Bruno … Remembering a dear friend

Bruno, Admin Leader of All Things Linux at Scot's Newsletter Forums

Sadly, yesterday, February 20, 2010 at about 10:00 AM local Amsterdam time, Bruno Knaapen slipped away…no more pain, no more sorrow. This is a soulful time for me. I really miss Bruno very much. But am so relieved that he will no longer have any pain to contend with. No one should have to suffer the horrendous pain that accompanies pervasive cancer that they can’t fix …

My heart, my thoughts and prayers go out first to Bruno’s family and close friends as they mourn … and to all of us who, although never having actually met Bruno, were allowed into his heart and him into ours.

We have lost a wonderful friend, the most patient Linux advocate I have ever seen, and a greatly respected and loved Admin and Leader of the All Things Linux Forum at Scot’s Newsletter Forums — which is now known as Bruno’s All Things Linux or BATL for short. There are a couple threads in the Announcements area of Scot’s Newsletter forums for Bruno as well; recent one here and original one here.

As Ken/Helio noted in his blog posting here:

By choice, and with dignity, Bruno bid his earthly family farewell and slipped beyond The Veil. Bruno Knaapen was ravaged by brain cancer. That cancer had spread throughout his body.

He was tired.

He was in pain,

but moreover…

He would no longer allow his family watch him suffer and wither.

Much more in Ken/Helio’s Tribute.

Corrine also posted a precious piece entitled To Bruno Knaapen: God Speed:

While words escape me, my thoughts today are with family and friends of Bruno Knaapen.

More in Corrine’s tribute link above.

And Rons posted The World Is Mourning The Loss Of Bruno Knaapen – Linux Advocate

Looking over in the Scot’s Newsletter Forum, All Things Linux, Bruno has posted over 37,000 replies to questions or information for Linux users. He also had an excellent site called Tips For Linux Users in which he posted everything you needed to know about Linux.

Much more in Ron’s tribute.

And Eric’s Memorial page on his forums here:

It is with much sadness that I once again find myself posting something here in this hallowed area that I would not normally ever want to post. I post not for the ones who have left us, but for those left behind.

Thank you, Bruno… for many things; mostly for being my friend. You will always be missed; never forgotten… one dimming light on earth; another brightened in the night skies.

So true Eric!

More on Eric’s memorial page.

ADDED 3/31/2010 from Eric’s new Nocturnal Slacker blog over at LockerGnome. In Eric’s very first posting, he posts a fitting tribute to his friend (and ours) Bruno Knaapan entitled, “There Once Was A Man Called Bruno” where he writes:

It’s only fitting that the very first post that I write here in this blog regarding Linux be about Bruno, the man who taught me a large portion of what I know about that topic. He was my friend. I miss him.

More on Eric’s memorial page.

Below is my Tribute to Bruno and links to several other wonderful tributes posted around the same time frame when we all heard about what was going.

I find it interesting that Bruno left this world on February 20th, which is the birthday of another great friend and Linux and Open Source Advocate, Klok. I mention Klok, aka Brian Converse in my tribute to Bruno, and provide a link to Klok’s Memorial as well as my Dad, another great tinkerer that we have lost in the last 5 years.

I can’t say good bye… I will just say that Bruno was loved so very much and will be ever so greatly missed …

Until we meet again Bruno, my dear friend … until we meet again where there is no more pain …

Here’s my previous posting from January 12, 2010:

Bruno, what to say of one of the most dedicated, patient, and selfless people I have ever ‘met’ on the Internet, or maybe even in real life.

Bruno, in many ways, you remind me of my Dad (rest his soul), and my Jim — which is a very high compliment, IMHO. There is another great Open Source guy, Klok who was of a similar mind set as all of these men — you can find his story here: Klok Memorial.

For those reading this article, who may not know who Bruno is, Bruno is a wonderful man with seemingly limitless patience and dedication. He is from Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. He has a family that he loves and that love him — and despite that, he was able to spend thousands and thousands of hours sharing his knowledge, or learning what he needed to convey to Linux Explorers day in and day out … to only God knows how many Linux Explorers (those who have never used Linux and desire to learn and explore Linux).

And Bruno didn’t keep his talents to himself when it came to those who have used Linux, and maybe been discouraged over the years due to their initial response from the Linux community during their initial forays into the world of Linux. Maybe they were not quite as smart, or as quick as the Linux community, or specific Linux users thought they should be, or maybe they had the misfortune to have incompatible hardware when they first tried Linux, and didn’t have the expertise to get around that, or the understanding to know if it was even possible. It didn’t matter, Bruno would work through it with them…never giving up. Yeah, there were times when they might need a new piece of hardware to make things work, but they would know what was needed, and if it was at all possible to make Linux work on their hardware, Bruno would help them to understand it and how they could make it work or maybe why it wasn’t possible with that particular piece of hardware if no other answer was possible. But you would know…you would know it wasn’t you… it was the hardware that failed.

For the purpose of this remembering, there are a few important things to understand about Bruno — at least in my own mind. Bruno loves Linux and Open Source – he loves the doors it opens to understanding and capabilities, the way it opens doors that expensive proprietary barriers may have closed to people, he loves that you can legally get under the hood and see what makes it ticks and why, and change it to make it do other things without repercussion because Linux is open and free – very often free as in beer, but always free as in free speech. Two more important things to know is that he truly cares about people and the concepts surrounding Linux to the point that he has spent the last 7 years with amazing patience, humor and dedication helping Linux Explorers, who often were not given the time of day in the vast Linux community or scoffed at, or ridiculed, or told to go do their due diligence, do the work necessary to gain entry into the Linux community or move on or go back to some other OS. Thankfully, that thinking has begun to change over the last few years in the greater Linux community, but it was pretty radical when Bruno first started doing this 7+ yrs ago on our forums (links later in this posting).

Bruno, Admin Leader of All Things Linux at Scot's Newsletter Forums

Bruno would take these Linux Explorers under his Penguin wing (see his mobile penguin with sunshades avatar above), and help each one to work through their problems with Linux and/or help them work through their problems with hardware in relation to Linux — he would encourage them, and walk through with them along every step of as many aspect of their Linux install as were needed, or issues with programs, learning CLI (command line interface), drivers, updates, whatever they needed. He would do it with great dedication, grace, encouragement, respect, patience, understanding, humor, and amazing aptitude. He did this to help people understand even across language barriers, and despite each person’s level of understanding or misunderstanding of Linux, or even computers — despite their age, or quickness, despite all potential negative or frustrating factors.

My Jim got me started in many things, in fact, he got me started in Linux. But some of my hardware was unfortunately tailored for a Windows operating system which made my first experience very discouraging in many ways. Due to that and the treatment I received when I tried to get help online, I all but gave up on Linux until I could get different hardware, or newer versions of Linux could come out that might work with my hardware. Bruno, raved on Mandrake (now known as Mandriva) and over time, almost a year after I gave up, I felt comfortable enough to try again. I had read through all Bruno’s topics to various Linux Explorers, and it was in part due to his encouragement as well as from my Jim, that I tried again with Linux and succeeded. Not only did I get Mandrake running, on that same hardware by the way, but have since installed various Linux flavors, including Redhat, Fedora, Ubuntu, and my current distribution Debian. I am very grateful to Bruno and my Jim for helping me get to that place. It was a milestone for me.

Bruno is certainly a Linux Saint if there ever was one.

And it is with great sadness in my heart, that I report that our Bruno will be moving on from this world very soon … to a better one and rather than leave this world  with anger, he greets this new challenge with his usual aplomb despite how hard it is to face a devastating tiger … in fact, he has taken that tiger by the tail and refuses to allow it destroy what he started within the hearts of Linux Explorers and gives hope to those who feel such sadness at the loss which is coming very soon.

There are a multitude of lessons that we all can learn from just this small part of Bruno’s story.

Will we let the world lose Bruno, or will we become a ‘little’ Bruno and help people where we can? Will we let folks flounder in discouragement? Or will we help where we can?

Whether it is about Linux, Open Source as a whole, or any aspect of our lives, there is much to learn from our sunshaded penguin friend.

Bruno, you are greatly loved and will be missed more than you can know. In death, as in life, you give hope and encouragement to all. I hope we have done the same for you with our remembrances.

Enjoy what time you have left with your family, and thank you ever so much for everything my dear friend. We at Scot’s Newsletter’s Forums, and within Bruno’s All Things Linux forum there, will never give up. We will give what we can to help in whatever areas and capacity we can. We may not be as talented in as many areas as you are, but we will do the best we can.

Thank you also for the legacy of to carry on and to Scot for helping to make sure that that the offline Bruno’s Linux Tips files will also be available as well.

I would also encourage folks to read a very gifted writer about our Bruno — Jeber/Jack Carlson’s Good Bye Dear Friend.

Other Tributes to Bruno:

V.T. Eric Layton’s “My Favorite Penguins” at

Ken/Helio’s “A Monument for Bruno” on his blog

Comments on: "Bruno … Remembering a dear friend" (6)

  1. […] have updated my Tribute/Memorial Page to Bruno here and my original posting about that Tribute Page […]

  2. […] Bruno … Remembering a dear friend […]

  3. […] Eric’s very first posting on the new blog is a beautiful tribute to our fellow Admin and Admin/Senior Moderator of SNF’s All Things Linux (now known as Bruno’s All Things Linux as tribute/memorial to Bruno Knaapan, may he rest in peace), who passed away in February. I have added Eric’s newest tribute to the Memorial page here on my blog, Bruno … Remembering a dear friend. […]

  4. RIP Peace Bruno!

    Bruno, you are still very much missed!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: