Remembering Mac writer Rodney O. Lain

“It was two-years ago this week that the Mac world lost a prolific Macintosh advocate, and I lost a friend. Rodney Lain, popular writer for Mac sites AppleLinks, The Mac Observer, MacAddict, and our own, died on June 16th, 2002,” Tim Robertson writes for

“A controversial writer from the start, Rodney loved nothing more than to stir the hornets


  1. Use of a racial epithet is an example of the greatness of this writer? I bleed six colors as much as the next mac-o-phile, but the state of the mac community is not a serious enough topic to warrant it.

  2. We exchanged some emails at one time. I only heard that he died one year after the fact — to great shock. Miss you Rodney. You wrote from the heart, and touched mine a few times. Be seein’ you soon, bro’.

  3. I was an online editor for over seven years and I was threatened with being fired multiple times for publishing Rodney’s articles.

    Each and every time I demanded that the the incensed person tell me if they had actually read the article, or if they were reacting to a vitriolic reader email or having done nothing more than scan the provocative headline.

    Not once had any of these people actually read the article. After I insisted that they do so, every single one of them changed their tune.

    Rodney was a gift to us all and his passing was a terrible loss to many.

    And while it may very well be a slow news day, has the reader who posted that comment actually read Rodney’s work? You are welcome to have a differing opinion, but please say that you’ve actually read his columns before forming said opinon.

  4. My point is: If I were a writer, I would hate to be remembered by the fact that I used a racial epithet, even if I did so effectively. You have to admit that when presented out of context, it makes you cringe somewhat. Anyway, if pissing people off and using bad words is noteworthy, then I should be a star. ; )

    If I knew where to get the article, I would read it. However, I think you can understand why I would be skeptical that this particular epithet could be a useful tool in a Mac article. I remain skeptical.

  5. If you didn’t read Rodney regularly in the context of the time in which he wrote you probably couldn’t understand it. No reflection on you, it is just that you really had to be there to appreciate it.

  6. I met him at MicroCenter a year or so before his death. I had read some of his stuff, and I had read that he put his time where his mouthpiece was and worked part-time in our local Mac scene to spread the “good news” of Apple, but I was still astonished to see him. I said, “hey, are you the iBrotha?” and he smiled and said, “yeah.” I don’t recall anything more because I was too star-struck. He had quite a presence.

    Having struggled with depression most of my life, I know what a terrible thing it is and what wonderful talent like Rodney is lost every year to it.

    You can do nothing greater to honor Rodney O. Lain than to work to reduce the stimga of mental health problems which keep people from seeking or getting the help they need to remain with us.

  7. You’re probably right. Rodney Lain may have been a skilled and worthwhile writer… I don’t know. My guess is that use of the *N* word was the kind of “look-at-me” attention-whoring that is common in the media. That doesn’t necessarily make him less worthwhile overall, but it doesn’t highlight his talents either. If I write “I love f**king your mother up the a**”, it gets your attention, but it doesn’t make me a great writer… and, it’s not appropriate.

  8. [Looking forward to the 3rd anniversary of his passing]


    [……..slow “news” day?]

    Why is 10 days of Reagan news okay for you, yet a mere mention of a deceased Mac advocate move you to be insulting?

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