested to hear whether or not your concerns expressed back then have been allayed, or do you still stand by them

So, stick around, and let us know what's on your mind.


- Rodney O'Neal Lain

Note: the following is posted on the web site for Dr. Crabb's radio show, "Crabb on Computers":

Don Crabb was supposed to get married on Saturday, December 4, but it didn't happen. He hadn't been feeling well for several weeks and, while preparing for the ceremony, he collapsed.

It was discovered that he was suffering from a blood infection which had also lead to kidney failure. He was in critical condition for several days and remained in the Intensive Care Unit for about a week.

The good news is that Don is feeling much better. He talked on the air with Steve & Johnnie on Wednesday, December 29. He told them "I'm making a strong recovery." He's currently in a rehabilitation center undergoing dialysis as his kidneys return to their normal function (which they are doing). He's also going through physical therapy to regain strength after two weeks in a hospital bed.

Don told Steve & Johnnie that he is glad to be alive and he is grateful to the people at Good Samaritan Hospital for saving his life. He says he has lost a lot of weight and is feeling a lot healthier, and Steve & Johnnie agreed that Don sounded much better than he did even a week ago. He hopes to be out of the hospital by the end of next week. Don is looking forward to getting back to work, but he's taking the advice of Janet (his fiancee) and making sure his health comes first.

We'll continue to keep you posted. In the meantime, you can send wishes to (although his e-mailbox is currently being overwhelmed) or, better yet, mail them to Don Crabb, WGN Radio, 435 N Michigan Av, Chicago IL 60611.

Rodney O. Lain is The iMac's Associate Editor. A former professor, he lives in St. Paul, MN, where he is a freelance writer and a supervisor at a major US corporation. He enjoys comic books and pencil drawing. He adores Mike Royko, Zora Hurston, Lewis Grizzard, Maya Angelou, John Byrne, bell hooks, Frank Miller and Henry Louis Gates. He also writes for Low End Mac, Applelinks and My Mac Magazine. When no one's looking, he rants and raves on his home page Free Your Mind & Your Behind Will Follow.

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