This morning, as most mornings, I checked this weird URL—http://download.srv.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/news/index.html—to read a clumsy HTML page. The sporadic updates of Randy Pausch on his life and health.
There hadn’t been any updates for a month. June 26th’s entry was about a failed chemotherapy treatment, and the one I saw this morning, dated July 24th, was puzzling. I can’t even get to a cached page now; the server’s now completely down. But it was the first anonymous post on the page. “A friend” said that Randy had taken a turn for the worse and was now in hospice care, unable to continue to maintain the page himself. The page had been updated by his wife before, and any information from other friends or colleagues was always sourced. For such a major announcement to be made anonymously was just plain weird.
My first thought was that the page was hacked. But then a few minutes later, I saw a CNN announcement that Randy had died; again, with no attribution and very few details. A hoax?
But now the major news outlets have the story, from a CMU spokeswoman.
Bye, Randy. I know you didn’t want to go.