When I first met Guy Kewney, who died early this morning after a long struggle with cancer, he was already firmly established as star columnist at Personal Computer World - then, and for years to come, the UK's flagship IT publication. Until he started working for The Register a couple of years back, that was one of the few …
Never met him, never knew him, but I've been reading his stuff for nearly thirty years.
I feel like I just lost an old friend, although this can be as nothing to those who could genuinely call GK their friend.
A gent who'll be missed
Sad news. Remember meeting Guy in the late 80's and he kindly gave me (as a, then, youngster) a leg-up in the industry by commissioning me to write a piece for PC Dealer. He made a big impression on me with his patience and generosity.
Just read the story and am totally shocked. I have been reading IT mags such as PCW since 1985 and always enjoyed Guy's articles. I'm sure I will not be alone in saying that he will be sadly missed by all. Best wishes and condolences to his family at this awful time. I'll be raising a glass to Guy tonight.
Some years ago I was working at ZDNet and was introduced to Guy. I was a huge fan of his writing and decided I would be cool about meeting a hero. Who knows, I thought, we might even be on nodding terms in the office, maybe even the odd "good morning".
So why did I only manage to gush like a pre-adolescent girl something like "I'm your biggest fan!"?
My ZDNet contact mercilessly took the p!ss out of me for weeks after that. As for Guy - I think he avoided me, just in case.
RIP Guy 'not black' Kewney
Lets hope he is not just remembered for a temporary a loss of 'sense of humour'.
Now he really is late...
I remember being awestruck by Guy when I started working on PCW in 1983. His knowledge of the industry was only matched by his disdain for deadlines. It was a monthly ritual watching the editor go even more grey as the presses waited to roll and Guy's column still hadn't turned up...
People like Guy just don't exist in the industry any more.
He will be missed.
I've been reading Guy's work for over 30 years, since the early issues of PCW. He was one of the computing journalists who made it worth buying a magazine just because he had written an article for it.
I cannot say how much I will miss seeing his clear and concise style of writing.
I especially remember his reviews of the original Acorn Archimedes in Byte, where he was able to do a quality job of reviewing a world-class product in a US publication. This is one of the few issues of Byte that I have kept in my keepsakes collection, and it will become all the more treasured as a result.
My condolences to Lucy, and everyone else who had the privilege of knowing him personally.
Teaching right to the end
Looking at his last blog entry was so educational. What an intellect he had. I only met him once, briefly, at some function or other he was chairing, and it made my day. What a loss to his loved ones.
I remember meeting guy for the first time when I was freelancing for PCN - BTW John it was What Micro's kit you swiped - and I was in awe.
But what a down to earth character he was. Once sat me down and ripped a feature I wrote to bits and made me feel good about it! I learned a lot from him.
He will be missed.
I thought it was. They were impressively cross, AIR. But weren't your features usually in bits to start with? (-:
Good to hear from you, even under the circumstances.
Yes I was John ....
... it was a review I wrote for Dick Pountain's mag - Soft I think it was. Was wanting Guy's opinion, and he gave it. But, as said, he did it in such a manner and with so many good pointers that I walked away from it feeling good!
Not many people have that ability.
Will be greatly missed
Guy Kewney's monthly piece in the late lamented Personal Computer World was essential reading for me from 1982 (when I bought my first copy, aged 13) throughout the 1980s. His writing was reliably interesting, informative, insightful, and funny. The most recent piece of his I remember reading was his goodbye to PCW, here on El Reg. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/11/pcw/
one of the people who got me into computing.
Sorely missed. Sorely missed.
I have been following....
....Guy's blog since he revealed his illness, it was part of his gift and intellect that he could write about his life ebbing away and the indignities that came with that with such clarity, humour and interest.
I remember how his was always one of the first contributions to PCW and PC Mag that I read, and I enjoyed the far too few occasions on which I chatted with him and his friends on his IRC channel.
I'm sorry to see that he didn't manage to enjoy another summer before the end though, I know he would have liked that to be possible. He was aiming to survive his 64th birthday, but fell a few weeks short.
Sad loss but he gave so much
He may be dead but his memory will live on.
Cheers Guy, for all you gave us and nobody had a bad word against you, nor will they. I'm now going to cry.
Very sad news
GK was required reading throughout his carreer. Sometimes controversial. Never dull.
Probably the only tech writer to (briefly) become a household name following *that* BBC News 24 interview.
Been familiar with his writing since my early days with Pets, MZ80-As and Apple II's etc... and am shocked and saddened to hear about this. As mentioned above, felt like a friend has gone.
I do appreciate the irony that he had the regard for deadlines as much as DNA did!
And I never got round
to giving him a ride in my race boat... capre diem folks, you never know when it may be too late.
Another one who read his columns from the early PCW ones, and recalls the branch out into that little computer industry scandal sheet. Very sad to hear this.
Met him when he was...
editor at PCW.... many many years ago. He was probably my favourite tech journalist...
Bags I get his Acorn Archimedes. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/11/pcw/
Well, no, obviously.
for encouraging an interest in so many, and for inspiring my entire career. Rest in bits and bytes
Life, don't talk to me.....
I remember him and John from a stint I did in tech PR with Graeme Mitcell in the late eighties, when Microscope and PCW etc were prime targets for stories :)
A great writer who often made me think differently..
One tech journo I really respected
His stuff was thoughtful and thorough, and just plain good.
I gave up reading hunkymouse
I found Guy's detailing of his illness too upsetting. As someone I've always looked up to it was depressing to think of him as frail. From reading his copy on the bus to school I knew him as the oracle of all things microcomputing. And there was nothing more exciting than the latest 8 bit computer.
When I started at PCW I was told that the major part of my job was extracting copy from Kewney. He'd always be late. And he always was.
But now, the phrase The late Guy Kewney moves me to tears.
Like other comments, I am deeply saddened by this news. I have read Guy's stuff for what feels like a lifetime and he will be sorely missed. RIP, GK
I've known Guy for many years on CIX. Always a good person to chat to. He will be sorely missed.
The only IT journalist I could actually *name* off the top of my head.
Let's hope there are no more mix-ups
And they don't bury Guy Gomer instead.
I bought magazines just because he wrote for them.
"but he'd clearly become the man that any self-respecting tech publisher mounting a big push absolutely needed to have on board"
He was. You'd read his stuff and actually learn something useful about the product reviewed, or whatever he was discussing.
He will be missed.
He will be missed, but a big smile to celebrate his life and his contribution.
Condolences to friends and family alike.
Truly saddened by the loss of a great writer
I just saw the headline on the front page and was genuinely stunned and upset. Guy has been a part of my life ever since I got into computers back in the day (Vic 20 - classic computer) and I've always loved his journalism, professionalism and insight.
Condolences to all who loved him, and whom he loved - we all share your loss :'(
Always found his articles clear and easy to follow - a rare thing indeed.
Part of the reason that I'm where I am today is down to Guy's work in PCW. Were it not for him I might have done something useful with my life instead of spending my working hours pretending to write dealing applications while reading BOFH and shill-bidding on ebay. He will be sorely missed :(
Aw bollocks :(
Guy's articles and PCW were part of my childhood and teens growing up with computers. I wish all his family and close friends well with this sad news.
I too have been reading Guy's work for well over 25 years and he is a sad loss to journalism.
Reading his blog I realise that he was also a brave man who had a great sense of dignity. I had no idea he was suffering from this evil disease but his final piece of great journalism was documenting his cancer. It has helped me understand my own grandmother's death from the exact same disease, something I was too young to cope with at the time and something which has been too painful to go into in the years since then.
RIP Guy, even in death you are still making things I didn't understand clear to me.
Bye, Guy. You got there first. Again.
I've a nasty feeling I never made the most of you. Seems only yesterday we were talking on Skype. Currently off-line, it says. I'm leaving you on my call list just in case you want to surprise me. Which would be typical, you super-smart, sneaky bastard.
The place won't be the same without you.
I still remember buying the first issue of PC World, you helped change my world.
a name in a sea of words
I confess that instead of PCW I bought Computer Buyer (which John Diamond wrote a column for if I remember correctly) after I moved on from Mean Machines Sega, so my first exposure to Kewney was in the Register. He was a true talent, who made me look forward to reading an article when I saw his name below the headline.
Gosh Guy Kewney's died!
I certainly found his regular Newsprint section in PCW absolutely essential reading since the first issue I bought: December 1980 ("Yes, but is it art?"). Memorable articles include "El Grando" (announcing the availability of the 68000 CPU with an astonishing 68000 transistors!) "A Mess Dos" (lamenting the unforgivingly crude features and limitations of MS DOS in 1984). And of course his full-page spread where he insisted he didn't actually design the astoundingly good value £599 Amstrad PC1512 in 1986.
Guy Kewney was consistently witty; cynical, prophetic, irreverent and everything I wanted to keep myself abreast of the state of play in the industry. An exceptional Journalist, I'll miss him.
-cheers from Julz @P
Very sad news. Guy consistently wrote some of the most readable literature in the computing press, always offering some sort of interesting angle that would grab my attention, and seemed a thoroughly decent chap; if I didn't read anything else in PCW, I would still check out his stuff.
Thanks, Guy. You'll be missed.
A history of the PC era
So saddened to hear this news. Only knew Guy through his writing, where he shone as one of the best and brightest the industry has seen. He will be sorely missed.
Does anyone else think that a book compiling Guy's writing from various magazines over the years would make one of the most readable and compelling histories of the evolution of the personal computer possible? I for one would buy a copy.
I apologise if those closest to Guy feel it is too soon to suggest this, I don't mean to be insensitive.
Not at all, it would be about his life.
Thank you John, and everyone who has posted. We'll miss him, for sure.
I've been reading Guy's pieces since I was at school, so I guess he was one of the folks that was key at getting me into computing in the first place. I definitely didn't agree with everything he wrote, but that didn't lessen my respect for him. So if anyone is collecting tributes to this great technical journalist, then I'd have no hesitation in adding mine, along with my condolences to his familiy/friends. I never had the honour of meeting with him, but it speaks volumes that his was one of the few names that you could see and have a good idea of the quality of the attached article. It also didn't hurt that he bore a striking resemblence to the computer department manager at my first IT job...
As an aside, I'm heartened to see how many of his ex-PersonalComputerWorld colleagues have written in here. It's only a shame that this august publication pre-deceased Mr Kewney as I've no doubt that the magazine would have generated a worthy and interesting tribute, making others aware of the breadth and depth of his contribution. I just wish someone would have the courage to bring back PCW, as I really miss it.
Lucy, and everyone at El Reg: I'm so sorry to hear of Guy's death. I'm pretty sure I was reading PCW from Issue 1, and very quickly Guy's articles became my first read when I'd opened the latest copy.
I'd like to reinforce Peter C's suggestion. Guy's articles were so incisive, and often so amusing, that they stand as an invaluable eyewitness record of the most important technological movement since Ugg dropped a flint on the floor and sparks set light to his fur thong. I would love to see them published, and they would be a most fitting memorial.
A great loss.
Like many others, my introduction to Guy was through PCW. Articles and photos such as 'Applying his head to micro-computer design', or the worlds first and foremost review of the Commodore Amiga in 1985.
Somehow, probably via Cix, I met Guy in 1997; he was always eager to meet industry professionals, and at the time I was responsible for BAT's UK IT/network. We'd meet up and have a couple of beers whenever I was in London. It was simply awesome to pop into the office, and meet Guy in shorts and sandals. He was also genuinely interested in my limited [extremely limited!] 'journalistic' career; I'd had a few articles published by ICPUG and Amiga User International in the early-to-mid 90's. We' would meet up several times, discussing industry trends and the challenges at the coalface, until I moved north in 2000. When I was with GX I always /meant/ to give him a shout whenever I was 'down south', and now bitterly regret I didn't.
So long Guy, thanks for the inspiration.