Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 8th Sep 2018 00:03 UTC, submitted by hornett
OSNews, Generic OSes

Terrence Andrew Davis, sole creator and developer of TempleOS (née LoseThos), has passed away at age 48. Davis suffered from mental illness - schizophrenia - which had a severe impact on his life. He claimed he created his operating system after having spoken with and receiving instructions from god, and he was a controversial figure, also here on OSNews, for his incomprehensible rants and abrasive style towards OSNews readers and staff. We eventually had to ban him, but our then-editor Kroc Kamen worked with him in 2010 to publish an article about his operating system despite his ban.

Davis was clearly a gifted programmer - writing an entire operating system is no small feat - and it was sad to see him affected by his mental illness. I mourn his passing, and I wish his family and friends all the strength they need in these trying times. His family and friends are asking people to donate to "organizations working to ease the pain and suffering caused by mental illness", such as The Brain & Behaviour Research Foundation or the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

I hope he found peace - wherever he may be.

Order by: Score:
v Comment by raom
by raom on Sat 8th Sep 2018 01:29 UTC
RE: Comment by raom
by Drumhellar on Sat 8th Sep 2018 02:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by raom"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

The TempleOS page says it's true.

http://www.templeos.org

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by raom
by zima on Tue 11th Sep 2018 11:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by raom"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Not sure his homepage can be trusted - for example, making up his own death probably wouldn't be the weirdest thing he did... But I suppose it's confirmed now. :/

Too bad how he ended up. :/ I mean, in the past people with similar conditions would often be hailed as prophets, or shamans, or mystics...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by raom
by Kochise on Tue 11th Sep 2018 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by raom"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03
RE[4]: Comment by raom
by zima on Thu 13th Sep 2018 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by raom"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

As far as religions go, that's not too odd ;)

Reply Score: 2

v RE: Comment by raom
by pamiro on Sat 8th Sep 2018 21:30 UTC in reply to "Comment by raom"
RE[2]: Comment by raom
by BeamishBoy on Sun 9th Sep 2018 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by raom"
BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

I think it would be best for everyone if you'd go back to lurking.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by raom
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 10th Sep 2018 12:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by raom"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Agreed, he didn't tell any hard truths or very little truth at all. But I think most rational people would have wished that his abusive behavior could have come at the hands of a mental healing rather than his death.

Treatment can work, but its such an odd individualized disease. Medications that work great for years, can suddenly stop working, finding a drug that is effective can take years..

Reply Score: 4

Wikipedia Confirms...
by QuadSix50 on Sat 8th Sep 2018 02:35 UTC
QuadSix50
Member since:
2005-07-07

The TempleOS Wikipedia page was also updated with a paragraph about Terry's life and cause of death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TempleOS

Reply Score: 4

RE: Wikipedia Confirms...
by raom on Sat 8th Sep 2018 19:13 UTC in reply to "Wikipedia Confirms..."
raom Member since:
2016-06-26

Fuck, man. I really hope suicide wasn't on his mind.

Reply Score: 1

Strange as he was
by Dasher42 on Sat 8th Sep 2018 04:35 UTC
Dasher42
Member since:
2007-04-05

Strange as he seems, there is a profound beauty in how he put so much effort into giving what he saw as the best to others.

Edited 2018-09-08 04:36 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Strange as he was
by theuserbl on Sat 8th Sep 2018 09:02 UTC in reply to "Strange as he was"
theuserbl Member since:
2006-01-10

Strange as he seems, there is a profound beauty in how he put so much effort into giving what he saw as the best to others.

Wrong. He don't see it as the best for others.
Read the Wikipedia article for it.

ThempleOS needs a x86_64 Computer.
It have a nice shell and so on.
But it is limited to 640x480 pixels with 16 colors, because God says him, that the OS should have that limitations. There is no technical reason in modern times to have not more colors. That's the CGA color range.

He have written the OS in 9 years with its own C-dialect (holyC) as interpreter and so on.
So you can see, that he was a very talented developer.
It is sad, that God don't say to him to work on Linux, Haiku or ReactOS to create the best and usefull Operating System ever. Instead of that God says to him, to create an Operating System with limitations (resolution, colors, no network, ...). An Operating System which have and will be having a user-base near or exactly zero.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Strange as he was
by boblowski on Sat 8th Sep 2018 10:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Strange as he was"
boblowski Member since:
2007-07-23

It is sad, that God don't say to him to work on Linux, Haiku or ReactOS to create the best and usefull Operating System ever. Instead of that God says to him, to create an Operating System with limitations (resolution, colors, no network, ...). An Operating System which have and will be having a user-base near or exactly zero.


You're missing Dasher42's sentiment. The beauty of human willpower and motivation often has very little to do with the sense or practical usability of the outcome of the endeavor.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Strange as he was
by Dasher42 on Sat 8th Sep 2018 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Strange as he was"
Dasher42 Member since:
2007-04-05

I'm referring more to his biography where there were times that he gave every dollar he had to poorer people than himself.

All of this, and what you're mentioning too, does reflect a warped cognition, but sometimes, the quality of a mentally ill person's heart comes through all the crazy.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Strange as he was
by Vistaus on Sun 9th Sep 2018 09:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Strange as he was"
Vistaus Member since:
2018-03-21

But it also said that he used TempleOS to surf the internet. How is that possible without network support?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Strange as he was
by avgalen on Mon 10th Sep 2018 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Strange as he was"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

But it also said that he used TempleOS to surf the internet. How is that possible without network support?

Where does it say that he used TempleOS to surf the internet?
TempleOS is meant as a development environment with ultimate control for a single user, absolutely unqualified to connect to the outside world with other users. I am assuming he used Linux/Windows to browse the web for research/fun/communication

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Strange as he was
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 10th Sep 2018 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Strange as he was"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Uhm, he wrote it all himself. Its not at all clear that the version he released was the version he himself used. I'm not saying that he did, but I'm also saying its not impossible that he did.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Strange as he was
by JMcCarthy on Mon 10th Sep 2018 00:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Strange as he was"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

ter.
It have a nice shell and so on.
But it is limited to 640x480 pixels with 16 colors, because God says him, that the OS should have that limitations. There is no technical reason in modern times to have not more colors. That's the CGA color range.


There's a completely valid technical reason (which you'd know if you had even bothered to read the linked article.) Without proper graphics drivers you: have no acceleration b.) are limited to whatever modes specified by the VBE. I think 1280X1024 is the highest 'official' mode though some support 1600x1200x24. 640x480xX is the lowest common denominator. Anything beyond that and complexity skyrockets -- and for no real reason because without acceleration it's going to be __SLOW__

He have written the OS in 9 years with its own C-dialect (holyC) as interpreter and so on.
So you can see, that he was a very talented developer.
It is sad, that God don't say to him to work on Linux, Haiku or ReactOS to crneate the best and usefull Operating System ever.

You seem to fundamentally misunderstand its purpose and reason for being. Yeah "God" told him to write and design it in a certain way, but even his god has a certain underlying logic, it wasn't just random arbitrary decisions. Fundamentally he was trying to create an operating system and environment where you could learn and experiment with writing operating systems and other low level code in a live environment. He was trying to give to a modern audience what people in the 80s and prior had with the C64 and its predecessors, where this kind of thing wasn't limited to the 'professionals' or super programmers but your average person. Projects like Linux, ReactOS, or Haiku are completely unsuited for this task. They are too massive, too advanced and complex for even most programmers, forget about someone just now beginning to dip their toes in the water.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Strange as he was
by zima on Fri 14th Sep 2018 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Strange as he was"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

There's a completely valid technical reason (which you'd know if you had even bothered to read the linked article.) Without proper graphics drivers you: have no acceleration b.) are limited to whatever modes specified by the VBE. I think 1280X1024 is the highest 'official' mode though some support 1600x1200x24. 640x480xX is the lowest common denominator. Anything beyond that and complexity skyrockets -- and for no real reason because without acceleration it's going to be __SLOW__

Haiku has quite speedy software rendering without such drastic measures...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Strange as he was
by The123king on Tue 11th Sep 2018 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Strange as he was"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

I can't exactly blow my nose on the Mona Lisa. That serves very little purpose yet people have admired it for hundreds of years

Reply Score: 1

RE: Strange as he was
by pamiro on Sat 8th Sep 2018 21:34 UTC in reply to "Strange as he was"
pamiro Member since:
2018-09-08

I see no beauty in madness like his. I just see fear and heartache and a depressing fact people worshiped him for his mentally ill and racist derived rantings.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Strange as he was
by tylerdurden on Sat 8th Sep 2018 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Strange as he was"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

I see people like you to be orders of magnitude more dangerous than this poor sick person.

Nobody is or was "worshiping" him.

Stop perpetuating the stigma and abuse mental health patients have to endure. Your concern trolling is far from enlightened, is downright medieval... ironically.

Reply Score: 6

See ya Terry
by Kochise on Sat 8th Sep 2018 07:27 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

I exchanged some mails with him, he was quite elaborate but clearly was always on the defensive like he couldn't sustain criticism, even if constructive. That he fathered LoseThos (at the time we exchanged) was one thing and I could understand he was "protective", but then as he started to rant on here with dubious claims, I put some distance. Sad but on a positive note he lived his dream fully until the end.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sat 8th Sep 2018 08:52 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I remember this; Terry had submitted a article like any other and I had raised the question if we were going to do anything with the other editors. Naturally, they had wiped their hands clean of Terry due to major issues with his commenting on previous stories. Nobody is going to deny that Terry could devolve into a massive racist and hostile person.

I'm going to share with you some e-mail exchanges with Terry at the time, including his feedback on the article mentioned; these will be in replies, due to post-length limits.

I still read OSNews every day and it is my default go-to place for tech news. I wish I could participate more but I went off the radar when I got married, and now I have a disabled child with around-the-clock needs.

I have a history of schizophrenia in my family, my father had it and I have seen it consume other relatives. I myself have not been afflicted yet probably in part to my own late diagnosis of ASD a couple of years ago; my son is autistic and that lead to my diagnosis.

I always understood how Terry might feel, underneath the confusion, anger, hostility and the deflection. Perhaps that's why I was willing to look beyond that and discuss TempleOS (then Losethos) purely on technical merits.

In 2008 I was undertaking a complete top-to-bottom redesign of OSNews; admittedly biting off far more than I could chew, given my unstable mental state, but it's work that I'm still deeply proud of and representative of my love for OSNews. I'm hoping that the screenshots I have of the various work-in-progress bits can be published at some point if the OSNews staff would want to do that.

With that, I bid you adieu.

Reply Score: 13

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sat 8th Sep 2018 09:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

From: Terry A. Davis
Synopsis: The 64-bit LoseThos Operating System
Message:
LoseThos is an open-source, free, x86-64 operating system created from scratch, including a compiler and graphics library. It's aimed at recreational programmers. It attempts to be simpler and more welcoming than Linux for those who like tinkering. Version 6.12 was recently released.


On 15 jul. 2010, at 10:42, Kroc Camen wrote:

Hi Terry, would you consider writing up a short article on the changes and an introduction to LoseThos for people who have not heard of it before. This would be more publishable.


NB: None of this is in any way to discredit the other OSNews editors!

(Thom:) Are you crazy? NEVER publish ANYTHING about LoseThos. The guy is insane and dangerous. This is not a preference, but official OSNews policy.


(Kroc:) Don't disagree that he's a problem, but the fact remains that he has written an OS from scratch, by hand and in a completely unusual manner. That ticks every box for what OSNews should be publishing. Even if the discussion turns into a clusterfudge we can just lock the thread. If he can write something interesting then it should be published.


(Thom:) He spammed us to death, insulted us, and theatened us. This is unaccpetable and should not be rewarded. It's that simple.


Thom is not wrong here, at all.

And he hasn't bothered us in some time. You must forgive your brother not 7 times, but 77 times. If he can't put together a sensible article then it won't go anywhere in the first place and if I do publish anything I will take responsibility and I will be sure to warn him before hand. At the end of the day if it kicks off, we lock the thread, ban him and block him in GMail, simples.


(Thom:) I really don't want to see anything published about LoseThos. This all happened before your time and was scary and very unpleasant. David obviously has the last word, but I don't want it. Period.


Edited 2018-09-08 09:00 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sat 8th Sep 2018 09:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Terry's response to the article:

Kroc,

You seem to have a good sense of perceptions on the street. I was impressed
how you handled the LoseThos story. Kinda a lost cause.

I'd ask you for advice, but I'm probably not willing to follow-through.

"Quit being crazy!"

So, you thought about doing some part of a mobile OS? I don't even have
a phone, believe it or not. I don't like those tiny computers -- had
enough in various jobs.

I thought about blowing some money on advertising. I don't have much
but have saved some over the years. Don't buy much. I guess you're obliged to recommend OSNews.

This is cool -- a Google search of "64-bit Operating System" has me at the top of page two. A serach
of "64-bit Free Operating System" has me near the top of page one. I can't believe my luck, honestly.

Couple days ago I made a FaceBook and Twitter page. Practically, no buzz at all on the net. I can't figure that out. I guess people try it and move on and it is not very significant to them. There is no buzz on Google searches of "LoseThos" to speak of.

One bit of wisdom I learned with a edutainment program called "SimStructure" is that
people mostly only use simple features and don't bother to use advanced features. They don't feel like learning. This might be a different crowd.

In case you're curious, I had liek 63 downloads during the first day of the OSNews story and 50 the next. It started to die-off. Then, I did a new release to www.betanews.com which gets picked-up by www.majorgeeks.com and I had 40 downloads for a few days.

When I have no prominant storys in the news, I get about 6 a day. I get 10-20 at source forge but
I don't trust those download numbers. There are robots and stuff.

I do a new release every two weeks and get listed on beta news and major geeks and get typically 35
downloads then 20. Then it dies. This has gone on for 2 years and absolutely nothing has changed. No buzz.

I've really improved losthos an lot--they quality is way way better of the code. It doesn't appear different though graphically.

You remember "it's the economy, stupid." well "it's the graphics stupid.", huh. I can't change modes, but I guess I could do a lot better job of making it pretty with what I got. I hate art :-)

Kind regards,

Terry

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by _QJ_ on Sat 8th Sep 2018 19:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
_QJ_ Member since:
2009-03-12

I must react Kroc. I have worked with ASD.

The "normal" people must learn that, facing what they call a "peculiar person" is, just a person out of our own conventions.

In my company, I had the chance to work in a small team of developers composed of 8 "normal" persons, two diagnosed ASD and a deaf.

It turns out rapidly that the first ASD was very powerful at repetitive tasks and, I gave him the sources configuration management. Build, packaging, delivery note and other Q&A borrowing tasks were always on time. With a high quality process. He never did a mistake.

The second ASD was more problematic : A kind of pissing code robot, providing you 18K lines of SLOC/day without any social interaction. Just gave him a specifications book input, and request that the code must compile before his delivery. Because he preferred to discuss with a gcc output than a human being. Not more, no team meeting, no discussion possible about his code. Nothing else than coding.

The deaf person turns out to be very strong at concentrating in the noisy computers tests rooms. So he was very good at debug and patch, the code of the second ASD... And I learned sign language to communicate with him through windows (Not Windows(R)). A kind of crypto-communication through air, at distance : Priceless.

Nine months... The whole team was awarded by the company for its performances and, its capacity to deliver complex embedded software on time, with high quality and customer satisfaction.

This is the proof if, "normal" people can open their mind, adapt to "peculiar" others", and pass out their own conventions, we can find the real power of "peculiar" people.

And, when you find this power... It's always amazing to ordinary people.

Terry was probably the kind of particular person very difficult to understand for a conventional one.
But you Kroc, got the chance to see the good part of Terry Davis, and understand why it may worth it.

A "peculiar" person to understand another very peculiar person... Again, I got a lesson as an ordinary person.

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by Doc Pain on Sat 8th Sep 2018 23:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

The "normal" people must learn that, facing what they call a "peculiar person" is, just a person out of our own conventions.


I think you mentioned something very important here. Allow me a different kind of expressing it:

In many (and probably most) societies, "non-normal" people are considered inferior, faulty, problematic, unadapted, inadequate, or even "human waste". This also happens in "developed countries". The "normal" people (or "neurotypical", to mention a different word), are of course the inferior ones, and they make the rules everyone else has to conform to. They emphasize this "deficit mindset" as the only way for looking at those who they cannot understand.

Seeing the "unadjustedness" as a chance, as potential, as strength, as special ability, maybe even as a "super-power" is not common.

So why is this considered inferior? Wouldn't it be more natural just to see the word "different" to apply correctly here?

And what about the self-proclaimed "normal" people? They smile while lying to you; they wave their hand in a friendly manner while stabbing you in the back. Always friendly, always communicating, always doing what the boss tells them to do, even if it's stupid.

In my company, I had the chance to work in a small team of developers composed of 8 "normal" persons, two diagnosed ASD and a deaf.

It turns out rapidly that the first ASD was very powerful at repetitive tasks and, I gave him the sources configuration management. Build, packaging, delivery note and other Q&A borrowing tasks were always on time. With a high quality process. He never did a mistake.


I've worked with a proofreader who would spot everything: from missing or superfluous spaces, from wrong dashes to inconsistent quotes. In terms of accuracy and speed, he beat every automated tool. But of course he was the first who got fired because "the PC can do it on its own", and you can surely guess the outcome...

The second ASD was more problematic : A kind of pissing code robot, providing you 18K lines of SLOC/day without any social interaction. Just gave him a specifications book input, and request that the code must compile before his delivery. Because he preferred to discuss with a gcc output than a human being. Not more, no team meeting, no discussion possible about his code. Nothing else than coding.


In today's corporate culture, the disability to perform in a meeting would probably be a no-go ("does not match our vision"), even though he'd probably be a better coder than those folks with their shiny certificates who can't even do FizzBuzz - and don't tell me those don't exist, I tend to meet them on a daily basis! :-)

Nine months... The whole team was awarded by the company for its performances and, its capacity to deliver complex embedded software on time, with high quality and customer satisfaction.


I really like the idea that people who do a good job get rewarded for doing that job - not for being seen by the boss, not for sitting in a pointless meeting, not for participating in the staff party at the bar. Shouldn't be the "getting work done" the most important thing for the employer, rather than wibbly-wobbly "social skills" (boiling down to "I like you" / "I don't like you" as the basis of employment / termination decisions)? Who would you chose for a job, the "non-normal" who does the 8 hours job in 4 hours with 100 % accuracy who doesn't want to shake hands, or the happily smiling and pretty looking man in the suit with the suitcase full of certificates who needs two days for the 8 hours job and just achieves 50 % accuracy? Yes, I know: The man in the suit; "He's passionate, reports in early, stays on overtime, engages with the job, identifies with the company, and invites the team for a beer!" ;-)

This is the proof if, "normal" people can open their mind, adapt to "peculiar" others", and pass out their own conventions, we can find the real power of "peculiar" people.


Definitely. "Non-normal" people are a great source to learn from. Prople with "normal" minds often cannot imagine to leave the predefined ways, which stops them from acquiring a different point of view toward a a problem, and that makes it impossible for them to see a better solution.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by zima on Tue 11th Sep 2018 11:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Couple days ago I made a FaceBook and Twitter page. Practically, no buzz at all on the net. I can't figure that out. I guess people try it and move on and it is not very significant to them. There is no buzz on Google searches of "LoseThos" to speak of.

It seems it didn't occur to him that "commanded by god" characteristics of his OS made it rather uninteresting...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by acobar on Sat 8th Sep 2018 13:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Kroc,

I hope you find good professional advice to take care of your child and help for your own struggles. Our brain is really, really complex and many things affect its capacity to work "properly".

I had on uncle and still have 2 cousins that display mental disabilities at some level. Find a good doctor and if he/she prescribes some medicine, take. Also, have friends and go out with them, fight against self-isolation and/or the impulse to deal with your problems only by yourself.

Best regards.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Adam S on Sun 9th Sep 2018 16:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Happy to see you here again

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 9th Sep 2018 19:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

You too, always!

Reply Score: 2

Like a C Machine
by Iapx432 on Sat 8th Sep 2018 17:23 UTC
Iapx432
Member since:
2017-09-30

Temple OS is like a C Machine. There is a purity there.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Like a C Machine
by tylerdurden on Sat 8th Sep 2018 22:43 UTC in reply to "Like a C Machine"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

so, a PDP-11 ;)

Reply Score: 2

only comment...
by karl on Sat 8th Sep 2018 18:51 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Shine On You crazy Diamond

Reply Score: 3

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Sat 8th Sep 2018 19:25 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a train...

Reply Score: 5

reminds me of an old friend
by gus3 on Sun 9th Sep 2018 02:30 UTC
gus3
Member since:
2010-09-02

His name was Dan. He was a coder, like me. He wasn't full-on schizophrenic; instead, he had schizophreniform disorder, in which the disease manifested episodically.

He'd shown signs that his perception of the world wasn't "normal" since childhood. The first full-blown instance was a result of someone putting PCP, a.k.a. "angel dust," in his drink at a party. (The perp went to prison for it.) Over the next week, Dan suffered some wild hallucinations, mood swings, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. When all other options were exhausted, his parents had him committed to a reputable mental hospital, where the goal was treatment, not isolation. Eight months later, he was stable enough for release, although he still wasn't normal by any measure.

Regarding his illness, he always answered any questions I had, honestly & directly. He described the symptoms of a schizophrenic as the inability to distinguish between sensory perceptions and the bubblings of the subconscious mind, when drugs aren't involved. His own case was latent, before his drugged drink at that party. After that, he had to learn nothing less than a new way of life.

I asked him to describe an incident that best illustrated what it's like for him, to explain it to someone with a "normal" (i.e. normally cognitive) mind. He told me this story.

I'd been in [the hospital] for about 5 months. They were finally letting me brush my own teeth, which meant they could trust me to understand what a toothbrush was, and what it was for. That's no small achievement. (laughter)

One morning, I was doing exactly that. I rinsed the toothpaste from my mouth, bent over to spit into the sink, and stood up. It was no longer me in the mirror. It was the devil, the scariest thing I've ever seen in my life. I was paralyzed with terror.

As I stood there, a beautiful angel descended into my right peripheral vision and said, "Dan? I'm not God; I'm not an angel. I'm the part of your brain which is still working properly. Close your eyes and turn around, and it will go away."

It took every bit of courage to follow those words, but I finally did. And yes, it did go away.


Fifteen years after that episode, as he was telling me about it, his narration was totally calm, even finding humor in small points that the rest of us take for granted. But he had accepted his situation.

His hospital regimen boiled down to a few basic points:

-- avoiding excess stress
-- recoginizing the onset of an episode
-- learning how to remind himself, in an episode, that it will end eventually
-- learning how to spot the tricks a schizophrenic mind imposes on sensory perceptions

One of the things he learned later, was how to deal with employers who had to deal with his week-long absences a few times per year. When he was my colleague, the project management team all knew, but it wasn't always the case with other employers.

His last job was, naturally, computer programming. In April 2003, he took his own life in a schizophrenic rage. His bosses attended his funeral, paying final respects to a fatally-flawed genius.

The next day, I went by to thank them for their actions. The CEO knew I was his friend, so she asked me directly if I had any clue why he killed himself.

They didn't know that Dan had a mental illness.

As his friend, I know he trusted me not to damage his reputation or employability, but he also trusted my judgment when it came to talking about his condition. With nothing more to lose for anyone, I spoke candidly with the CEO and COO about the challenges Dan faced, about how he sometimes had to take off a week or two from office work. They knew Dan took some personal time off now and then, but they had no idea that he sometimes couldn't distinguish reality and fantasy.

-------

Many illnesses are hidden from most of us, until suddenly the symptoms become visible. Some are physical, like hypothyroidism, lupus, or diabetes. Some are mental, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. And some are both, like any addiction, even like self-harm.

As people live their lives, they adapt to the challenges they face. The mentally ill do the same, to varying degrees of success. Dan's was the rare case of mental illness that didn't require long-term drugs. He found a balanced state of mind through training and meditation, which let him live a life that "passed for normal." The journey he took to that place was long and very difficult.

In the end, he fell off the mental cliff. But that ledge he walked was far longer than most of us understood, before he died.

-------

Back to the topic: I remember Kroc Kamen's original posting about LoseThos, how it held my interest, from beginning to end, including the video. My friendship with Dan helped me to see how Terry Davis was a similar flawed genius, but more finely cut. Kamen said LoseThos was a "hobby," but Davis's video (or rather, audio) revealed to me a desperation for an audience. It's a symptom of paranoia, which often accompanies schizophrenia: the sense that nobody else understands what you see, and you're afraid to attempt an explanation because you know someone is coming to take you away; when a receptive audience finally shows up, they get a flood of explanation, along with gratitude for being willing to listen.

Terry Davis's illness wasn't his fault, any more than Dan's was his fault. But in Dan's life, he brought blessing to lots of people, directly and indirectly, and usually through totally screwed-up humor.

Terry Davis might now be an unsung genius (or little-sung genius), but these tiny ripples he made in life can have some far-reaching effects. The pure drive someone needs, to put plain text font and 3D-rendered graphics on a 640x480x16 VGA screen, using cooperative multitasking? A JIT compiler using C syntax? At God's command?

I just turned 50, but I may yet live to see any of Terry Davis's "crazy" ideas get incorporated into BSD/*nix/MacOS or even Microsoft Windows Hudson Bay version 0x0f. Maybe not in their original forms (particularly, "at God's command"), but only time can tell what gems TempleOS holds for the rest of us.

-------

As a postscript: Dan was adopted as an infant. Before he died, he contacted his birth mother, who pointed out some interesting things. He had three half-siblings, who shared some interesting traits with him:

-- All were geniuses but one (a sub-genius)
-- All but one of them were heavy smokers

In the "nature vs. nurture" argument about mental development, it was definitely an eye-opener for me.

Reply Score: 10

RE: reminds me of an old friend
by UglyKidBill on Sun 9th Sep 2018 23:47 UTC in reply to "reminds me of an old friend"
UglyKidBill Member since:
2005-07-27

Thank you for sharing this... quite moving, and definitively scratched some old memories. Thanks.

Reply Score: 2

RE: reminds me of an old friend
by acobar on Mon 10th Sep 2018 00:24 UTC in reply to "reminds me of an old friend"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Thanks for sharing.

73 years after a very dark period in humanity history, intolerance and indifference is spreading once again on our little blue dot. Stories like yours at least keep my hope in humanity alive.

Best regards.

Reply Score: 1

about Dan's totally screwed-up humor
by gus3 on Wed 12th Sep 2018 04:11 UTC in reply to "reminds me of an old friend"
gus3 Member since:
2010-09-02

One afternoon, he and I were among friends, when the conversation steered to a documentary about the atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombs carried the nicknames "Fat Man" and "Little Boy", respectively.

Dan had never heard those names, so he didn't really understand what they referred to. Once I explained the names to him, he began to laugh helplessly. The only reference-point he had for such silly names came from the Saturday morning cartoon "Fat Albert," so he thought "Fat Man & Little Boy" might be another kids' animation.

That silly mistake led to so much more humor:

Little Boy: "Say, Fat Man?"

Fat Man: "Yes, Little Boy?"

LB: "What're we gonna do today?"

FM: "We're going to protect world peace!"

LB: "How are we gonna do that?"

FM: "By blowing up everyone who disagrees with us!"

Soon after, Dan even came up with a fantastic jingle for the cartoon:

FM: "I'm Fat Man!"

LB: "I'm Little Boy!"

Both: "We're a Nuclear Famil-eeeee!"

After he sang that jingle, I was literally doubled over on the floor, laughing so hard I couldn't speak. So were two other friends. Dan's screwed-up humor took the rest of us into a silly place, where nobody else thought to go.

Mental illness is a sad burden to bear, but every case has its own points to laugh about.

Reply Score: 2

In Memoriam
by QuadSix50 on Sun 9th Sep 2018 03:41 UTC
QuadSix50
Member since:
2005-07-07

TempleOS Hymn Risen Piano Cover - In Honor Of Terry Davis - By David Eddy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY33uoBSw3w

Reply Score: 2

Comment by andywoe
by andywoe on Sun 9th Sep 2018 21:27 UTC
andywoe
Member since:
2018-05-18

Anyone seen his video? He was extremely racist and misogyny was his second hobby - please don't invoke his illness as an excuse. Interesting guy, but hardly a nice guy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by andywoe
by JMcCarthy on Mon 10th Sep 2018 00:59 UTC in reply to "Comment by andywoe"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

Mental illness is not an 'excuse'. What next, condemn a person with Tourette's?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by andywoe
by tylerdurden on Mon 10th Sep 2018 03:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by andywoe"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Holding a schizophrenic responsible for not having an agreeable personality is like blaming a paraplegic for not picking up their trash.

There is so much stigma and ignorance around mental illness in this world still... ugh.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by andywoe
by andywoe on Mon 10th Sep 2018 08:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by andywoe"
andywoe Member since:
2018-05-18

Holding a schizophrenic responsible for not having an agreeable personality is like blaming a paraplegic for not picking up their trash.

There is so much stigma and ignorance around mental illness in this world still... ugh.


So I happen to know Schizophrenia very well, my dad suffered from it and we did a lot of research during the early stages. One effect of the disease is that it *amplifies* your personality traits. Schizophrenia doesn't make you a racist, it makes you express it in clear terms.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by andywoe
by tylerdurden on Mon 10th Sep 2018 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by andywoe"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

I actually do happen to have a close member of my family who suffered from this disease as well.

Schizophrenia in males is almost exclusively expressed in late teens very early twenties.


Their actions/opinions are shaped by their severely affected/compromised cognitive processes, holding them personally responsible is part of the perpetuation of the stigma and abuse many mental health patients have to endure.

You're not supposed to take personally something that a mentally ill person says. They need an environment that is compassionate enough to understand the very basic truth that the brain is just another organ and as such prone to disease.

We shouldn't take the racist rants of a schizophrenic personally just as we should not be offended because a paraplegic failed to qualify for a marathon.

This is why zero tolerance PC concern trolling bullshit is dangerous, because it can victimize those who literally need to be given a free pass.

Edited 2018-09-10 22:11 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by andywoe
by zima on Tue 11th Sep 2018 11:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by andywoe"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

What about when the affected refuses to medicate? (though I suppose that's mostly a failure of the US healthcare system...)

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by andywoe
by tylerdurden on Tue 11th Sep 2018 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by andywoe"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

What about it?

A sick brain, which is what people suffering mental health issues, in many cases is not going to be able to make reasonable choices because it's perception and cognitive processes may be severely compromised.

One of the reasons why mental health is so prone to stigma is because mental diseases are "invisible," unlie other more obvious illnesses; we can see clearly when a person has a broken leg, but a broken mind does not look that different from a healthy one so it is hard to accept that the behavior of a mentally ill person are the manifestations and symptoms of their illness.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by andywoe
by zima on Thu 13th Sep 2018 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by andywoe"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, why I suggested it's the failure of healthcare system if such people are allowed to go untreated... but is forcing them the right way?

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by andywoe
by M.Onty on Wed 12th Sep 2018 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by andywoe"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

What about when the affected refuses to medicate?

Given that the brain has to decide to treat itself, that is not dissimilar to someone with two broken legs who can't walk to A&E to get them set.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by andywoe
by zima on Fri 14th Sep 2018 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by andywoe"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

So you're of the opinion someone should "help" them decide?...

Reply Score: 2

I guess.
by SitrucKram on Mon 10th Sep 2018 00:20 UTC
SitrucKram
Member since:
2013-12-02

Terry Davis was a complete prick. He did very little for computer science or theology. RIP, but I can't honestly say that I'm empathetic toward this racist, misogynist.

Edit here...

Let me back up. Mental illness is very treatable in most cases. His family, friends (if he had any), colleagues, members of the church, local law enforcement, must have been extremely apathetic toward what this dangerous man without treatment could have done. As mental illness took a brilliant mind in Ian Murdock just not too long ago, I believe it would be a duty to society to encourage people to seek mental illness.


I honestly thought that Davis would end up murdering people, honestly.

Edited 2018-09-10 00:26 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: I guess.
by tylerdurden on Tue 11th Sep 2018 00:12 UTC in reply to "I guess."
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

It's hard to tell if you're trolling or you really are that ignorant about the reality of mental illness. Good grief.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by grub
by grub on Mon 10th Sep 2018 06:37 UTC
grub
Member since:
2018-08-03

So while he was still alive, he was a hated troll. So hated that he was banned. Basically, everyone told him to go the f**k away and stop bothering us.
But now that he is dead, suddenly we all are very saaaad, we express our condolences and even respect, we even go as far as to say he was "a genius"...
And don't forget to be "politically correct" because of his mental illness.
You people are ridiculous...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by grub
by avgalen on Mon 10th Sep 2018 07:58 UTC in reply to "Comment by grub"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

So while he was still alive, he was a hated troll. So hated that he was banned. Basically, everyone told him to go the f**k away and stop bothering us.
But now that he is dead, suddenly we all are very saaaad, we express our condolences and even respect, we even go as far as to say he was "a genius"...
And don't forget to be "politically correct" because of his mental illness.
You people are ridiculous...

The world isn't black and white. You can be a genius and a hated troll. I am not sad, I didn't express any condolences to anyone but I can respect the work and dedication he put into his project that actually seemed fairly impressive.


Saying "you people" is what is actually ridiculous!

A quote from an article about TempleOS that is actually worth reading for many reasons, both technical and ideological
There are many bad things to be said about TempleOS, many aspects of it that seem poorly constructed or wouldn't work in the "real world". I'm going to ignore them here. It's very easy to be negative, but you will never learn anything new by doing so.
source: http://www.codersnotes.com/notes/a-constructive-look-at-templeos/

Edited 2018-09-10 07:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by grub
by grub on Mon 10th Sep 2018 08:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by grub"
grub Member since:
2018-08-03

Saying "you people" is what is actually ridiculous!

I am referring to Thom and other commentators like him who suddenly turned their attitude 180 degrees just because that schizophrenic died.
It is nauseating to see people suddenly praising someone they once mocked just because that someone died.
No one ever told as many good words about him while he was still alive and could actually READ those words.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by grub
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 10th Sep 2018 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by grub"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I am referring to Thom and other commentators like him who suddenly turned their attitude 180 degrees just because that schizophrenic died.


We didn't know who he was and that he was ill back when we decided to ban him.

It is nauseating to see people suddenly praising someone they once mocked just because that someone died.


Mocked? I don't remember mocking anyone.

In any event, I do have a comment section to run, and I don't have the time - nor is it my responsibility - to be some random person's personal nurse. However, that doesn't mean I don't recognize someone's behavior is the result of something beyond that person's control.

No one ever told as many good words about him while he was still alive and could actually READ those words.


Other than us (i.e., Kroc) actually helping him by giving him an article slot?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by grub
by zima on Tue 11th Sep 2018 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by grub"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Other than us (i.e., Kroc) actually helping him by giving him an article slot?

From http://www.osnews.com/permalink?662134 it seems you, OSNews, wouldn't if it were up to you, Thom... ;) (and I would probably agree...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by grub
by avgalen on Mon 10th Sep 2018 12:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by grub"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

"Saying "you people" is what is actually ridiculous!

I am referring to Thom and other commentators like him
"
If that is who you were referring to you need a lesson in how references work. Please see the bolded words.
So while he was still alive, he was a hated troll. So hated that he was banned. Basically, everyone told him to go the f**k away and stop bothering us.
But now that he is dead, suddenly we all are very saaaad, we express our condolences and even respect, we even go as far as to say he was "a genius"...
And don't forget to be "politically correct" because of his mental illness.
You people are ridiculous...


And in your last comment you are talking in extremes (black-and-white) again:
...who suddenly turned their attitude 180 degrees just because that schizophrenic died.
It is nauseating to see people suddenly praising someone they once mocked just because that someone died.
No one ever told as many good words about him while he was still alive and could actually READ those words.


People didn't turn their attitude 180 degrees. They just mentioned that his programming efforts were incredible together with some interesting tidbits about his life, personality and illness. There are plenty of comments about the aspects of him that were not liked as well and even the startpost/article mentions that.

because that schizophrenic died
The fact that you refer to him purely as "that schizophrenic" on OSnews pretty much sums up how black-and-white your thinking is!

Edited 2018-09-10 12:26 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by grub
by grub on Mon 10th Sep 2018 12:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by grub"
grub Member since:
2018-08-03

OK, teach me, please, about how references work.
Teach me about how did you know what exactly I referenced by "we" and "us".

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by grub
by avgalen on Mon 10th Sep 2018 13:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by grub"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

1) First you mention something clearly
2) Then you refer to that with a simple referral word (like I just did with that)


a) You don't mention something, then something else and then refer to the first something because it is confusing
b) You don't mention something and then refer to it but mean a variation because that is confusing

You failed several times on both the clearly part of 1) and the variation part of b)

You did succeed at the "that schizophrenic" referral, which I pointed out as the clearest sign of black-and-white thinking that you showed and which you never responded to.

So no problem if you need more help grammar, but maybe you can work on your other skills as a human being as well? /s

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by grub
by kwan_e on Mon 10th Sep 2018 21:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by grub"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Don't you know? You're talking to the self-appointed gatekeeper of English on OSNews! He takes it as a personal insult if people don't use proper English at him. So he's actually trying to insult you by being unable to communicate in proper English.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Comment by grub
by Kochise on Mon 10th Sep 2018 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by grub"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

And what about cooling down a bit on Terry's grave ?

Reply Score: 2

Metal head
by Iapx432 on Mon 10th Sep 2018 14:08 UTC
Iapx432
Member since:
2017-09-30

Listen to the words ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_A2yvxNY_M

Reply Score: 2

RE: Metal head
by Kochise on Mon 10th Sep 2018 14:53 UTC in reply to "Metal head"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Sweet liturgical chants...

Reply Score: 1

He said it is not an operating system
by kriston on Mon 10th Sep 2018 18:54 UTC
kriston
Member since:
2007-04-11

I just thought I'd point out that he said LoseTheOS is not an operating system.

It is more like a multithreaded application running directly on the computer.

Reply Score: 1