By Serendipity and Persistence, Epstein Found the Epstein-Barr Virus That Can Cause a Cancer

(p. A23) In March 1961, Dr. Anthony Epstein, a pathologist at Middlesex Hospital in London, almost skipped a visiting physician’s afternoon lecture about children with exceptionally large facial tumors in Uganda.

. . .

Despite Dr. Epstein’s initial reluctance to attend the talk — he sat in the rear so he could make a quick escape — his excitement grew the longer Dr. Burkitt spoke. By the time the lecture was over, he knew that he would drop all of his ongoing projects to find the cause of that unusual malignancy.

. . .

“To have the insight and to be able to follow his hypothesis, with a little acknowledged serendipity, and identify the novel virus was pioneering,” Dr. Darryl Hill, who heads the University of Bristol’s School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine in England, said in an email.

. . .

When the 50th anniversary of E.B.V.’s discovery was celebrated in 2014, Dr. Epstein told an interviewer with the BBC what he had been thinking as he listened to Dr. Burkitt speak in 1961.

“I thought there must be some biological agent involved,” Dr. Epstein said. “I was working on chicken viruses which cause cancer. I had virus-inducing tumors at the front of my head.”

. . .

The discovery of the virus was not quick. Dr. Burkitt sent tumor biopsies to London from Kampala, Uganda, but Dr. Epstein couldn’t find viruses in the early specimens, according to Dr. Hill, who wrote a remembrance of Dr. Epstein for the University of Bristol.

When another biopsy shipment was diverted from Heathrow Airport to another airport, in Manchester, England, because of fog, the sample seemed doomed, Dr. Hill said.

“By the time the sample reached Tony, it had gone cloudy — usually a sign of bacterial contamination that would consign it to the bin,” Dr. Hill wrote in his tribute. “Tony did not throw it away but examined it carefully.”

“He discovered, to his surprise, that the cloudiness was due to lymphoid tumor cells that had been shaken off the biopsy in transit and were now floating merrily in suspension.” He continued, “Tony exploited this chance finding to grow cell lines, derived from the tumor, in culture. He showed that these stayed alive indefinitely.”

Studying his new sample with a powerful electron microscope, Dr. Epstein was able to spot the distinct viral signature of a herpes virus. Dr. Hill called the discovery a eureka moment.

For the full obituary, see:

Delthia Ricks. “Dr. Anthony Epstein, 102, Who Discovered Epstein-Barr Virus, Dies.” The New York Times (Friday, March 8, 2024): A23.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the obituary was updated March 11 [sic], 2024, and has the title “Dr. Anthony Epstein, Pathologist Who Discovered Epstein-Barr Virus, Dies at 102.” Where there are minor differences in wording between versions, the passages quoted above follow the online version.)

3.7 Million Russians “Flocked” to Film Satirizing “Tyranny and Censorship”

(p. C1) By all appearances, the movie adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov’s cult favorite novel “The Master and Margarita,” in Russian theaters this winter, shouldn’t be thriving in President Vladimir Putin’s wartime Russia.

The director is American. One of the stars is German. The celebrated Stalin-era satire, unpublished in its time, is partly a subversive sendup of state tyranny and censorship — forces bedeviling Russia once again today.

. . .

“I had an internal belief that the movie would have to come out somehow,” the director, Michael Lockshin, said in a video interview from his home in California. “I still thought it was a miracle when it did come out. As for the response, it’s hard to expect a (p. C2) response like this.”

More than 3.7 million people have flocked to see the film in Russian theaters since its Jan. 25 [2024] premiere, according to Russia’s national film fund.

. . .

State networks didn’t promote the movie the way they normally would for a government-funded picture. And the state film fund, under pressure after the release, removed the movie’s production company from its list of preferred vendors.

The antics spurred a new wave of moviegoers, who rushed to theaters fearing the film was about to be banned.

“The film amazingly coincided with the historical moment that Russia is experiencing, with the restoration of Stalinism, with the persecution of the intelligentsia,” said the Russian film critic Anton Dolin, who has been branded a “foreign agent” and fled the country.

. . .

“The movie is about the freedom of an artist in an unfree world,” Lockshin said, “and what that freedom entails — about not losing your belief in the power of art, even when everything around you is punishing you for making it.”

. . .

When Putin launched his invasion two years ago, Lockshin opposed the war on social media from the United States and called on his friends to support Ukraine. Back in Russia, that put the movie’s release at risk.

“My position was that I wouldn’t censor myself in any way for the movie,” he said. “The movie itself is about censorship.”

. . .

The film’s verisimilitude was unmistakable for many moviegoers.

Yevgeny Gindilis, a Russian film producer, said that he had crowded into a Moscow theater near the Kremlin to watch it, and sensed some discomfort in the hall. At the end, he said, about a third of the audience erupted in applause.

“I think the clapping,” Gindilis said, “is about the fact that people are happy they are able to experience and watch this film that has this clear, anti-totalitarian and anti-repressive state message, in a situation when the state is really trying to oppress everything that has an independent voice.”

Gindilis recounted how one of the most uncomfortable scenes for people to watch in Moscow was the final revenge sequence, when the devil’s mischievous talking cat repels a secret police squad that has come to apprehend the Master, leading to a fire that ultimately engulfs all of Moscow.

The Master and Margarita, alongside the devil, played by the German actor August Diehl, gaze out over the burning city, watching a system that ruined their lives go up in flames.

“Today the whole country is unable to take revenge or even respond to the persecution, restrictions and censorship,” Dolin, the film critic, said. But the protagonists of the film, having made a deal with the devil, manage to get even.

The film flashes to the Master and Margarita in the afterlife, reunited and free. “Listen,” she says to him. “Listen and enjoy that which they never gave you in life — peace.”

For the full story, see:

Paul Sonne. “Poking The Bear Right In His Den.” The New York Times (Monday, February 19, 2024): C1-C2.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Feb. 16, 2024 and has the title “Life Imitates Art as a ‘Master and Margarita’ Movie Stirs Russia.”)

Campus D.E.I. Perpetuates “a Strong Political Orientation Bias”

(p. A24) The same week that a U.C. Berkeley protest ended in violence, with doors broken, people allegedly injured, a guest lecture organized by Jewish students canceled and attendees evacuated by the police through an underground passageway, a group of academics gathered across the bay at Stanford to discuss restoring inclusive civil discourse on campus. The underlying question: In today’s heated political environment, is that even possible?

. . .

Hosted by Stanford Law School and the Stanford Graduate School of Education, the conference brought together professors, deans and academic leaders who were largely liberal, with libertarians and a few conservatives and progressives in the mix. Unfortunately, one of the organizers told me, most of the invited progressives, which is to say the group that currently dominates campus debates, refused to come.

. . .

Amna Khalid, a historian at Carleton College, endorsed the goal of diversifying staffs. The problem isn’t principle or legality, she said; it’s practice. Diversity according to whom? And in what context?

“It’s always ‘historically excluded and underrepresented,’” she said. “But historically when? Conservatives could argue they have been historically excluded. What’s underrepresented at Hillsdale College will be different from what’s underrepresented in the U.C. system.”

“We all know that there’s a strong political orientation bias being perpetuated,” she continued. “‘Not a good fit,’ they’ll say. It’s fundamentally dishonest, and it creates more problems than it addresses.”

. . .

“What they want are non-straights, nonwhites and non-men,” said Musa al-Gharbi, a sociologist at Stony Brook University. “But they don’t say it that way. There’s a lack of forthrightness that breaks people in these situations.” In his field, men are underrepresented, and queer scholarship is overrepresented. “But it strains credulity to say that anyone would read a D.E.I. statement about someone’s queer work and say that’s an overrepresented group.”

For the full story, see:

Pamela Paul. “Civil Discourse on Campus Is Put to the Test.” The New York Times (Friday, March 8, 2024): A24.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date March 7, 2024, and has the same title as the print version.)

If Your Disease Has No “F.D.A.-Stamped” Cure, Try Rational Experiments Rather Than Give Up

(p. 9) My whole family was sick in March with Covid-like symptoms, and though the one test we obtained was negative, I’m pretty sure we had the thing itself — and my own symptoms took months rather than weeks to disappear.

But unlike many of the afflicted, I didn’t find the experience particularly shocking, because I have a prior long-haul experience of my own. In the spring of 2015, I was bitten by a deer tick, and the effects of the subsequent illness — a combination of Lyme disease and a more obscure tick-borne infection, Bartonella — have been with me ever since.

Lyme disease in its chronic form — or, per official medical parlance, “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome” — is a fiendishly complicated and controversial subject, and what I learned from the experience would (and will, at some point) fill a book.

. . .

If you feel like you need something else to get better, some outside intervention, something more than just your own beleaguered body’s resources, be impatient — and find a way to go in search of it.

. . .


There is no treatment yet for “long haul” Covid that meets the standard of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, which means that the F.D.A.-stamped medical consensus can’t be your only guide if you’re trying to break a systemic, debilitating curse. The realm beyond that consensus has, yes, plenty of quacks, perils and overpriced placebos. But it also includes treatments that may help you — starting with the most basic herbs and vitamins, and expanding into things that, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t have ever imagined myself trying before I become ill myself.

So please don’t drink bleach, or believe everything you read on But if you find yourself decanting Chinese tinctures, or lying on a chiropractor’s table with magnets placed strategically around your body, or listening to an “Anti-Coronavirus Frequency” on Spotify, and you think, how did I end up here?, know that you aren’t alone, and you aren’t being irrational. The irrational thing is to be sick, to have no official treatment available, and to fear the outré or strange more than you fear the permanence of your disease.

. . .

. . . I believe that with enough time and experimentation, I will actually be well.

That belief is essential. Hold on to it. In the long haul, it may see you through.

For the full commentary, see:

Ross Douthat. “What to Do When Covid Doesn’t Go Away.” The New York Times, SundayReview Section (Sunday, August 9, 2020 [sic]): 9.

(Note: ellipses and bracketed year added. A few words in the original are italicized, but you cannot see that since my blog formatting has all quoted words italicized.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Aug. 8, 2020 [sic], and has the title “China Wants to Move Ahead, but Xi Jinping Is Looking to the Past.” The heading EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT was in bold in both the online and print versions. In the print version it was all in caps. In the online version only the first letter of each word was capitalized.)

Douthat’s The Deep Places book can be viewed as a substantial elaboration of the commentary quoted above:

Douthat, Ross. The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery. New York: Convergent Books, 2021.

Good Scientific Questions Can Be Answered With Empirical Experiments: “In Science, Reality Rules”

(p. A17) . . . I hit it off with the legendary Columbia University physics professor and Nobel Prize winner I.I. Rabi, who discovered the basis for magnetic resonance imaging, among other techniques through which we access and harness the quantum world.

. . .

Naturally, our conversations often wandered across physics. I was full of theoretical ideas and quasi-philosophical speculations. Rabi pressed me—gently, with a twinkle in his eye, yet relentlessly—to describe their concrete meaning. In the process we often discovered that there wasn’t any!

But not always—and the questions that survived those dialogues were leaner and stronger. I internalized this experience, and since then my inner Rabi (he died in 1988) has been a wise, inspiring companion.

. . .

Fully worked-out answers to good scientific questions should include solid experimental prospects.

That is a surprisingly controversial view today, as some prominent philosophers of science promote a “post-empirical physics” that doesn’t require proof, or evidence. And there’s no doubt that physically inspired mathematics, or for that matter pure mathematics, can bring people great joy. But I lean toward Rabi’s attitude: In science, reality rules.

. . .

Another characteristic of most good questions is that the answer is just a little bit out of reach. It should not be too obvious, but it should not be utterly inaccessible either.

. . .

The foolproof way to find good questions is to come up with a lot of them and then throw out the ones that are too vague, too easy, too hard or too inconsequential.

For the full commentary, see:

Frank Wilczek. “WILCZEK’S UNIVERSE; Sifting for the Right Questions in Science.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, July 29, 2023): C4.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date July 28, 2023, and has the same title as the print version.)

Even in Chinese “Oasis” for “Dreamers,” Space to Think Critically “Is Shrinking”

(p. A8) Welcome to the Chinese mountain city of Dali, also sometimes known as Dalifornia, an oasis for China’s disaffected, drifting or just plain curious.

The city’s nickname is a homage to California, and the easy-living, tree-hugging, sun-soaked stereotypes it evokes. It is also a nod to the influx of tech employees who have flocked there since the rise of remote work during the pandemic, to code amid the picturesque surroundings, nestled between snow-capped, 10,000-foot peaks in southwest China, on the shores of glistening Erhai Lake.

. . .

But recently, Dali has filled with a different crop of wandering souls: young people from China’s megacities, fleeing the intense lifestyles that so many of them once aspired to. Worn out by the high cost of living, cutthroat competition, record youth unemployment and increasingly suffocating political environment, they have turned Dali into China’s destination of the moment.

“Young people who can’t fit into the mainstream can only look for a city on the margins,” said Zhou Xiaoming, 28, who moved from Shanghai three years ago.

. . .

. . . nowhere in China is truly immune to the tightening political climate — as Lucia Zhao, the owner of the bookstore where Ms. Chen was reading Beauvoir, recently learned.

Ms. Zhao, 33, moved to Dali from Chengdu in 2022 after being laid off from a tech company. She opened her bookstore, which focuses on art, feminism and philosophy, because she wanted to create a space where people could relearn to think critically, she said.

But in August [2023], officials suddenly confiscated all her books, on the grounds that Ms. Zhao had applied for only a regular business license, not a license specifically for selling publications. She shut down for several months while applying for the license and rebuilding her inventory.

She was now more cautious in her book selection. Local officials dropped in occasionally to inspect the store and had recently scrutinized a display of antiwar books she had put out.

“You definitely have more latitude in Dali than in cities like Beijing and Chengdu,” Ms. Zhao said. “But compared to when I got here last year, the space is shrinking.”

For the full story, see:

Gilles Sabrié and Vivian Wang. “Enclave in Southwest China Offers Oasis for Drifters and Dreamers.” The New York Times (Monday, Feb. 5, 2024): A8.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated Feb. 5, 2024, and has the title “Welcome to ‘Dalifornia,’ an Oasis for China’s Drifters and Dreamers.”)

House Advances Bill to Senate, Asking Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Weigh Benefits as Well as Costs of Nuclear Power

(p. A19) The House this week overwhelmingly passed legislation meant to speed up the development of a new generation of nuclear power plants, the latest sign that a once-contentious source of energy is now attracting broad political support in Washington.

The 365-to-36 vote on Wednesday [Feb. 28, 2024] reflected the bipartisan nature of the bill, known as the Atomic Energy Advancement Act. It received backing from Democrats who support nuclear power because it does not emit greenhouse gases and can generate electricity 24 hours a day to supplement solar and wind power. It also received support from Republicans who have downplayed the risks of climate change but who say that nuclear power could bolster the nation’s economy and energy security.

. . .

The bill would direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the nation’s nuclear power plants, to streamline its processes for approving new reactor designs. The legislation, which is backed by the nuclear industry, would also increase hiring at the commission, reduce fees for applicants, establish financial prizes for novel types of reactors and encourage the development of nuclear power at the sites of retiring coal plants.

. . .

Proponents of this change say it would make the N.R.C. more closely resemble other federal safety agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, which weighs both the risks and benefits of new drugs. In the past, critics say, the N.R.C. has focused too heavily on the risks.

For the full story, see:

Brad Plumer. “Once Pariah, Nuclear Power Finds Broad Political Support.” The New York Times (Saturday, March 2, 2024): A19.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the same date as the print version, and has the title “U.S. Seeks to Boost Nuclear Power After Decades of Inertia.” The online version says that the print version appeared on p. A20. The Replica version said that the print version appeared on p. A19.)

Apple’s Bold “1984” Super Bowl Ad, Had Failed Marketing Test

(p. C4) Conceived by the Chiat/Day ad agency and directed by Ridley Scott, then fresh off making the seminal science-fiction noir “Blade Runner,” the Apple commercial “1984,” which was intended to introduce the new Macintosh computer, would become one of the most acclaimed commercials ever made. It also helped to kick off — pun partially intended — the Super Bowl tradition of the big game serving as an annual showcase for gilt-edged ads from Fortune 500 companies.

. . .

FRED GOLDBERG The original idea was actually done in 1982. We presented an ad [with] a headline, which was “Why 1984 Won’t Be Like ‘1984,’” to Steve Jobs, and he didn’t think the Apple III was worthy of that claim.

. . .

HAYDEN Steve Jobs was excited but frightened by it. Steve Wozniak offered to pay to run the commercial himself.

SCULLEY Before the commercial ran, we had to take it to the board of directors. The board sees the commercial, and then there’s just dead silence in the boardroom. They turn and look at me, and [a board member] says, “You’re not really going to run that thing, are you?”

HAYDEN As the closing credits scrolled up, the chairman, Mike Markkula, put his head in his hands and kind of folded over the conference table, and then slowly straightened up and [proposed hiring a different ad agency].

SCOTT I made it. I thought it was pretty good. But I was thinking, “Really? They’re going to run this on the Super Bowl? And we don’t know what it’s for?”

GOLDBERG I had them do a theater test. We get back the results, and it’s the worst business commercial that they’ve ever tested, in terms of persuasiveness.

SCULLEY The board said, “We don’t think you should run it. Try to sell the time.”

GOLDBERG And it was Jay Chiat who told us to drag our feet, basically, when we were told to sell off the time on the Super Bowl.

HAYDEN At long last, it came down that we would run the “1984” commercial once.

For the full story, see:

Saul Austerlitz. “The Super Bowl’s Big Ad Touchdown.” The New York Times (Saturday, February 10, 2024): C4.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed year, added. The bracketed words in comments from Goldberg, Sculley, and Hayden were in the original.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated Feb. 5, 2024, and has the title “40 Years Ago, This Ad Changed the Super Bowl Forever.” In the print and online versions, the names of panelists were in capitalized and bold fonts.)

Apple’s bold and famous “1984” Super Bowl ad could only be understood by those who were familiar with:

Orwell, George. Nineteen Eighty-Four. New York: The New American Library, 1961 [1st published in 1949].

Social Security Administration Is Lax in Stopping Fraud and Slow in Aiding Fraud Victims

(p. A1) For the past two decades, Liz Birenbaum’s 88-year-old mother, Marge, has received her Social Security check on the second Wednesday of each month. It’s her sole source of income, which pays for her room at a long-term care center, where she landed last October after having a stroke.

When the deposit didn’t arrive in January [2024], they logged into Marge’s Social Security account, where they found some startling clues: the last four digits of a bank account number that didn’t match her own, at a bank they didn’t recognize.

“Someone had gotten in,” said Ms. Birenbaum, of Chappaqua, N.Y. “Then I hit a panic button.”

It quickly became evident that a fraudster had redirected the $2,452 benefit to an unknown Citibank account. Marge, who lives in Minnesota, had never banked there. (Ms. Birenbaum requested to refer to her mother by her first name only to protect her from future fraud.)

Ms. Birenbaum immediately started making calls to set things right. When she finally connected with a Social Security representative from a local office in a Bloomington, Minn., the rep casually mentioned that this happens “all the time.”

“I was stunned,” Ms. Birenbaum said.

. . .

(p. A18) It can be a lucrative fraud, and a devastating benefit to lose. An estimated $33.5 million in benefits — intended for nearly 21,000 beneficiaries — were redirected in a five-year period ending in May 2018, according to the most recent audit from the Office of the Inspector General, an independent group responsible for overseeing investigations and audits at the agency. Another $23.9 million in fraudulent redirects were prevented before they happened over the same time period.

“Fraudsters were able to obtain sufficient information about a true beneficiary to convince the Social Security Administration that they were that beneficiary,” said Jeffrey Brown, a deputy assistant inspector general at the Office of the Inspector General, who analyzed the issue in 2019. “Once they were in the front door, they were able to change their direct deposits.”

. . .

Just months before Marge’s benefits were redirected, the O.I.G. issued a report that said the administration’s portal, called my Social Security, did not fully comply with federal requirements for identity verification: It said it didn’t go far enough to verify and validate new registrants’ identities, in all cases.

. . .

The issue would have been impossible for someone like Marge to rectify on her own. It was challenging enough for Ms. Birenbaum, a marketing consultant, and her brother, based near their mother in a Minneapolis suburb, who worked together to recover the benefits and secure Marge’s account.

Ms. Birenbaum — who reported the crime to the O.I.G. and the F.B.I. and alerted her state and federal representatives — once spent two and a half hours on hold with the Social Security Administration before connecting with a regional case worker. The rep was able to see that her mother’s direct deposit information had been altered in early December, the month before the benefits vanished.

Ms. Birenbaum’s brother visited their mother’s local Social Security office and became Marge’s “representative payee,” which allows him to handle her affairs (Social Security does not accept powers of attorney). They had to find ways to make the correction without bringing Marge to the office, which Ms. Birenbaum said would have been a “herculean task.”

Marge received the missing money on March 1, [2024] about a month and a half after they discovered the problem.

For the full story, see:

Tara Siegel Bernard. “Internet Thieves Drain Social Security Accounts.” The New York Times (Saturday, March 9, 2024): A1 & A18.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed years, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the same date as the print version, and has the title “How Fraudsters Break Into Social Security Accounts and Steal Benefits.”)

Bystander With Pistol Kills Heavily Armed Mall Shooter: “Nothing Short of Heroic”

(p. A1) It was an act of pluck and composure worthy of a scene in the movies. But this was real life: A heavily armed man emerged from the bathroom in a Greenwood, Ind., shopping mall on Sunday evening [July 17, 2022] and began shooting — until he was killed by an armed bystander.

Mike Wright, manager of the Luca Pizza di Roma in the mall’s food court, remembers taking shelter when the firing started and then emerging when it stopped to see the bystander behind a low-slung wall with his handgun trained on the assailant he had shot to death.

“He stood there maybe 25 or 30 feet from the body and held that pistol pointed at him until law enforcement arrived,” Mr. Wright remembered on Tuesday. “The good Samaritan guy seemed poised and under control. He appeared to be very disciplined.” Jim Ison, the local police chief, went further, saying that his engagement with the gunman, who had killed three people, was “nothing short of heroic.”

. . .

In a discussion about the Indiana shooting on Fox News, Brandon Tatum, a conservative commentator and former police officer, echoed the N.R.A.’s position that armed bystanders could make an important contribution to peacekeeping. “I think good gun owners, or at least legal gun owners, are the recipe for success against people who do not want to follow the law,” Mr. Tatum said.

This week in The Federalist, a conservative website, the senior editor David Harsanyi noted a number of recent incidents in which armed people were able to stop people with bad intentions from committing acts of violence.

For the full story, see:

Richard Fausset, Eliza Fawcett and Serge F. Kovaleski. “Lifesaving Act in Indiana Mall Renews Debate on Gun Access.” The New York Times (Wednesday, July 20, 2022 [sic]): A1 & A19.

(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date July 19, 2022 [sic], and has the title “After Indiana Mall Shooting, One Hero but No Lasting Solution.”)

A PC Industry Run “By Middle-Manager Types” Is No Longer “Fun”

(p. B10) John Walker, a groundbreaking, if reclusive, technology entrepreneur and polymath who was a founder and chief executive of Autodesk, the company that brought the ubiquitous AutoCAD software program to the design and architecture masses, died on Feb. 2 [2024] in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

. . .

AutoCAD — the “CAD” stands for computer-aided design — was based on a program called Interact created by Michael Riddle, another company founder. With the contributions of Mr. Walker as well as Greg Lutz, who was also a founder, and the rest of the team, AutoCAD would go on to revolutionize industries including architecture, graphic design and engineering by allowing design professionals to ditch their pencils and paper and render their creations on a screen using an inexpensive personal computer.

“To him goes the credit for the Second Design Revolution,” the California software executive Roopinder Tara wrote in a tribute to Mr. Walker on the site The “First Design Revolution,” as Mr. Tara called it, was the creation of earlier CAD programs that ran on expensive mainframes or minicomputers. But, he wrote, it was with AutoCAD, which “burst onto the scene in 1982, after the advent of the IBM PC, that the computer actually started to deliver on the promise.”

. . .

“In 1977, this business was fun,” Mr. Walker wrote in a book-length history of Autodesk that he published on his site. “The sellers and the buyers were hot-shot techies like ourselves, everybody spoke the same language and knew what was going on.”

“Today,” he added, “the microcomputer industry is run by middle-manager types who know far more about P/L statements than they do RAM organization.”

For the full obituary, see:

Alex Williams. “John Walker, 74, Recluse Who, as a Tech Mogul, Popularized AutoCAD.” The New York Times (Thursday, March 7, 2024): B10.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed year, added.)

(Note: the online version of the obituary has the date March 6, 2024 and has the title “John Walker, Tech Executive Who Popularized AutoCAD, Dies at 74.” In both the online and print versions, the word fun is in italics.)