Sun. Jan 21, 2018 A sad day for all of us

By on January 21st, 2018 in guest post - nick, Uncategorized

12:40pm. Bob passed away last night at the rehab center around 9pm. I had spent the afternoon with him. He was talking fairly clearly but coughing up a lot of junk from his lungs. I was at home when the rehab center called me last night. The nurse had just been in to check on him to settle him for the night. She went back in a few minutes later and he had stopped breathing. EMS got tried for everything but he was just too weak. His heart just could not take the strain of all the fluid. He had been battling that lung issue for about six weeks and it was not getting any better. The rehab facility was taking good care of him especially the respiratory folks. Frances and Al were at the rehab center when I arrived. Once the funeral home came to take him we left for their house. Al drove up about 1:15am this morning. I am doing a few things here then heading back down to WS. There will be no funeral service. My friends are mostly in Winston. His are all over the world. I will be seeing friends at Frances and Al’s on Tuesday afternoon. I will not be back up here until later this week.
Hayworth Miller Funeral Home in Winston-Salem will post his obituary sometime later today or tomorrow.

Nick, I pass the baton to you.


My sincere and heartfelt condolences to you Barbara and to your friends and family.  Bob’s death is a shocking loss.

Our continued best wishes to OFD and his family, and anyone else in our extended circle…



129 Comments and discussion on "Sun. Jan 21, 2018 A sad day for all of us"

  1. CowboySlim says:


  2. dkreck says:

    So sorry to hear this. Regrets to Barbara and all.

  3. Jeffrey Bruss says:

    Robert Bruce Thompson, RIP.

    I have been reading his journal for closer to 20 years than 10.

    I only interacted with him a couple times. I went through a pipe phase about 10 years ago, and Bob gave me advice. Ironically, our most recent correspondence concerned the passing of Craig Tarler, who was a tobacconist we both used.

    Bob was one of the smartest people I knew. I rarely saw eye-to-eye with him politically – but his formidable intelligence alone was enough to make me question my positions.

    Thanks, Bob, for everything you wrote.

  4. MrAtoz says:

    Dear Barbara, I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, am at a loss for words. Bob was a great man. If there is anything I can do, please post or let Nick know. My condolences to yours and Bob’s families. I have tears right now.

    Nick, could you start a list where we can all record our emails to keep in touch? I don’t know if you can keep this board going.

    David “MrAtoz” Kickbusch
    zotarm “at” gmail “dot” com

  5. Nightraker says:


    I’m so sorry. Words fail.

  6. Ray Thompson says:

    Damn, I am shocked, stunned.

    Nothing I can add except to provide my condolences to Barbara and the rest of her family. One of the things I had contemplated was driving to RBT’s home and meeting him in person so we could disagree face-to-face about flashlights. This was all before the medical issues started. I will regret my lack of of doing so.

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    Dear Barbara, I am shocked, saddened, and dismayed by your loss.

    If there is anything a bunch of strangers/yet friends can do to help, please let us know. Bob was adamant that he would never monetize or charge for this site, but if a gofundme would help you, please, let us know.

    I’ll be honored to continue posting here as long as you want to keep the site up. There is a huge amount of collective learning here and a community that Bob built, and I’ll do what I can to keep it alive if that’s what you want.

    If, at some point in the future, you want me or any of the other commenters here to go thru Bob’s working manuscript for his prepping book, I’d be glad to do that too. There is probably plenty there that could be published at least electronically.

    In the mean time, we mourn for the loss of our friend, and the lost potential. We should also take time to celebrate the lifetime of achievement and accomplishment.


  8. Greg Norton says:

    Wow. Losing RBT and Dr. Pournelle within a few months of each other puts me at a loss for words.

    My condolences to you and Colin as well as the rest of your family.

  9. brad says:

    Sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. He will be missed.

    @Nick: I second the request above. Alternatively, maybe we could look into putting up a semi-private forum on a server somewhere. Semi-private meaning: anyone could join, but only on the invitation of another member.

    This journal of Bob’s is important – I think we should keep it going in some form.

  10. MrAtoz says:

    Perhaps Mr. SteveF could be approached to archive Bob’s prepping book. He has experience in editing.

  11. DadCooks says:

    Barbara, my words and thoughts cannot convey my greatest sincerest sympathy.

    Peace be with you Barbara. Bob is in a place of comfort now, watching over you and Colin.


  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    Guys, I’ll keep this going if Barbara wants to keep it open, there is so much here.

    In case things get lost in the shuffle, my email is flandrey at aol which is a dotcom. I’ll be happy to collect email addresses toward a future forum.

    To be honest (since prepping is my life) I’d considered setting up a backup wordpress or other free forum but didn’t know if there would be interest in continuing there, and it seemed premature. Daily blogging is a tremendous amount of work. Daily commenting and sharing a discussion amongst friends is easy.

    This is probably a good point for RickH to pull a backup…


  13. Jim M says:

    My condolences to you, Barbara. Thank you for keeping us up to date.

  14. Miles_Teg says:

    I find it hard to believe that Bob’s gone, sorry about your loss.

  15. Dave says:

    I am sad to hear that Bob is gone. My condolences to Barbara.

  16. Mike Thompson says:

    I am very saddened. I had hoped to read about his experiences in the hospital with his usual lucidity. I didn’t always agree with his views, but I enjoyed reading them. RIP

  17. Robert Sprowl says:

    I’m so sorry. Never expected this.

    I’ve followed Robert so long I can’t remember when I didn’t.

  18. ech says:

    Wow. Speechless.

    Condolences to all.

  19. Frank Jenkins says:

    So sorry.

  20. Alan says:

    So sad. My condolences to Barbara, Colin and family.

  21. Dennis says:


    Heartfelt condolences to you. Reading this blog daily has been a comfortable habit for the last decade for me. Thank you for sharing your daily life with us and enriching our knowledge of the world as it was and how it could be…


  22. RickH says:

    Extremely sorry to hear about Bob’s passing. Have been visiting here for years, and will miss his presence.

    I am here to help with anything relating to the site(s). I can help with the export of posts relating to different subjects as an input for any ebooks (I have written a plugin that exports to HTML for ebook preparation). I can also take care of the hosting if needed, or set up a forum.

    I can also extract the emails of all correspondents here, and send them a special note for those that don’t visit as often.

    Let me know how I can help @nick and others, here or via email (rhellewell @ gmail dot com).

  23. DadCooks says:

    I have lost several friends recently, most way too young, so adding Bob to the list is heartbreaking.

    I am carefully reconsidering my Advanced Directive and other instructions I have given my family. I am also taking a careful look at what I am trying to accomplish with my prepping and what I will be leaving behind. Will it be of help or burden to my Wife and Kids’?

    I know that I am not the most popular or “in” person with this group, but I appreciate your indulgence and hope that within my rants, opinions, and recollections I have offered something of value to at least some of you.

    I am particularly missing OFD. While our military service was quite different I have had enough contact with real Combat Veterans that I have a great feeling of Brotherhood with him. I feel so powerless and know that my Brother needs us.

    We have enjoyed the anonymity of this Journal, who knows who/what we really are, but no matter, real or manufactured we have a bond and shared experience. I do hope that somehow we can continue to agree, disagree, and learn from one another.

    I have nothing but time. I am a Jack-Of-All-Trades and master of a few and though into my late 60s I have the ability to grasp today’s and tomorrow’s technology. If I can play any part in helping to keep this Journal and Robert’s Memory alive I will do what I can, whatever is asked.

    As a Navy Veteran who has supported the Marines, Army, and Air Force in many ways, my parting today is humble, sincere, and with great hope, particularly for OFD:
    Semper Fi! and a Who-Yah!

  24. Nick Flandrey says:


    There would be a lot of value in a sort of “collected commentary” on some of the topics. Does your plugin export just the posts or the comments too?

    Sending out a note would be a nice touch. Let’s wait until we can include a link to the obit and a note about the future.


  25. Nick Flandrey says:


    I always look forward to reading your point of view and your comments.


  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    Small note, if someone is archiving the site, please turn down your number of threads or simultaneous connections. I’m getting server errors, and other people probably are too.


  27. Gavin says:

    I’m sorry to hear, Barbara. My condolences to you, family and friends and all of the others who will be affected by Bob’s passing.

  28. Greg Norton says:

    Small note, if someone is archiving the site, please turn down your number of threads or simultaneous connections. I’m getting server errors, and other people probably are too.

    I noticed odd connection problems to this site on Thursday and Friday, while checking from work, but I chalked it up to the transparent proxy arrangement we have for the Internet inside the building.

  29. medium wave says:

    Mere words are inadequate to express my sorrow upon learning of Bob’s passing. My condolences and best wishes to you, Barbara.

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    I wasn’t on much yesterday, but I’ve been getting the connection errors only in the last hour or so today…

  31. Paddy Mcdonnell says:

    Been following RBT for years since Jerry P referred. Hoping for a positive outcome to these recent health issues but so sad to read today’s news.

  32. Vince says:

    My deepest condolences to Barbara and family.

    No words seem adequate right now.

  33. BillF says:

    Sad day. RBT has been a steady voice of intellegence for decades. Let’s try to keep this discussion going both for all of us and in memory of RBT.

  34. Dave says:

    I’ve been hanging out here for years, and will miss Bob’s entertaining writing and the fact that he always made me think, even if I didn’t agree with him.

    If any of the other regulars want to share their email address with me, you can comment on this post on my blog so I can have your email address. I plan on sharing this list with Nick and others, so if you don’t want me to share it privately with them, please say so in your comment.

  35. Dave says:

    I know that I am not the most popular or “in” person with this group, but I appreciate your indulgence and hope that within my rants, opinions, and recollections I have offered something of value to at least some of you.

    I have enjoyed every comment of yours I have seen. You’re at least as much a part of the group as I am. I think that of those who hang out here, most of us are at least a little Aspie so I’m not sure anyone other than our dear departed host was a part of the “in” crowd.

  36. JLP says:

    My deep and sincere condolences to Barbara.

    I logged on for the first time this weekend a few minutes ago and read of RBT’s passing. I involuntarily gasped and felt a wave of emotion.

    RBT and this site showed us what the internet can be: a positive and intelligent exchange of ideas and knowledge. Something very, very rare.

  37. lynn says:

    Dear Barbara, I am speechless. And stunned. Bob will be missed.

    I had truly hoped for his recovery.

  38. lynn says:

    In case things get lost in the shuffle, my email is flandrey at aol which is a dotcom. I’ll be happy to collect email addresses toward a future forum.

    @nick, you’ve got mail.

    To be honest (since prepping is my life) I’d considered setting up a backup wordpress or other free forum but didn’t know if there would be interest in continuing there, and it seemed premature. Daily blogging is a tremendous amount of work. Daily commenting and sharing a discussion amongst friends is easy.

    Please do so if you feel up to it. My business consumes all of my creative energy, in fact, all of my energy. It is not fair to ask Barbara to subsidize our meeting place. I am willing to help pay for the privilege.

  39. Nick Flandrey says:

    @lynn, thanks.

    I note the url of your comment–

    One Hundred Fourty One Thousand. That’s a lot of comments.


  40. liam says:

    long time lurker. sincere condolences. been reading Bob’s journal for years. he’ll be missed

  41. Rick Hellewell says:

    I have scheduled a backup to happen very late tonight, so as not to interfere with access.

    Do not worry about hosting of this place. It will be taken care of. The domain is registered until 2/2020, so no issues to worry about there.

    @nick: the plugin will export all content, but not the comments (although I could modify the plugin to do that also; although comments ‘drift’ away from the post sometimes). It will export by topic/tag, so I can export all of the content with ‘prepping’ as a tag, for example. The export is to an HTML file, then a bit of CSS and page break tweaking, and an ebook can be created and made available for purchase (to support Barbara) or whatever.

    All will be done according to Barbara’s wishes, of course … she is now the ‘owner’ of the content. I’m just here to help.

  42. DadCooks says:

    Tonight at 4:45 p.m. PST (sunset) I will pour 5 shots of my Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select.
    One for the memory of Robert Bruce Thompson.
    One for peace and comfort for Barbara Fritchman Thompson.
    One to remember and offer hopes and prayers for our friend who is MIA, Dave Hardy.
    One for all you folks who have followed Bob’s Journal, be it a day or decades.
    One for me in remembrance of friends present, past, and on eternal patrol.

    Finally I will take out my trumpet, play “Retreat” as my Son lowers our U.S. Flag and then “To the Colors”. Finally I will play “Taps”.

  43. MrAtoz says:

    I’ll be there in Spirit Mr. DadCooks. Submariners are the best.

  44. Phil says:

    My deepest condolences, this is a terrible personal loss for his family and his followers. It is also a loss for everyone that used his Science Kits and read his books.

    I have followed Bob since late 2002. We are very close in age and grew up with very similar experiences. Although, I did not agree with many of his views, I found that his positions were thought out and that he could defend them rationally. I did agree with him about education and I often recommended his books and kits. But most importantly I enjoyed my visits to this site. I looked foreword to and enjoyed his posts and the discussion that usually followed.

    I will miss him.

  45. paul says:

    My condolences to Barbara.

    What a shock.

    I don’t remember how I found this place. Perhaps a link to Daynotes via Tom Syroid or from The Pompous Git and his House of Steel. Or maybe from Jerry’s site. It’s been a long long time… from the days of 14.4 modems and having a 386 running WfW 3.11 that mostly worked to The Mighty 486/66 with the 800 Mb hard drive… the drive that fried and took the MB along.

    DadCooks has an excellent plan for the evening.

  46. Terry Losansky says:

    So saddened.
    My deepest condolences to you Barbara. No words can express the loss or sooth the sorrow.

    This place, Bob’s (and your) work have been priceless. This site has been a sort of intellectual mentorship for many years.

    I will miss Bob’s “voice”.

  47. brad says:

    I’ll come back tomorrow and harvest email addresses “just in case”. Mine is easily found if you visit my homepage.

  48. Mark W says:

    My condolences to you Barbara. I’ve been lurking and reading this site on and off for years and have always loved the independent thought that is/was expressed here by Bob and the commenters.

    RBT and Jerry Pournelle so close together. Who is left that is worth reading now?

  49. Rick Hellewell says:

    @brad … I’ve got all the email addresses of commentors covered. I suspect Nick will send out an announcement to all shortly, now that the obituary is available.

  50. paul says:

    Paying for this place shouldn’t be a problem. As I recall it’s on DreamHost. Perhaps change the plan. And definitely add a referral link.

  51. Bruce Friend says:

    So sad to here this. I’m feeling like a lot of my friends have gone in the last few months. Currently in Annapolis for the memorial service for my step son’s father. Long drive back to Ohio tomorrow.

    I feel fortunate to have had a few correspondences with Bob over the years. I will greatly miss reading him daily. Rest in peace, Bob.

  52. CowboySlim says:

    My heartfelt condolences to Barbara, Frances, Al and Colin.

    Yes, and a variation in the plan of DadCooks, snapping open a PBR.

  53. jim~ says:

    I’m with Slim; a PBR seems appropriate since RBT had about one beer a year.
    Might go along with DadCooks, too; and hoist a shot or two for OFD, wherever he may be.

  54. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hmm, SteveF hasn’t checked in yet, where you at Steve?


  55. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Nick will send out an announcement to all shortly, now that the obituary is available.”

    Yes, I’ll be dribbling them out so as not to trip my provider’s spam killer.

    If you have used more than one address, I’ll be using the first one in the list. ‘Course, you won’t need the email if you’re reading this.


  56. eristicist says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of RBT’s passing. I was never a regular commenter here, but I literally grew up reading this blog. I think I first stumbled on it when I was in middle school, after buying one of his books. I’m not in agreement with a lot of the politics here, but it’s always been a joy to read. Bob was an amazing person, and I’m so sad he’s gone. The world is an emptier place. 🙁

    I hope I can continue to follow the conversation here, be that through a blog, a forum or something else.

    Barbara, my heartfelt condolences go out to you. I’m so sorry for your loss. 🙁

  57. Ray Thompson says:

    I am giving serious thought to making the 4.5 hour drive for the receiving of friends. I may be the only one of the regulars on this board to do so and it might be of some comfort to Barbara.

  58. Mat Lemmings says:


    Nothing else to say other than re-iterate what others have said regarding any financial assistance Barbara may want/need.

    RIP, Bob.

  59. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’ve sent out the first 30 emails and got 11 bounces…..

    Can anyone in the following list confirm you’ve received an email from me?

    Roger Potts
    Robert W. Schofield
    Andrew Bushnell
    mr parsnip
    Al Larson
    Alberto S. Lopez
    Alex Regenass
    Daynotes Reader
    A, C. Everard
    August Pulpo
    Art Vandelay
    Johnnie L. Mock
    medium wave


  60. Larry Peters says:

    My heartfelt regrets for the loss of one who although unseen was better than most friends because his daily notes became required reading and his departure leaves a gaping void. My condolences to Barbara.

  61. medium wave says:

    Email received.

  62. Alan says:

    Email received.

    Me too.

  63. Dave says:

    I am giving serious thought to making the 4.5 hour drive for the receiving of friends. I may be the only one of the regulars on this board to do so and it might be of some comfort to Barbara.

    I briefly considered it, but I’m 9 hours away.

  64. Nick Flandrey says:

    Thanks guys, I’ll send the rest. Didn’t want to have an issue on my end.


  65. jim~ says:

    Wouldn’t want a tissue, either! Okay, the wake has started a bit ahead of schedule…

  66. Steve Swickard says:

    Wow, words fail just at the moment. Been several years since I was last visited. I’m shocked that Bob’s no longer with us. I for one will certainly miss his wit and logic in his journal. Such sad news to read.

    I’ve been visiting on and off since the late 90’s, keeping our favorite Aussie in check (in the past). I see CowboySlim still around as well as Ray Thompson. Good times in past years. Many great memories reading Bob’s journal in the forums.

    I’m the same age as Bob so it’s troubling that this has happened.
    My condolences Barbara and Bob’s family. We’ve lost a great friend and thinker.

    Steve in Colorado

  67. TG says:

    My condolences to Barbara. It was a shock to read the sad news.
    I’ve been reading this site for many years and gained much insight from the blog and from the comments. For those of us Right-thinking people in the UK, it’s great to know that there are people out there with similar views.

    @Nick please add me to your mailing list.

  68. Calvin Dodge says:

    I disagreed with some of his opinions (I’m an evangelical Christian), but agreed on others (especially politics), and I always believed he was honestly representing his beliefs, rather than spinning things for political effect. My condolences – he will be missed.

  69. bgrigg says:

    Email received… And what terrible news it brought, especially after hearing of some improvement. My condolences to Barbara and Bob’s family and friends.

    I haven’t been around much lately, but I’ve been visiting here for the better part of 20 years after being introduced to Bob on Jerry Pournelle’s website back in the late 1990s. I was even the first Canadian customer for a science kit. The loss of both men so close together is staggering.

  70. Nick Flandrey says:

    First 200 emails away.


  71. Nick Flandrey says:

    “I disagreed with some of his opinions ”

    Lot of variations on this theme, and I’d say “Hooray!” That is what made this site different from so many others on the internet. People here could disagree, and it wouldn’t quickly descend into name calling and Godwin’s Law. The ability to disagree and still find something of value in another person and their ideas is lamentably rare.

    It was possible to have an honest discussion here and not just shout past each other.


  72. Jenny says:

    Email received.

    I am filled with sorrow. I am terribly sorry for Barbara’s loss. And for all of us.

    The world is a darker place.

    I hope we keep Bobs blog alive.

  73. Al says:

    E-mail received.

    Wow. So sorry to hear this. Things didn’t seem to be improving for the longest time and I was starting to lose hope. Then Barbara’s last post gave the impression that things had improved significantly. Bob seemed to be communicating and making sense. I finally thought the worst was over.

    I don’t post all the time but I’ve been reading Bob’s blog for years. Even though I have never met him or anyone else on the board, I consider this a family.

    My best to everyone on this board. The one positive that may come from this is that I think we have all learned how fragile we all are and that we need to take care of ourselves and our health. Peace to all.


  74. Thomas Parker says:

    My condolences to Barbara, and to the family. I’ve followed Bob over the years, since Jerry Pournelle referred many of us to the site, and have been regularly amazed, amused and even sometimes angered. I suspect Bob would be satisfied with that.

  75. Nick Flandrey says:

    Last of the emails to registered commenters is away.

    If you are a registered commenter and didn’t get an email, you probably changed addys and didn’t update or you had a typo. I got a lot of bounces.

    Just register to comment and double check your email.

    Sorry if you got multiples at different addresses, no way to tell which is active, so I used them all.


  76. BobRuub says:

    Long time lurker, first time poster…

    I’d been following Bob since the 90’s as part of the daynotes website which contained a link of blogs of technology pundits.

    Pretty much most of them gave up except for Jerry and Bob, both now gone but not through lack of trying.

    While I never agreed with all his politics, (while I’m a big fan of personal responsibility and live my life that way I do lean a little left on a social safety net), I never felt he was in anyway disrespectful the views of others as long as they could make a reasonable argument.

    My deepest condolences to all.


  77. dkreck says:

    Yes, I received four, but that’s okay. (dave at compudave d0t c0m is my main one).
    Very heartening to read all the comments here and just what a long time reader would expect.
    Best wishes for Barbara and Colin moving forward.

  78. Dave says:

    The ability to disagree without being disagreeable is/was one of the defining characteristics of Western Civilization.

    I hope we keep Bob’s blog alive as well. I also hope that either Barbara either continues The Home Scientist or finds someone to take it over.

    My personal memorial service for Bob consists of listening to Jackson Browne’s For A Rocker while enjoying a Diet Mountain Dew.

  79. Tom Lucas says:

    I can only say that I am totally shocked and dismayed. This blog has been the first one read each morning for at least the last two decades even though I have been mostly a lurker. As a widower myself I know a little about losing my best and most intimate friend. It is overwhelming, but I’m confident that Barbara will come to an accommodation with her new situation given time and support. My deepest sympathy.

  80. Terry Losansky says:

    Tonight I will open a reserve wine.
    And drink it.

    I appreciate that the frequent comment community has a desire to keep the honest discussion alive. What better way to honor a friend.

  81. steve mackelprang says:

    Very sorry to hear this. I built my first computers with some hesitation, but with help from Bob, I managed.
    my sincere condolences to Barbara…

  82. pcb_duffer says:

    Prayers offered, tears shed, e-mail received. 🙁

  83. jim~ says:

    The Daynotes gang… sheesh! Am I really that old? Tom Syroid, et al.

    I’d forgotten Godwin’s law until Nick just mentioned it. I have my own term for that particular kind of behavior: the Poopeyhead law. Which is how kindergartners tell someone they don’t like them.

  84. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Am I really that old?”

    I find myself asking that question too, and am sometimes dismayed by the answer 🙂

    Yep, time flies….


  85. ITguy1998 says:

    I too have been reading Bob’s site since the late 90’s. I found Dr. Pournelle first, then the daynotes site. I have never posted a comment, but have been a daily visitor for, wow, a long time. I enjoy this site a great deal, and hope it can keep going. My deepest sympathies for Bob’s family. He will be missed.

  86. Dave says:

    Am I really that old?

    We a nine year old “smart” scale that estimates body fat percentage. We haven’t replaced it with a newer model solely because it still thinks I’m 44.

  87. Chad says:

    Damn, Robert. You’ll be missed. A lot. 🙁

    It’s been a great 18(ish) years for me.

  88. Mr.K says:

    Condolences to Barbara, my thoughts are with you and Colin..
    This is terrible news. I was hoping that RBT would pull through.
    Could not believe the email from Nick this morning. (Thanks Nick).
    Robert, his journal and contributors have given so much over so many years. The amount of knowledge has been amazing. He will be missed. 🙁

  89. SteveF says:

    Sympathies, Barbara, and best wishes.

  90. Dave says:

    I was trying to figure out how long I’ve been hanging out here since I came here from Pournelle’s site. Judging from the books of Bob’s I have bought, It’s been well over a decade but less than two.

  91. IT_Pro says:

    I am still in shock over the news, as I had been fearful yet remained hopeful that Bob would remain with us. I have been reading this blog since around 2000 (because of a mention by the late Jerry Pournelle) and have only joined in some conversations in the past year or two. I was a charter subscriber to Byte magazine, which is how I was introduced to Jerry.

    My condolences to Barbara and Colin. My wife and l lost another friend three days ago and attended his wake today. I am just one year younger than Bob and see this as another reminder of my own mortality. My faith provides some comfort and I will continue to pray for Barbara, as well as OFD, who we have not heard from in quite a while here.

    I thank Nick for keeping the conversation going. I also acknowledge receiving his email today.

  92. invisnet says:

    I don’t even remember how long I’ve been lurking – posted once back in ’04, had been reading for ages before that.
    This was always a daily read for me, and even though I’m on the other side of the pond and never had the chance to meet, when you’re been reading someone’s writing for that long you begin to feel you know them – at least a little. So when I read the news I had to step away from the keyboard. It’s a very strange feeling to miss someone you’ve never met.
    I don’t know what else to say, so I’ll leave with something from Pratchett:
    “Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”
    I think between us we can manage to speak his name for a good while longer yet. Please add me to the mailing list.

  93. Gary Mugford says:


    It’s been too long since I checked in with Robert. His interests and mine diverged and I found too many other sites to fill my dailing browsing limits. My promise to regularly visit my Occasional folder and check back in ending up like a New Year’s promise to myself. I’m at a loss, incomparable to yours, that I won’t get the chance to do that for something new from Robert, ever again. Robert was opinionated and principled. Didn’t agree with everything he said, but I know he researched what he said before he typed it. You have to admire a man who has an informed opinion and is willing to shared it WITH his name attached to it. I truly felt Robert and Jerry Pournelle were the truth-tellers back in the day when it came to matters involving the personal computer world. I’m glad the site will remain alive for a while. I need to do some catching up. Please be well as can be. GM

  94. Harlan Bloom says:

    Barbara, my deepest condolences for your loss!!!

    I was shocked when I received Nick’s email tonight! Like many others have already said, I started reading Bob’s blog, and exchanged a few emails, since the late ’90’s or so. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to keep up the past year or so.

    I found Bob by way of the Daynotes sites. I also purchased several of Bob’s books in hopes of being able to teach my daughter about *real* science. She has to be able to read first though…

  95. J Kamp says:

    This and Dr. Pournelle’s site were always a daily read longer then I can remember. My condolences to Bob’s family.

  96. Ron Snider says:

    My condolences to Barbara and family. I cannot believe it’s happened. It’s too soon … way too soon ! I’ve been a regular reader since the Daynotes gang days, and seeing Jerry P. refer to having Bob do “sanity” checks on some of his writings 🙂

    I haven’t been a poster on the forum here … more a lurker. But anytime I wrote directly to Bob, he always answered in a short time. I can’t believe that he’s really gone.

    -Ron Snider
    Edmonton, AB

  97. Marcelo says:

    Shock, disbelief and grief.

    For many of us, it means the loss of a virtual friend; a thoughtful, articulate and generous person with his hosting, research and sharing of ideas that has enriched the lives of so many people on a daily basis.

    In many of his posts he alluded to his love and respect for Barbara and for her, that will be an even greater loss. My condolences to Barbara and family.

    A very long time daily morning and evening reader with too few contributions.
    E-Mail(s) received, thanks.

  98. Eugen (Romania) says:

    This made me very sad. Condoleances…

  99. Jenny says:

    Staying up too late reading posts.
    Read Barbara’s post about the gathering on Tuesday. On a whim checked flights from ANC to GSO. It could be done for about $1,000 RT, but oh the hours in travel mode are brutal. Even today, traversing 4,000+ miles is a substantial effort. It just wouldn’t be reasonable, and frankly perhaps even a little weird to show up from the other side of the country. I wish Gene Roddenberry’s transporters were real.

    I hope a few folks geographically closer can represent the far flung masses.

    I have been pondering RBTs unfinished work and the anticipation I’m sure we all felt for his prepper book and his effort at fiction. And the science kits. I wonder what RBTs opinion would have been on another writer of his mindset bringing his prepper book to a publishable state.

    I, finally, choose to interpret Barbara’s phrase, “Nick, I pass the baton to you”, as a green light to keep the blog going.

  100. KurtB says:

    A sad day. Rest in Peace.
    You have so many more children than all of us, those you helped learn science through your kits. They will pass your legacy on to mankind.

  101. Norman says:

    My condolences to you, Barbara from across the pond.
    In the scheme of things I’m a fairly recent visitor to Bob’s site (via Jerry Pournelle), Bob’s humor and wide ranging knowledge will be missed.

  102. Dr Bob says:

    @Paddy Mcdonnell…
    Been following RBT for years since Jerry Pournelle referred. Hoping for a positive outcome to these recent health issues but so sad to read today’s news.

    Yes, it must have been a link from Jerry Pournelle that started me reading RBT, back in the days when he was building and writing about PCs. As someone else commented, it was possible to disagree with Bob without things getting out of hand, and his views were usually stimulating.

    Like Jerry, Bob will be missed.

  103. Joe Y says:

    Please accept my condolences for your loss
    I have been a fan of Roberts work for many years
    His enthusiasm for the subject and wealth of knowledge will be hard to replace

  104. ayj says:

    best regards, I read here since 90s


  105. MarvS says:

    My condolences to Barbara and the large number of friends and family in mourning, I have followed Bob and Barbara for years and helped review some early computer books. His and Jerry’s passing are a loss to the world. The legacy of their work and thoughts will continue to challenge and inspire us all to think, to question, to wxplore and to learn, I know that they are continuing their work, together in a better place,RIP.

  106. Clayton W. says:

    The world is a lesser place today. I was also one introduced to this site by Jerry Pournelle, and I bought RBT’s book largely on Jerry’s recommendation. I have read this blog nearly every day for years.

    Barbara, I hope it is some small help to know that Robert was held in such high regard by so many people. He will be sorely missed.

  107. Roger Ritter says:

    What horrible news. My deepest condolences to Barbara, and even though I never met Bob I will miss him.

    I’m so sorry and sad.

  108. JimL says:

    My deepest condolences.

    The ability to disagree without being disagreeable is/was one of the defining characteristics of Western Civilization.

    This is one of the reasons I come here. Many minds with as many opinions as minds. And people respect one another’s opinions.

    RBT will be missed.

  109. Ed says:

    My condolences to Barbara and family.

    We’ve all lost a friend and counselor here. I was too shocked to say anything yesterday, I just had to set down the tablet and walk away.

    I think I found RBT when I was building a SOTA 2.8Gh Penguin 4 box a while back. I was unsurprised to find he knew Jerry Pournelle, brilliant minds both.

    The world is a lesser place for his passing.

  110. Damn, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Despite the assurances, it sounds like the rehab center dropped the ball. As for the doctors, in hindsight, I suppose they should have let him recover fully from the pneumonia first, rather than rushing to cut him open. But modern American medicine pays well for doing procedures, and pays poorly for intelligent thinking.

  111. Kerry Liles says:

    My sincere condolences. I have been reading Bob’s blog for *years* and I am truly shocked at his passing. I will miss his keen observations and interesting analysis of the world.

  112. bcl says:

    So very sorry to hear about RBT’s death. He was an inspirational guy and I have enjoyed reading his blog for longer than I can remember. Nick, yes, I got your email. Thanks for that, since I don’t check in as regularly as I used to.

  113. Terry Lavely says:

    Barbara, so sorry for you loss. Long time lurker, like may others here, found this site via Pournelle’s blog. I’ve learned much over the years from reading the discussions here and hope they will continue in some form or another. Please add my email to the list.

  114. lynn says:

    “I disagreed with some of his opinions ”

    Lot of variations on this theme, and I’d say “Hooray!” That is what made this site different from so many others on the internet. People here could disagree, and it wouldn’t quickly descend into name calling and Godwin’s Law. The ability to disagree and still find something of value in another person and their ideas is lamentably rare.

    It was possible to have an honest discussion here and not just shout past each other.

    Amen. Kinda reminds me of those fabled old gentlemen clubs where guys went to read newspapers and hang out. And I don’t understand how it stayed that way.

  115. DadCooks says:

    @Norman Yarvin, sorry to say that is my observation and opinion too. Yes, I had higher hopes and prayed for a better outcome.

    It matters not if you believe in The Creator or not, He will decide the time and all the doctors cannot put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

    There is a lesson here folks.

    Don’t let the Medical Establishment take every last dime from you and your Estate with procedures that have really not been proven to extend life or provide quality of life. The Medical Establishment is self-serving and rare is the doctor who knows from where his skill really comes.

    A person’s life is going to end some day. Make every day the best you can and be appreciative of it.

  116. Ralph says:


    I definitely agree with your last line. Make the best of every day. That was brought home to me personally a little over a year ago. I don’t want to go into details as this isn’t the proper time or place but it is definitely the way I been living since then.

  117. Jim Fong says:

    I’ve been reading this blog at least once a week since the early/mid 90’s. It’s sad to hear of Robert’s passing. He’s been a part of my life for such a long time….my condolences to the family.

  118. Bob Mays says:

    Damn it! Barbara, I am so shocked to hear of Bob’s passing. You have my deepest condolence. Though never having met Bob I have been reading his journal for almost twenty years. He was a friend I just hadn’t met yet. I’m going to miss him.

  119. Matthew Farr says:

    My deepest condolences to Barbara.

    Another great mind silenced.

  120. lynn says:

    Don’t let the Medical Establishment take every last dime from you and your Estate with procedures that have really not been proven to extend life or provide quality of life. The Medical Establishment is self-serving and rare is the doctor who knows from where his skill really comes.

    In some cases, this is very true. My mother-in-law had about 6 or 7 heart attacks from age 38 to 56 (who counts after the first 5 or 6?). She made my father-in-law promise that he would not do anything when she had another one as her heart was 60+% dead. At age 58, she had an atrial fibrillation attack and passed out. My FIL called the paramedics and by the time they got there, she had no blood to the brain for 18 minutes. So, the doctors spent a week frittering around her brain dead body before recommending to let her go. We actually had a death panel with the neuro doc showing her brain waves while hooked up to a monitor.

    So they pulled the respirator and she started breathing on her own. It was weird, you could talk to her or touch her and her eyes would open and she would move her head but, nobody was home. So my FIL cut off her fluid drip and she passed away in three days. If my FIL had just let her go as he promised her then all of that work would have been saved. It is tough though, very tough to do that. And my FIL was a medtech, he knew she was gone and could not stop himself from calling 911.

    But other times, it is hard to know. And once you get in a hospital, it is dadgum hard to get out. The last heart incident that I had, they got my heartbeat slowed and back in rhythm with a boatload of Lopressor. And then they checked me into the hospital from the ER to run a bunch of tests. I spent the night and decided to leave. I would do the testing on my schedule at my cardiologist. After all, I knew that I had a totally plugged right coronary artery already and significant heart damage. So I told the duty nurse that I was leaving and started putting my clothes on. She ran out and got a form stating that I was leaving against medical advice. I signed it and the orderly wheeled me to the front door, I could have walked it just fine.

  121. Jojit says:

    Condolences. A great loss.

  122. John Tucker says:

    As are so many others, I am saddened and dismayed by this loss. Condolences to all, he will be missed by many.
    I had exchanged a few emails with Bob about books read and enjoyed those exchanges.

  123. Chuck Waggoner says:

    Shocked and saddened. Condolences to all of Bob’s family. He was a rare treasure and an exceptional thinker.

    I have not been here in quite a while. This was one of only two forums I ever participated in, and that began at the very start of the Daynotes gang. Life has gotten busy enough (or else I have gotten old enough) that time constraints caused me to drop out of both forums just to keep my head above water.

    This news has been the saddest to receive in quite some time. Bob touched so many lives in important ways that it is going to be a significant loss for many of us for some time to come. I am never going to take his books off my shelves. Add my best wishes to Barbara, the family, and everyone who stopped here for the challenging uplifts and discussions this place has represented.

    And my best from Tiny Town to OFD’s full recovery.

    –Chuck Waggoner

  124. SteveF says:

    Good to hear from you, Chuck.


    (or else I have gotten old enough)


  125. MrAtoz says:

    Howdy, Mr. Chuck.

  126. Julián says:

    It’s sad to get this news. I got here, like many others, it seems, from Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor. Now that they are gone is like a chapter that finishes. PCs has changed a lot in recent years but 20 years ago when I begun reading Jerry’s column and later his blog, a good advice was really welcome. Then “Building the perfect PC” was the bible. I will miss both.

  127. nick flandrey says:

    Jerry’s trouble-shooting advice that “It’s usually the cable” has served me well over the years. Some of his other observations have been as good and as long lived too.


  128. Phlogiston says:

    My condolences to Barbara and all who will miss him.
    First Jerry and now Bob….
    Thanks to those who made the world a better place.
    You will be remembered.

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