Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Evan Gross, RIP

Rainmaker Research (via James Thomson):

It is with great sadness that Rainmaker Research Inc. announces the loss of its founder, Evan Michael Gross, who passed away suddenly at the end of June, 2012.

Evan was the author of Spell Catcher software and owner of Rainmaker Research Inc. The original version was released as Thunder! in 1986 and evolved into what we know as Spell Catcher X today.

There’s also a company tribute page. I was a big fan of Thunder 7 and wrote to him in May 1996, worried about the future of the product, when I’d heard a rumor that it had been sold. He replied:

Thunder 7 is now called Spell Catcher, and will be published by Casady & Greene starting sometime very soon.

It now has a great future with a good publisher behind it!

Indeed, SpellCatcher shipped later that year and was one of the first products that I reviewed. Casady & Greene is gone now, but Rainmaker is still publishing Spell Catcher X.

Update (2012-07-20): Ted Goranson:

The basic idea is unique personal inspiration of a tool creator, enabling similarly unique and personal creation by a user. It is all personal, part of crafting a life. I love this sort of collaborative creation thing and my work environment is cobbled together from the products that shine in this way.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

[...] am still in shock. I’ve just found out about the death of Evan Gross, the Mac developer behind Spell Catcher [...]

Riccardo Ettore

I just found out and I'm really shocked and saddened. I knew Evan personally and he was a great guy! I will be among the many who will miss him.

I am shocked as well. I started with Thunder 7 and have used the product continually since. It has saved me probably millions of keystrokes by now.

Bruce McCombs

I was very saddened to hear of Evan's passing, and based upon the popularity of Spell Catcher, I'm quite certain he'll be missed in the Mac community.

during the past 10+ years that I've used Spell Catcher, Evan always made time to return my requests for help, and went out of his way to make me feel that my request were important to him personally.

Spell Catcher is one of my all-time very favorite apps, and I'm very grateful to Evan for his efforts to keep Spell Catcher alive, and for continuing to develop the app as the years went by.

We will miss you, Evan, and may God bless you and your family.
Bruce McCombs

Matthew Smith

I just had a colleague tell me of Evan's passing. I am heartbroken. You see, Evan M. Gross saved my life... twice.

He saved my life just by creating Thunder, back in the day when EA thought they were going to be a big tools publisher. (ha!) I know I had a big problem - I was in a growing tech industry that was doing more and more electronically/virtually, yet I coodint spull. When I read about Thunder I felt like the hand of god had touched me. I bought it immediately and was able to successfully hide my debilitating handicap from my peers.

The second time Evan saved my life was when he agreed to let my company publish Thunder as Thunder7. If it wasn't for him and Steve Halls (Talking Moose) I would have been standing in line at the soup kitchen having my posterior eyed by hungry, angry hillbillies.

It was so funny, "officially" Apple disapproved of his work (too many hooks in the OS) but the engineers he would meet at the WWDC loved him. They were always asking, "how the hell did you do that?"

He was a kind, gentle soul that would always let me down easy when I made crazy feature requests. He had a great dog ("Thunder") that would do a handstand when it peed.

My life is diminished with his passing, yet my shortcuts glossary continues to grow. Tonight I will toast him and everyone with spelling problems who aren't afraid to admit it!

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