Veteran Mac writer Don Crabb dies

A disease of the pancreas claims well-known chronicler of the Apple and Macintosh communities. He was 44.

Veteran Mac journalist Don Crabb died Saturday after being hospitalized since December with a disease of the pancreas. He was 44.

Crabb was well-known in the high-tech industry, having written more than 4,000 articles about computing and Apple Computer since 1979. His syndicated column for the Chicago Sun-Times, "Crabb on Computers," appeared in 253 newspapers. He was a contributing editor or columnist for many major Mac publications, including MacWEEK, Macworld Magazine, MacToday and MacTech.

Crabb took to the airwaves as well, appearing regularly on the Fox News Channel and other news programs as a technology analyst. He also had his own radio program each Saturday on WGN-AM 720 in Chicago.

In addition to his writing and television ventures, Crabb was an associate director of graduate and undergraduate studies in computer science, departmental counselor, director of instructional laboratories and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago. He taught undergraduate, graduate and professional computing courses as well as computer science courses since 1979.

In a message posted to the MacFixIt Web site community message boards, university student Ted Pollari remembered Crabb as "an advocate for taking life head on ... but always with a smile. I feel truly blessed to have had him in my life, especially my academic life ... and I only wish I could have learned more from him."

David Morgenstern, former editor of MacWEEK, wrote, "The Mac community has lost a fine person and a great advocate for the platform."

In other remembrances posted to the board, friends and colleagues remembered Crabb as a straightforward writer who was always willing to share his extensive knowledge of the industry with whomever needed his help.

At his personal Web site,, Crabb identified himself as a "professional computer geek" who loved his five cats and dreamed of someday owning a winery in California's Napa Valley.

Crabb was born March 25, 1955, in Chillicothe, Ohio. He was recently engaged to be married to Janet Viane. He is survived by parents Marilyn and Donald Eugene Crabb; his sister, Diane McHenry; and his grandfather.