Don Crabb, a respected former Macworld columnist, has died. The following is a report from MacCentral.

Don was hospitalized in December for what we now know to be a disease of the pancreas, as stated in his obituary written by Don's colleague, Roger Ebert. Don was a staunch advocate of the Macintosh platform writing articles for many magazines such as Digital Chicago, Macworld, PC magazine, MacTech and MacToday. More importantly, Don Crabb was a good friend to the many people in the industry who knew him.

"Don Crabb was, without a doubt, one of the best technology writers I've ever had the pleasure of reading - insightful, cantankerous, and controversial, but almost always spot-on," said Bob LeVitus, columnist and a friend of Don's. "Whether you agreed with his point of view or not, his columns and books were always well-written, and always a blast to read.

"But beyond that, Don was one of the nicest people I ever met. I've known him for most of my professional career and I'd have to describe him as one of the most generous, caring, and genuinely sweet people I ever knew.

"I remember once I asked him to take a look at a book I was working on and perhaps contribute a blurb for the cover. Though he was swamped with his own work - books, columns, courses, and consulting - he said: ‘If it'll help you, Bobby, I'll be happy to do it.’ And he did. A few hours later I received an email containing more than a page of killer quotes, along with Don's permission to use any or all of them.

"That's the kind of guy he was. I'm going to miss him a lot."

Kind and generous Andy Ihnatko, industry columnist and friend of Don Crabb's said: "There were two things I knew about Don back in the mid-Eighties when I had far more enthusiasm for the Mac than money to pay for one: that I couldn't seem to read his stuff as fast as he was writing it, and more importantly that it was all great stuff. As years went by, though, and I grew to know him via emails and hey-you-in-town? dinners, I also learned that he was kind, thoughtful and overwhelmingly generous. And what impressed me further was eventually discovering that this was everyone's opinion about the guy. When you're a great writer, people know it because you're working in a medium which takes your thoughts and puts them in front of thousands of people.

"But a great person has to earn that rep the hard way, one person at a time, proving time and time again their commitment to the idea that We're All In This Together. Don Crabb was a great, great man."

Passionate Colin Crawford, president and CEO of Mac Publishing, remembers Don as a unique, insightful person: "Don was a unique character in the Mac marketplace. He was smart, professional often controversial but always retained a total passion for the platform.

"He was never shy about using his journalistic platforms to offer Apple and others advice, criticism or praise. His sharp and insightful criticism was delivered with one goal - to improve the platform, particularly for, but not limited to, creative professionals.

"Throughout the whole industry he had built up a loyal following who will deeply miss him. Our deepest condolences go out to Don's wife and other members of his family."

A good person Deb Shadovitz, columnist and friend of Don's had this to say about Don's passing: "Last week, if you'd asked me how long I've known Don Crabb, I'd have probably said I've known him a long time. But as the news that he is no longer with us sinks in, I realize I'd known him far too short a time. A good person can never be with us long enough. And to me, Don was all good.

"I first met Don Crabb when he came to speak for the LA Mac Group. He was there for the price of the trip, for the group and for the Mac, not for profit. If not for Don, I may never have become a speaker at Macworld Expo. It was his idea that I join those ranks - and when he told me I should introduce myself in the speaker's office he said to tell Peggy that he'd sent me. When I started my first book project and needed expertise, of course Don was always there with an answer to my question.

"I didn't know Don well enough, but I knew him to be all heart, all giving and caring. I didn't know him long enough, or see him often enough, but the time that I knew him will never be forgotten. He did a lot for me. He did a lot for everyone who uses a Mac. I'll miss him.

"Don was MacCentral's first columnist, it was always a pleasure to work with him" said Stan Flack, founder of MacCentral. "Don was a huge benefit to MacCentral in the early years - he helped MacCentral grow to become the site it is today. He was a benefit to the Mac community and will be missed by all who knew him."

I know I can speak for everybody here at MacCentral in saying that Don Crabb was a man that we all respected as a writer and a person - he will be missed by all."