Juul BusschotsMy Grandfather had a big influence on my life, and all for the better. Unfortunately, he passed on Saturday night after a short illness. I took the time to mark Steve Jobs’ passing on this blog, even though I never met the man, so I want to do the same for my Grandfather. This is not a definitive history of the man, just three important ways in which he has, and will continue to, influence my life.

Firstly, computers are kinda my thing. Everything on this site I do for fun, and you’ll see that almost all of it involves computers. I also make my living as a sysadmin, so yet more computers! Well, all that started when my Grandfather became the first person in my life to get a personal computer (an Amstrad 8086). Granddad taught me how to use DOS, and later Windows, and our first family computer at home was a hand-me-down from Granddad – a Comodore 368 clone with a 16MHz CPU, 4MB of RAM, and a 40MB HDD. The first computer that was all mine was also a hand-me-down from Granddad – a 75MHz Pentium with 16MB of RAM, and two (then) massive 500MB HDDs.

Myself and Granddad were the only computer nerds in the family – sure, others use computers, but only as a means to an end. When any of the rest of my family start a conversation with me about computers it’s because something is not working, or about to be purchased. Granddad on the other hand would start conversations about computers just to tell me about some cool new thing he bought, downloaded, or read about. A lot of people are intimidated by the relentless march of technology, but Granddad revelled in it – as do I.

Being an octogenarian computer nerd is pretty forward-thinking I think you’ll agree, but my grandfather was forward thinking in other ways too. Simply put, a gay grandson could not have asked for a more accepting grandfather.

Finally, something myself and all my brothers agree on is that when it comes to marriage, we could not have asked for better role models than my grandmother and grandfather. They were together for almost 65 years, and they were inseparable. They did just about everything together, and pretty much always walked arm-in-arm where ever they went. Literally, in sickness and in health, they were always there for each other. I hope I can be as good a husband to my beloved as he was to my grandmother – I know it’s gonna take a lot of hard work to live up to his example!