TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:OT: Time for a little inspiration From:David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com> To:TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Mon, 11 Apr 2011 09:52:30 +0300
One of the reasons I am so passionate about the free software/open
source movement is the passion and commitment of the developers. One
story that recently surfaced, though, is truly exceptional and may serve
as an example for people in many walks of life.
A gentleman named Adrian Hands was both a coder (a "hacker" in the best
meaning of that term) and a man with peerless commitment and dedication.
He submitted an extension to the Gnome software people that fixed a
needed element in the menu code.
That may not be so unusual, but there is far more to the story. He
worked on it during the last days of his life, and it was accepted by
the project about two days before he passed away. In itself, that is
both unusual and laudable. But there's still more.
You see, Adrian Hands died of ALS -- aka Lou Gehrig's disease. During
his last years, he had lost the power of movement in his hands, so his
coding was done with a specially-modified two-pedal device that accepted
Morse code and converted it to text or computer commands. With the
little remaining strength and control of his legs, he persisted until
his fix was complete, tested, and submitted.
Fortunately, he lived long enough to see its adoption, which pleased him
The next time I think about giving up on something I'm working on, I
hope I think of the dedication and commitment of Adrian Hands to give me
that extra impetus I need.
I hope you find this story as moving and worthwhile as I did.
Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help.
Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need. Try
Doc-To-Help, now with MS SharePoint integration, free for 30-days. http://www.doctohelp.com