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Remembering Bob Artner

By jasonhiner Moderator ·
TechRepublic lost one of its greatest proponents this week with the unexpected passing of Bob Artner. Many TechRepublic members will remember Bob as the author of the popular "Artner's Law" column and the voice of many of TechRepublic's audiocasts. And Bob was also a common speaker for many ZDNet Video Whiteboards during the past year. He was always keenly interested in following and discussing the latest developments in IT, and he was a true technophile at heart.

Since his untimely death, I have thought a lot about things that he told me over the years, the mentoring advice that he gave, times that he admonished me, things that we disagreed about, and the many things that we accomplished together. I will miss bouncing ideas off of him and debating new developments with him. And most of all I think will miss his self-deprecating humor. He and I had a lot of laughs, poking fun at ourselves and our own mistakes. If heaven does truly exist, then I believe there's definitely a place in it for a guy like Bob Artner.

Please post any memories or thoughts that you would like to share as we reflect on Bob's passing.

We also have a page dedicated to Bob's memory:

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by Wayne M. In reply to Remembering Bob Artner

I know I will miss Bob and feel saddened by the news of him passing away.

I have only met Bob through his writing, which I have always found thought-provoking and well written. Mr. Artner's writing showed a solid combination of strong content and a good writing style. These are what every writer strives for and it is to Bob's credit that he succeeded while writing of technical issues, where so may of us fall short in expressing our ideas.

My condolences to Mr. Artner's family and all at TechRepublic. We will all miss Bob.

Wayne Mack

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A good man to work for

by judyhpc In reply to Condolences

First, thank you Jason for a wonderful, perfect way of relating what Bob Artner was all about. Through all my years of IT journalism I've worked for many managers and editors, and Bob is, and likely always will be, at the top of the list. One of the remarkable things about him was that he allowed his management team to manage, his writers to write, his editors to edit and everyone had a place at the ideas table and a chance to talk. I learned a great deal from his insights. I loved being part of the TR team and he was one of the big reasons.
Judy Mottl

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Bob was a great contributor

by maxwell edison In reply to Remembering Bob Artner

Bob was a great contributor to TechRepublic. His knowledge, insight, and professionalism will be missed. My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and coworkers.

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His calmness is what I'll remember most

by RexWorld In reply to Remembering Bob Artner

I think what I'll remember most about Bob is his calmness. There's lots of strong-willed people with vastly differing viewpoints around here at work, so sometimes meetings get really heated. But Bob always seemed to be able to stay calm and collected. It's way more than I could have done in his shoes.

My prayers are with his family, and especially the four children he leaves behind.

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Please watch the Whiteboard videos

by Peter Spande In reply to Remembering Bob Artner

I worked with Bob in many different capacities for over 5 years and the whiteboard videos (you can find them all on the memorial page) show the best of Bob the Professional. He had a love for learning and a love of explaining and teaching. When he found himself in a situation where he was encountering a new idea or sharing an idea that was new to the listener(s) his voice and body language changed.

I have heard many stories about Bob in the past couple of days that reveal many sides of Bob I never had the chance to encounter. I hope his children will read someday read these posts and look at the memorial page to get glimpse a side of their father that may may not have seen. I hope they get a sense of how their father touched and influenced many, many people in his life.

There is hardly a pixel of TechRepublic that Bob didn't have some part in creating. I hope the TechRepublic of the future would make him proud.

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remembering the non-IT things that Bob enjoyed

by maybechai In reply to Please watch the Whiteboa ...

It was on matters outside of the workplace that Bob and I found common ground. Like the love of professional football we shared, and friendly bets that his 49ers would beat my Packers (I'll miss our Monday payoff lunches -- he almost always bought, regardless of who actually won the game).

I'll also miss seeing Bob in the fitness room, where he would watch my power yoga videos in disbelief, making comments like "They have GOT to be kidding!" as the ultra-fit models would twist themselves into pretzel-shaped poses they could hold for 30 seconds or more.

Bob and I also shared a love of classic rock 'n roll. We had heated debates about which CD was Neil Young's best. My vote is for "Greendale" but Bob thought it a toss-up between "Rust Never Sleeps" and "After the Gold Rush." We breathed a collective sigh of relief several months back when we learned that Neil was recovering nicely from his recent brain aneurism.

At work, Bob and I certainly had our differences, but I found it nearly impossible to remain at odds with someone blasting "Tommy" after working hours when he thought everyone he could possibly disturb was already gone.

Of course, as is true of many of my TechRepublic colleagues, one of the things I'll miss the most about Bob are the anecdotes he was famous for sharing about his kids. He was enormously proud of them all. The world would be a much better place if all dads were as devoted to their children as Bob was to his. My heart goes out to them for their loss.

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Bob was right

by maxwell edison In reply to remembering the non-IT th ...

Neil's best was After the Gold Rush.

.......flyin' mother nature's silver seed to a new home in the sun.

1) Tell Me Why
2) After the Gold Rush
3) Only Love Can Break Your Heart
4) Southern Man
5) Till the Morning Comes
6) Oh, Lonesome Me
7) Don't Let It Bring You Down
9) When You Dance You Can Really Love
10) I Believe in You
11) Cripple Creek Ferry

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...but have you REALLY listened to Greendale?

by maybechai In reply to Bob was right

Don't get me wrong, I love "After the Gold Rush" too, but "Greendale" hangs together unlike any other work of his, and Crazy Horse never sounded better.

Bob DID go so far as to say that "Greendale" was Neil's best work in the last decade, though. I'll definitely miss swapping CDs (and opinions about them) with Bob.

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Crazy Horse

by maxwell edison In reply to ...but have you REALLY li ...

I put my Crazy Horse LP on the turntable today. You're right. It sounds great. (Yep, LPs and turntables.)

By the way, it must have been great to have someone around to discuss all that classic rock music. No such luck for me -- all too young.

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Bob was a kindred spirit

by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to Remembering Bob Artner

Bob was my boss at TechRepublic for almost my entire tenure with the company, and what often struck me was how much we had in common: a love of science fiction, self-effacing humor, and a sheer stubborn certainty that we were always right. We butted heads as often as we agreed (if not moreso), and I think this was due in equal measure to our commonalities as a our differences.

What is often overlooked was Bob's generosity. The phrase "you drive, I'll buy" was his reflexive invitation to lunch. I've lost count of the number of Krispy Kreme breakfasts and ice cream socials he insisted on for the company. He even tagged along on company field trips to sci-fi movies, underwriting chili dogs and hamburgers along the way.

There is a void now at TechRepublic that likely will never be filled, and this place will never be the same again.

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