Rick Hanson, R.I.P.

(migrated from my Tripod blog on 11/05/2011)

I received some sad news in my inbox this morning.  Rick Hanson, genial proprietor of Club 100, succumbed to cancer last Saturday.

Club 100 was the place to go for all things related to the TRS-80 Model "T" line of portable computers: the Model 100 and its successors, the Models 102 and 200.  I myself have been an avid user of my Model 100 for nearly seven years, and a fringe* member of the community.

*this link leads to a pdf, the final issue of 300 Baud magazine, which includes a Model T hardware review I wrote!

I'd never met Rick, and I didn't really know him personally apart from a few email exchanges on the Model 100 mailing list (and when I placed orders via the Club 100 website), but he really struck me as a genuinely nice fellow who truly cared about what he did and the people in the community.

If there was one thing about Rick that stuck with me, it was his humble sentiment that "Club 100 isn't me... you are Club 100, you are the community, and I am only a small part of it".

I never met you, Rick, and I barely even knew you, but I do know that for someone who was only a small part of the community, you've left some pretty big shoes to fill.

Truly a great loss.

Rest in Peace.

(Written on my Model 100.  It seemed only fitting.)

A lot of memories came flooding back as I wrote the above piece earlier this evening.

It'd been a while since I'd used my Model 100 (aka Gibraltar) for blogging.  Truth told, I kinda missed it.  Gibraltar saw frequent use in the years between Nadia's demise(s) and her subsequent resurrection(s), whenever I needed a reliable mobile blogging solution.

It was great - instant on, full-sized keyboard, and a spartan display devoid of distractions.  Best of all, the computer ran for MONTHS on 4 AA batteries!  And I never, EVER thought that 32K of RAM would be plenty in this day and age.  (I also relished the attention I received at the coffee shop whenever I brought Gibraltar out to write an article!)

Those were the days.

Sadly, I fell away from the blogosphere for a while... and apart from the odd Retrochallenge or retrocomputing article, Gibraltar was largely left to gather dust.  But now that the writing bug has bitten me again, I suspect that he may be seeing more frequent use.


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