During our lifetimes, we all meet people who reassure us of what we do. People who make us feel like we're on the right track. For me, Michael Crichton was one of those people.
Years ago, I was just a hobbyist developer, and I had no idea if I could ever make it in the world of software. Then one day, out of the blue, I received an email from Michael, stating how much he enjoyed using one of the products I was working on. But it wasn't just that — for me, the most important thing was the way he said it. He treated me as equal. And I thought: If he likes what I do, I must be fairly good at it.
Later on, we exchanged some more emails, and he sent me a copy of State of Fear, including a personal dedication. I've always been very proud of this book, and I've always liked showing it to my friends and family. In fact, I've shown it to my mother earlier this week.
As far as I know, he liked networking with us Mac guys in that way, so I'm sure there are lots of other developers, editors and bloggers who could tell you a similar story. But I'm not writing this to make anyone think I'm special. He was. All I want to say about me is that he was a positive influence in my life, and I'm grateful for that.
Michael Crichton died on November 4, 2008. He was 66 years old. And since today is my birthday, I hope it's OK to make a small wish: Let's all take a minute to think about him and his family. We have lost a great writer and an exceptional fellow man.