Guy Kewney, a legend

In the early hours of this morning Guy Kewney died, from cancer, at his home in London. I have written about Guy before, as a journalist he was the colossus who oversaw the birth of home computing in Britain. Everything that happened here: Sinclair, Amstrad, Eidos, Rare, ARM, and so much more, only happened because of the foundations laid by Guy.

In the mid to late ’70s at the weekly specialist newspaper, Computing, Guy wrote regular articles about the birth of microcomputers. These inspiring missives told us of an imminent and portentous revolution that would transform everything we did. Many people’s lives were changed by reading these. I was inspired to leave the safe world of accountancy to open one of the first computer stores, Microdigital, in 1978. Many other made similar life changing decisions because of Guy!

As the industry Guy had predicted emerged his influence also increased, initially at Personal Computer World, the first dedicated home computer magazine, then at senior positions in several of the top journals and with a lot of television work. The effect he had was vast and covered a period of over 30 years. He was considered the pre eminent journalist in his field and it is impossible to overstate his influence.

But Guy didn’t just write and broadcast, he did it well. He was clever with an incisive mind, he asked the difficult questions and he analysed the facts in a way that brought so much added value to his output. And of course his experience gave him an unmatched platform with which to work, such as when he predicted greatness when Google first saw the light of day.

And of course there was Guy the person. Always clever, supportive, interesting. I met him at shows and conferences, we had meals and drinks together, he invited me to his home to meet his family. And we chatted on the phone to gossip. Talking to him was always fascinating and educational, he knew far, far more than went into his articles.

To get a better measure of Guy than I could possibly explain you might like to read this blog put together over the last month or so by his friends and colleagues. (Read the comments.)

Also Guy kept a journal of his terminal illness, throughout it you get a real feel for the spirit and the dignity of the man.

It is just so sad that such a vibrant person who was so pivotal to so much is no longer with us. He will be missed.

20 comments ↓

#1 Roger on 04.08.10 at 6:41 pm

God rest his soul, our thoughts go to his family and friends.

Thats a revealing terminal blog, putting it mildly. As a medicine student, I know that it means a lot for terminally ill patients to have a good, family-oriented last period in life. He was a brave man.

#2 Bruce on 04.11.10 at 2:07 pm

Guy’s funeral: http://hunkymouse.livejournal.com/63103.html

#3 D on 04.11.10 at 2:11 pm

I am very sorry to hear that.
btw did you know that you have evony ads on your site now?

#4 Robert Matthews on 04.20.10 at 8:34 am

Only just read about his untimely death. I first came across Guy in the early 1980s, when I was just starting out in my science writing career, and was always impressed by his knowledge and writing style – authoritative without pomposity. My condolences to his family.

#5 roger on 04.28.10 at 1:05 am

20 days gone bye and no updates or anything?

Taking a vacation after the Evony affair or has something happened?

#6 SmaMan on 04.28.10 at 3:45 pm

I was wondering the same thing… I’m surprised you didn’t do some write-up of the “New iPhone” scandal.

#7 james on 05.05.10 at 8:47 am

cant wait to hear some more of your blogs, been coming every day and havn’t seen anything new for a while, hope everything is all well

#8 roger on 05.06.10 at 9:11 am

Has he been kidnapped by chinese evony agents or has something more non-surreal happened?

Give us an update Bruce!

#9 RJones on 05.07.10 at 1:27 am

Either the Evony police got him or he is having a hard time dealing with Sony beating MS globally in sales for the last few months.

#10 Kaziarl on 05.07.10 at 12:35 pm

Well, if he is taking a vacation, it’s well deserved I’m sure. Although on the other hand, while I’m not normally prone to this sort of thinking… What if ‘they’ got him? (‘they’ being evony and their already terribly shady practices.)

#11 D on 05.08.10 at 2:33 pm

1 month to the date from his last post. What the hell has happened? I’d much rather hear him bitchin about evony than not have a word from him for a WHOLE MONTH!

D

#12 roger on 05.10.10 at 9:19 pm

what, really? Could that be true?

If so, I hope the police will use his recent dealings with evony as clues.

Just vanishing, without telling collegues and friends is strange indeed…

#13 Umm... on 05.10.10 at 9:32 pm

I doubt it. How would our posts be moderated then?
On the. Other hand, he hasn’t posted anything either. This is scary.

#14 Umm... on 05.10.10 at 9:43 pm

Just checked the whole blog, not a single post about Bruce Alexis.

#15 George on 05.11.10 at 1:38 am

no way! are you serious?
I hope Bruce is ok.

#16 hmmm ? on 05.11.10 at 2:57 pm

Bruce seems to be active on LinkedIn since he added new contacts 6 days ago and even today !
(Although I guess it could be persons he invited and who took a long time to accept).

#17 Steve A on 05.11.10 at 6:56 pm

Perhaps Evony is paying Bruce not to blog. Who knows.

An email to Bruce’s Auz lawyers may shed light on the subject.

Hope all is well with him.

#18 Daniel on 05.11.10 at 8:30 pm

Given Bruce’s track record with this sort of thing, I don’t think he would accept money to keep quiet. And if Evony were going to pay him, they’d pay him not to blog about Evony, not to quit his blogging career altogether. Perhaps something personal happened in real life. Still, it is strange that he would go so long without so much as a “hey guys, taking a break” message.

#19 S.E. Gordon on 05.12.10 at 12:27 pm

The timing is certainly odd. Bruce?

#20 AC on 05.12.10 at 2:17 pm

On a side note Blizzard is reporting a significant rise in accounts being compromised. This appears to be since Evony retracted their lawsuit. It would appear that the WoW goldfarmers have started to become rather busy once again. But of course, the scenario people tend to miss is that both of these products monitor peoples RAM. Can you see the link?

I wonder what Guy Kewney would have made of all this. Somehow I cannot help but think that the best reporters fully understood the funny side of our material stupidity.

AC

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