Rest in Peace, Angus MacDonald

I feel like I’m writing way too many of these, but it’s only going to get worse, isn’t it? I knew Angus through Echo, the online service I founded in 1989. Angus came along, and became one of Echo’s saviors. Echo never made a lot of money and I could never afford all the help I needed, but from among the users help was always there. Angus was one of the big ones. Sweet, maddening, generous, immature, mature, always there to help, whatever was needed. He was this great big wonderful caring teddy bear of a guy who would sometimes bite. (I have this funny image, more of an audio image really, but whenever he crossed the line I can hear Hadley reining him in with a quiet, “Angus.” And he was so sweet and eager to do the right thing and he trusted her judgement.) Angus was smart. Funny. I hadn’t talked to him in a long time, and now it’s too late. People are posting their memories of him, and their last conversation, and I’m jealous of all of them.

Thank you for everything, Angus. I owe you so much, as does everyone on Echo, who made friends, who met the loves of their lives, and found jobs, because you helped keep Echo going.

This is Angus in 1995, at Phiber Optik’s welcome home party at Irving Plaza (Phiber was Mark Abene, a hacker who worked for Echo and who went to jail for a year).

Angus MacDonald

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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