Departure

After more than 17 years, I’m leaving the Washington Post.

No, that’s not an easy sentence to write.

The proximate cause is management deciding that the sort of review and analysis of technology that I’ve been doing for most of those 17 years is no longer part of the Post’s core mission. As I understand it, the paper places a high priority on covering Washington the city (as in, local news and sports) and Washington the story (politics), but other topics may not be assured of column inches or server space.

As a journalist in a newsroom, you own the quality of your work but not your spot in the paper or on the Web site. Beat, column and blog assignments change. Sometimes your editors offer you another position–my colleague Patricia Sullivan arrived here to edit technology coverage but moved on to become a talented obituary writer. And sometimes they offer you an exit.

I could try to expand on the reasoning behind the paper’s decision, but I’ve never pretended to be a spokesman for management and won’t start now. Trust me on this, though: My critiques of the Post–such as those of its iPhone and iPad apps or its advertising policies–had zero bearing on my departure.

Instead, let me explain why this isn’t a bad time for me to log out and investigate the next thing, and why I’ve been pondering that move for a while.

First, in two words, I’m exhausted. I wrote more than 2,000 words on Monday alone, and I’ve easily exceeded that figure on many days over the last few years. My longest time off since starting here in 1993 was three weeks of paternity leave last year, which you should recognize as being a long way from vacation. The newsroom’s new editing system, as noted by our ombudsman in late March, has only compounded the fatigue factor.

Second, there’s this life outside the office that I’d like to reacquaint myself with, however briefly. As I write this, my daughter is about ready to crawl even as our house remains un-babyproofed. Spring is arriving and I have a (small) lawn and garden ready for my attention. The kitchen has a stack of recipes overdue for me to try, while the rest of the house hides a long list of deferred-maintenance chores. I won’t mind stepping off the treadmill for a bit to focus on things that don’t involve gigabytes, kilobits or megapixels.

Third, the journalism market is seeing some changes. The Post’s union kept some eminently fair severance provisions in our contract, and they should give me time to consider opportunities that didn’t exist a year or two ago.

In the meantime, I’ll use this space to write about my exit and my next steps. My Post e-mail address should work through the end of the month, and you can also reach me at rob@robpegoraro.com.

Thanks for reading. See you on the other side of my next byline…

- R

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176 thoughts on “Departure

    • Oh, no! You are leaving behind a hufe fan base. I always looked forward to and read your columns. You write in a manner that was understandable to me, not often the case in the field of computers . . .

      Enjoy spring with your family. I have no doubt you will be moving on to bigger and brighter things.

  1. Somehow this doesn’t come as a surprise to me. I’ve followed you many years now at The Washington Post, and will miss your wise advice and counsel on things digital.

    I wish you all the best in whatever adventure you pursue next. And I wish you, your wife, and daughter all the best in the years that lie ahead. Have fun!

    John

  2. OMG! I am hyperventilating at my desk. I have talked you up to all of my friends over the last 3-4 years. I never miss your chat! I routinely refer to your blog and archives when buying tech. I honestly believe this is more harmful to my day-to-day experience than the gov’t shutdown, even though I work for the gov’t. However, I do realize that the detriment to my life does not impact you and all of the things that you are looking forward to sound wonderful. I wish you all of the best. Just make sure to let us know where you end up with the better job. If you need a reader reference, let me know! P.S. I hope you will still be on twitter.

  3. this is very sad. Your technology reviews were always very helpful. You explained issues to consumers in ways consumers could understand. News policies in general are disturbing — whether print, digital, network, local, cable. It’s hard to tell truth from fiction. I will miss reading your commentaries. Good luck and take time to smell the roses and spend time with your family.

  4. Hate to see you leave, Rob, but I totally understand the reasons you’ve laid out in your post. Hoping you get some enjoyable time off and I’m looking forward to hearing about anything you get involved with next. All the best!

  5. Rob, I only read the Post every day because of your column. I found everything I needed to know from you. Before I bought a new product, I waited to see what you and MacWorld had to say about it. You helped me many times to solve my own technical issues! It was hard to read that first sentence…I’m sure it was difficult for you to write also.

    I wish you the best. You will be wonderful wherever you end up. Enjoy your time with your wife and baby. Hope we see your face somewhere else soon!

  6. This is a big loss for the Post whether they know it or not. I am going to miss seeing you in the newsroom Rob. Good thing we’re neighbors. I can also offer some baby proofing tips.

  7. I hope you can find another job, and one that doesn’t work you to exhaustion. I’ve always enjoyed your columns and hope I’ll get to see them in some other venue.

  8. Horrible news. You will be missed at the Post but I’m sure we won’t miss you long — I look forward to reading you elsewhere soon.

  9. Wherever you go we will follow. Gonna miss your chats, though. BTW, whatever happened with the Mac that wouldn’t see the network? I have a MBP that’s acting up.

  10. So sad to hear this!! You’ve helped me so much over the years.

    Not too long ago I would have happily paid to read the Post online. But they’ve gotten rid of most of the writers I like, and each successive change to the site makes it harder to find what might interest me. It’s down to Hax, Sietsema and Ezra now…

    Thanks so much for all your hard work.

  11. Left a note in reply to your FB posting. Sorry to see you go, but the reasons are totally understandable. You’ll continue to do well wherever you land!

  12. I only read the Post for two reasons. You and Dr. Gridlock. Good luck to you whatever you and wherever your adventure leads next.

  13. Damn, Rob! Good to hear you’re upbeat and that you’ll have a financial cushion (but those cushions have a way of evaporating, esp. if you’re taking COBRA, trust me).

    I can’t believe it’s been 17 years. I remember when your byline first started showing up in the Post… those were the good ol’ days, eh? Web. 1.0, encryption wars, CDA…

    Best of luck

  14. I’ve been hearing so many journalist termination stories lately…scary stuff. Who is going to write what people read?

    Good luck to you. And if you try zucchinis in that garden, be sure to pick frequently; they just keep getting bigger if you don’t.

  15. It’s a sad day to see you go, Rob, as it’s been good working with you over the years, but it’s also certainly exciting to hear about what’s in store for you in the near and longer-term future. Definitely unfortunate, but best wishes as you reorganize and strategize!

  16. 17 years might be time to avoid retirement payments & time was now. Rob had most of new stuff well understood, people flocked to tech discussions.

    Time to make last fed credit union check.

    maybe broader field, like science would have kept Black Powder Flowing.

    Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.

  17. Best of luck to you! I enjoyed meeting you at Maura’s company launch – I hope you get to experience some “funemployment” as you figure out your next move. As one who recently took a giant leap into the unknown … I highly recommend it!

  18. This only reinforces my decision to cancel my subscription after over 30 years. Hope to see you around the neighborhood.

  19. Wow. Whoa. Congrats on the great run! Let’s grab lunch or meet up at one of these tech/social media mixers I never seem to make (and often don’t know about until you tweet from there).

  20. Maybe the WaPo readership is human and doesn’t care for linux or your random opinions that are counterfactual….

  21. Your columns were the only thing I’ve been reading at WaPo for a while now. I’m sorry to see you go & wanted to thank you for the years of good information, advice, and commentary,

    Please keep us updated and let us know where you’ll “be” online in addition to this blog. Best wishes to you & yours.

  22. Reeeaaaallly poor decision by the Post. Enjoy the break. I look forward to following you online, wherever you land!

  23. Good luck, Rob. Enjoy the little one. And don’t bother child proofing the house. Nothing is childproof. Basically, kids will spend 90% of the day trying to hurt themselves regardless of their surroundings.

  24. Wow, Rob. Sorry to hear that you’ve been let go. Best of luck to you! Now go enjoy your family!

  25. Really sorry to hear this, but I am glad that you’ll be able to enjoy more time with your family. The Post is going in the wrong direction. You will definitely be missed.

  26. Your column is one of the best in the Post. It’s a shame, but I know you will find an even better niche on the vast frontier of the Web. Best of luck, Rob!

  27. Foof! The Post just put another bullet through its foot. Please let me (us) know wherever you land outside of this blog. Like the other commenters here, I’ll be eager to resume a steady diet of tech insights and updates. And best wishes for your life as family man and gardener… it’s a fun life!

    Very nice-looking blog, BTW.

  28. A loss for the Post; a gain for the rest of the world, I’m sure. Good luck!

    –Harry

  29. Sad to see this happen. But one door closes; another opens. YOU get to leave the ship pre-implosion. You will land on your feet and do fine.

  30. Rob,

    Good luck. You’re a great journalist. I’ll miss reading your stuff but I’m also eager to see where you land next.

    Best,
    gus sentementes

  31. Rob, this is terrible news for Post readers, but I hope it ends up being good news for you. I’ve valued your work for a long time, and I hope to keep reading it wherever you end up. Enjoy some time off and spending time with your little one – and I agree that babyproofing is futile.

  32. The Post is losing another star. I trust you will soon have a much better opportunity writing about technology.

  33. Rob, I’ve been following you and Fast Forward and Faster for many years, first in print then online and on Facebook and Twitter. Good luck to you. It’s onward and upward for you, hopefully with more work/family balance.

  34. Rob – I am positive that this will lead to your doing even greater things. I live in Canada, and started to read the Post because I am a political junkie. Yet, it was the techie side of me that was drawn to your writing, and now several years after being introduced to the Post and you, I have left all of the Post behind except you….

    So keep us up to date on where you are …you are a great writer and an honest voice in a sea of me-too writers. Can’t wait to see what you are up to next.

    Jeez, next thing you know they’ll turf Glenn Beck….

  35. Wow! So sorry to hear all this. I remember your name from the early days of the POST on the internet, when you had something to do with the paper’s early attempts on the web, and later I followed your columns and valued your comments and advice. I’ll bookmark your site and keep following your path. Best wishes!

  36. Wow, I arrived in DC in 1993 from SF (to find a new path to a career beyond tech by going to grad school in public policy) and found your column not too long after. I have watched you grow your understanding and have completely appreciated your views and understandings, which I find quite closely map to my clients and customers (I didn’t get too far away from tech as I readopted it as my career after grad school) needs and concerns and not the every panting tech community to do the next buzzword no matter if it fit their needs or not.

    I am quite eager to follow what you do next. Consider me a fan and it sounds like this is great timing and a great change and challenge for you. All the best!

  37. First Wilbon and now you? Sigh. Rob, I’ve always enjoyed your perspective on technology and have appreciated your personal answers to my questions during online chats. Make the most of the transition and I’ll enjoy seeing what you tackle next.

  38. I am so sad to hear this, but unfortunately, not shocked. I would say you will be missed, but I know you will be somewhere soon. So many excellent journalists, ad particularly columnists, are ending up in online-only publications, and if that is where you end up, I will be happy to follow you again.

    I could have written so much of your post myself. I am a new mother, and lost my job during my maternity leave. My severance was generous enough and my budgeting good enough that there is no financial crisis, and I am loving every minute of this extended maternity leave, although obviously, there is a bittersweet element to it, as new jobs are not easy to come by. Still, time is a precious gift, and unless one switches jobs, one never gets this kind of uninterrupted time with one’s family, and you should enjoy it fully. With your talent and following, I have no doubt that you will end up on your feet.

  39. Sorry to hear about this Rob, you’ve been a rare staple in my reading diet the last few years. I hope you’ll get the chance to live the real life so many of us don’t realize we’re missing until it has passed. Best of luck.

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  41. I’m really sorry to hear this. I’ve always clicked through to your columns via Facebook and the old-fashioned way of flipping the paper’s pages. Your thoughtful and engaging reviews will be missed. Let us know where you end up because I’ll certainly follow you.

    Nancy (former Style designer)

  42. Sorry to hear about your departure Rob, but excited that timing seems as though it’s in your favor! Best of luck and enjoy your time getting reacquainted with your personal life. Looking forward to what’s next for you!

  43. I’ll miss you.

    You’re going to love watching the transition between crawling and running around the house. Have fun.

  44. Hard to fathom this decision on the Post’s part. Your work has been excellent — level-headed, independent-minded, and engaging. Enjoy a good break and, like other readers, I’ll check in to find out what you’re up to next.

  45. Tech, credit and oil are what we as a society rely so much on today. U will find your right spot somewhere. God bless!

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  47. So typical of the Post. Pull the plug on technology coverage that has wide appeal but keep things like a television column that can only be of interest to a few anxious old network executives in NY and LA.

    Oh, and the website is almost unnavigable now. Nice job Marcus and Catherine.

  48. Just another entry on my “Should I cancel my Post subscription? list.” The list is getting longer each month. You were one of the bright spots at the Post. Good luck in the future, Rob.

  49. as the WaPo slowly but surely rids itself of readers…. all the best, Rob. We’ll be looking to see what you do next!

  50. Rob, you were a distinctive voice that translated the maze of the technology world for the everyday Washington Post reader. You were tireless in your devotion to getting answers to questions, and your chats went on for hours until you had solved just about every issue. While for/about Washington is an easy catch-phrase for upper level management, it does not capture the connection between a writer and his audience that you established. Best of luck, looking forward to your next adventure.

  51. Dang! I am a luddite and generally a late adopter, but I have benefitted so much from your column/ blogs, etc. Definitely a loss for the Post. Have fun with your family and the garden and I hope to see your byline again soon.

  52. I’m very sorry to see you leave the Post. You were one of the best writers at the Post, and one of the best writers when it comes to technology period. The advice you have given through your chats and your column have been very helpful and easy to understand for someone who doesn’t always grasp the latest technology trends. Good luck in your future and I hope to someday read your columns again.

  53. Whatever the reason, Rob, this is a mistake on the Washington Post’s part. I myself hope that the Post will indeed do more hyperlocal coverage, and I can understand the need to prioritize. Still, some people shine brightly enough to transcend it all. You’ve been one of them. I’ll always remember the gutsy, incisive writings on topics of special interest to me, such as e-books and DRM.
    Beyond that, I hate to see the Post expanding political coverage and perhaps doing more horse-race stories at the expense of the issues–one of which happens to be American’s declining prowess in technology, a driver of future economic growth. A smarter move would have been to reposition you rather than you rather than let you go. Best of luck!
    David Rothman
    LibraryCity.org

  54. Pingback: Rob Pegoraro, gutsy consumer tech reporter, to leave Washington Post: Why not instead assign him to chronicle America’s declining tech prowess? | The Solomon Scandals

  55. Hey, Rob! Having left The Post in 2001, I can tell you, life only gets better the longer you are away from there. Few, if any, changes the paper has made in the past 10 years have been for the better.
    The mountains of Montana beat the heck out of the halls of The Post!
    Get in touch when you decide to take your family for a visit out West. The latch string will be out.
    Best Regards,
    Bill

  56. Rob, you were one of the few tech writers who had a clue. You will be missed. Hope you land somewhere you are appreciated for your talents.

  57. Rob,
    Best of luck to you in your new endeavors. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your technology coverage in the Post. You’re a great reporter!
    Best,
    Laura

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  59. WP managers must have figured they need more squirrel stories (cripes !) and less about the electronic tools we all use every day. Really makes me reconsider whether to extend my subscription. It was great working with you many years past when the WP was a true source of original technology info. Enjoy the family, take a break and then get back to it. All the best – Jim Hawk

  60. Rob, you will be sorely missed. I hope that you will keep tweeting and blogging, and good luck with whatever you do. Maybe I will see you around town, I’m also an Arlingtonian.

  61. I have followed you for years, and enjoyed much of what you wrote. I’ll avoid the regrets part of this because I expect I will be able to follow you through other means via this technology you sought to simplify and make interesting. These are very interesting times for traditional businesses, tragictly only just awakening to the impact technological changes they once ignored are now having on their business models.

  62. Wow Rob, it’s the end of an era. We (technology content and its associated staff) at the Post used to boast a large number of extremely talented folks in the newsroom and online. Sigh. Newsbytes, Washtech, Shannon Henry, Leslie Walker, Brian Krebs, and now you. Thanks for keeping the candle lit for so long. I wish I could offer you something here at CQ Roll Call. Want to cover Congress? Enjoy your time off the ladder, its a well deserved respite.

  63. Good luck, Rob – I never bought a single consumer tech product without consulting your columns first. And you never let me down! Enjoy your daughter and your next adventure. Life is too short. We’ll all be looking for your next byline!

  64. Rob, you should talk to David Strom, tech writer extraordinaire. He has made similar transitions and might be able to give some pointers.

    Thanks for years of service and good luck.

  65. I’m sorry to see you go. I had hoped that the Post’s deterioration was going to stop. This is more evidence that it isn’t. More and more the Post is just a shadow of what it used to be.

  66. Rob, I was pissed when the Post killed the business section and now I am equally as pissed that your column is ending. I always looked forward to your columns so I hope to see you resurface somewhere else. Best of luck and enjoy the time with your daughter – they grow up way too fast.

    If anyone from the Washington Post management happens to be reading the comments here, you might want to remove your head from the orifice that it is currently in and realize that if you keep cutting things out of the paper that your subscribers like, there will be no reason for us to continue to be subsribers!

  67. It’s a shame but you’ll be fine. You are a great writer with a true gift. Best of luck!

  68. Arugh. The Post website has been my browser homepage since the Netscape 1.0 days, but I’m finding fewer and fewer reasons to keep it that way. I’m very sorry to hear you’re headed out the door — and much as I’m glad you’ll get an overdue break, i also selfishly hope your byline pops up again very soon.

  69. Wow… no words. I’m going to miss your post so much! I’ve enjoyed the heck out of your column and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

  70. Enjoyed your stuff over the years, Rob — always kept an eye out for it. Good luck in the next chapter!

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  73. Rob, it’s been a pleasure to speak with you on several occasions for your column and always appreciate an opportunity to read and hear your perspective on the tech industry. Best wishes in your future endeavors and I look forward to seeiing what you’re up to next!

  74. Rob – You are so talented. I will miss your columns and insight on all-things technology. While I wish you weren’t leaving the Post your adventures ahead and next chapter so to speak will be well-deserved and hopefully rewarding in more ways than you can see now.

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  76. Take care, Rob. Your columns and posts were something I always looked forward to reading and your advice was usually spot on. Although I consider myself somewhat tech savvy, it was rare that I didn’t learn some new tidbit from your articles or use them to validate my opinion of a new tech toy. Thanks for your insight, help, advice, common sense, and good humor over the years. You will be missed. Good luck on your next endeavors and will be looking to catch up with you wherever you end up.

  77. Always enjoyed your work and am confident that everyone will be able to do so again, as soon as you’re ready to accept a new position. Best of luck to you.

  78. Rob, Good luck to you. I have a similar story to tell, but mine happened now 3 years ago, and I wasn’t downsized because of writing but design. The little cushion evaporates fast, so my advice is start looking right away. I’ve never read your columns because I’m up in NYC; a fan of yours posted a link to your “obit” on Facebook, and I used the links in your blog to read your columns. I will be following your writings to wherever you end up. Happy flying. Land safely.

  79. Always went to you first on Sundays.

    Have been where you are today…it’s kinda nice, actually. Hopefully it will lead to better things you haven’t even though of yet, as it did for me.

    Best,
    Steve

  80. Rob –

    We met many years ago at the Internet SIG of the NYPC. If you want to be/stay involved in the regional software developer community, and would like some connections (people, groups, mailing lists, etc.), let me know.

    Good luck in your new life!

    – Keith Bennett

  81. Should you take up covering tech on your own, it’ll be as easy to set a bookmark for you as it was to set a bookmark for Brian Krebs – and as desirable. Good luck, sir!

  82. This is horrible news for readers of The Post. You were a great resource. Very very sorry to hear this, and wish you the best of luck always.

  83. Rob, I’m dismayed and puzzled why the Post is moving away from the Tech stuff that you so ably reviewed, explained, and put into perspective for me. It’s totally counter intuitive,(a fond IT term that I have come to loathe) that the Post would bale on a subject that drives a large chunk of our lives. I can’t help but think I’ll be reading your work in a better place..Please let us know where to find you…FDMCD.

  84. I’ve been religiously following your column since you first gave a talk at the Capital PC User Group many years ago, Rob.

    Reading all these bittersweet reactions to the Post letting you go brings a tear to my eye. Not only for this ill-advised management decision but for the inevitable death of a beloved newspaper that I have been reading since the 1940s. My wife says we can cancel our subscription now. But we’ll have fond memories of the Post-that-was.

    Good luck with your new directions, Rob!

  85. A big loss for the Post…sorry to see you go, Rob. Keep us posted on the next chapter and all the best to you here forward!

  86. sorry to hear of this. Your stuff was one of the highlights for me, and the management of that place continues to mystify.

    I feel your pain on learning opaque new systems– having to start on Windows XP and Outlook in a staff job 2 1/2 years ago after decades of self-employment on a Mac was sheer torture (still is some days).

    Have no doubt you will find another niche that accomodates baby-raising and a saner life (although part of that is your own management of that life)!

  87. Rob, this is a loss. Yours has been one of my must-read sections of the Post, a category that has been steadily dwindling. I wish you well in your next incarnation.

  88. Rob —

    Fact is, there has never been a bad time to be laid off by the Washington Post.

    It’s never easy (as I well know — having been the target of an attempted layoff right before Christmas!), but it’s better to move on, believe me.

    Chris Daly, Boston

  89. So, you’re not part of the Post’s “core mission”–but astrology and comics are. I’ve always looked for your Post column and enjoyed it–and will definitely miss it. Best of luck.

  90. The post is eroding down to the daily express. No wonder I and many are now reading the nytimes!!! What are they thinking?

    Sorry to read about your departure. I was very impressed with your reviews and writing style. I read your stuff first every Sunday! A pox on the Post! :)

  91. It’s been a pleasure to follow your blog over these last years. Your voice, to me, always stands out as honest and thoughtful, rather than following the hype of the next greatest thing, which is hard to do in general, but doubly so in the technological domain.

    I hope you enjoy your next chapter in life and get to spend lots of rewarding time with your daughter and family, and that your pace of life is more livable. If your blog topic switches to your adventures in cooking and parenting, I’ll be no less interested.

  92. I really enjoyed your column, Rob. Yours was one of the few columns that I consistently read and shared because you selected great topics and explained them well. Enjoy some time off. I hope you land somewhere where your excellent skills will be appreciated.

  93. Rob, Very sorry that this happened. You consistently cut through the fog and in short pieces let me know what was really going on with product debuts and industry fights. I look forward to reading you wherever you turn up and wish you the best.

    Dan

  94. I am a longtime Post subcriber and am so sorry to see you go. I love your column and always want to know what you think about the latest devices and such. Your opinion actually matters to me, and doubtless to many others. Cutting your position is a terrible decision by the Post. Good luck to you.

  95. Faster Forward hasn’t been the same lately with all the brief posts from your colleague. Not the same as the in-depth reviews and reportage you have provided, and which I often forwarded to colleagues. Keep us informed of your goings-on. I still read Brian Krebs’ work on the Web after he also left the Post awhile ago.

    There must be something going around. Frank Rich and Bob Herbert, two of my favorite op-ed columnists, have left the New York Times also.

    I wonder how many of your blog readers recognize what that ancient, obsolete machine at the top is?

  96. Once the house gets babyproofed, love to see your first words being … gigabytes, kilobits or megapixels. Great writing, great perspective and look forward to your next byline. Continued great things for you.

  97. Rob, good luck writing the next chapter of your life, you will be missed. I can’t tell you how many times I saw a new product or web service debut and eagerly go to the Post to see what you thought of it. Given how much a part of our lives technology has become it’s rather amazing that a national newspaper would think it wise to cut back on technology coverage. It’s truly their loss.

  98. Shame on the Post – you, Carolyn Hax, and Steve Goff (with Soccer Insider) are my only reasons for reading it anymore. The website’s gone from usable to unnavigable (one can no longer easily find which blogs were the most recently updated, for example), and the paper’s not making me want to resubscribe if I move back to the DC area.

    Best of luck in your next endeavours – I do hope we’ll still be able to get the same sound advice.

  99. This is really sad news, which leaves me very concerned about where the Post is going with its editorial content. Sadly, they seem to fail to understand that while headline draw me in, interesting and well-written stories like yours kept my readership. Considering how technology is such a bedrock of local economic growth–the decision to remove that content is not only personally irritating–it is strategically mystifying.
    I really don’t think the Post gets technology beyond getting pretty, but ultimately meaningless apps. We’ve maintained paper subscriptions to support the journalism–but it’s a stupid daily chore to remove the paper from its bag and put it in the recycling bin.
    It’s been a joy to watch your career develop. We will miss your departure (much as I might I add, I missed the Post’s irritating decision to remove Faster Forward as a weekly pull-out section years ago). I sense you will go on to more lucrative opportunities and land in a more favorable circumstance. But I, like the others commenting here, will miss your writing as well as relevant tech content in the Post. Best of luck!

  100. Good luck Rob. Hard to believe it’s been nearly 20 years since our Georgetown days. I’ll be watching to see what you do next.

  101. Wow. I’ve received home delivery of the Post for 35 of my 40 years. This is more than sad; it is disconcerting that management made this decision. I, like others, am not surprised you are leaving. I am surprised the Post decided one of their most talented writers should leave. Yours is one of the few articles and blogs I read religiously. Such a blight on the Post. But best of luck, Rob, in your next venture.

  102. As a longtime reader of the Post, it pains me to see my favorite columnists leave, either because of retirement or other reasons. (Mary McGrory was the first I recall missing, and I’m only in my late 20s. Anyway.) I wish you all the luck in the world with your future plans (and time spent with your family – it sucks that you’ve had so little chance for vacation). Take care, and take a well-deserved break.

  103. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, it’s like losing an old friend. I followed your advice when I bought my first PC back in 1998, and have taken your advice for many purchases since then. It takes guts to strike out on your own like you are, but you do owe it to yourself and your family to take a break. Your wisdom and advice will be missed – please let us know where we will be able to read your columns in the future. Thanks again for all the advice and good luck in your future endeavors and only the best for you and your family. We will miss you.

  104. Rob,
    I enjoyed your presentations and meeting you at two Washington Apple Pi Mac User Group meetings and have followed your blog and columns for years. My respect for the Post continues to erode.
    I predict you will find that this will turn out to be one of the best things that will happen in your career. There are unlimited opportunities for someone like you including the ones you may make for yourself.

    Wish you great success.

  105. Rob, shall miss your columns.

    In your next activity, I would like to see something called “The organized home computer.” I read “Getting Organized in the Google Era” by Douglas Merrill. This made me think more about what is on my PC.

    What folders should one have? How should one archive email? Backups for the diligent, and backups for the lazy and absent-minded. How to organize photos? Health records. Is Google Health the way to go? Periodically the Post has articles on cleaning the closets and organizing the house. I would like to see your advice on avoiding clutter on the PC.

    Please cover Net Neutrality issues as they develop.

  106. Add me to the list of readers greatly distressed by your impending departure from the Washington Post. The Post’s coverage of the news generally has kept me a loyal subscriber for fifty years and the paper has not lost me yet. But there have only been one or two other changes to the paper or staff departures that have saddened and angered me more than losing your coverage of consumer-related technology issues. What are the Editors thinking? Why are technology matters less important then the weekly articles about, for example, rearranging one’s room decor? Let me throw in my favorite rant on that subject concerning the paper’s interior design articles frequent recommendations to hang a flat screen TV on a masonry fireplace wall without giving any consideration for doing this while also hiding the necessary power and video signal wiring.

    Thank you for the service you have provided over the past years. I wish you the best of good fortune in your future career.

  107. i have learned so much invaluable information from you about computers and technology. thank you so very much. enjoy your new life & i look forward to reading your work in the future.

  108. Sorry to see you go…Enjoy your family. Little ones grow up sooooo fast. I’ll miss your columns. Boo, Washington Post

  109. Sorry to see you go, count me in as one who will miss your columns and chat. I used to always look forward to reading your articles and the transcripts of your Personal Tech Live chat sessions. First Brian Krebs and now you, I would say the Post is getting to be less of a value for me. I will try to follow your blogs wherever you move to.

    Wishing you success in your future endeavors.

  110. I am saddened, indeed almost heartbroken, by your planned departure, but I understand all the reasons you articulated in your post. I relied on your columns, blog posts and chats in making nearly all my technology purchases, and I appreciated the humility and wit you brought to your writing. Enjoy your time off, getting reacquainted with your house and yard, and watching your child crawl and (soon) walk. As the proud father of one daughter in college and another daughter that will leave for college in a year, you have a lot to look forward to, and believe me, that time goes fast. Please send out a Facebook post or announcement on your future plans when they become clear. Thanks for everything.

  111. Just wanted to add a giant THANK YOU for your many relevant, interesting, insightful, comforting, helpful, eye-opening posts. I have both benefited from and enjoyed them and am sorry to see them end–though am appreciative of the challenge and toll it takes to be “in the know” all the time!

    Wishing you success, and sending many thanks.

  112. Rob, I can’t wait to see where you land after this exit and your family and home readjustment. Great good luck to you.

  113. Of course we’ll still follow your posts regardless of your employer — or lack thereof.

  114. Rob, I’m really sorry to hear this. You were one of my favorite parts of The Post and I always enjoyed reading your columns and blogs. Thanks for all the helpful advice and information you provided over the years! Enjoy your time off! I’m going to bookmark your website and I look forward to hopefully hearing more from you in the future!

  115. Good luck on your new endeavours. I hope you will keep on writing tech related matters wherever you may land. Best regards.

  116. Rob – I have very much enjoyed your columns over the past 11 years. The technology changes have been enormous during that period and you helped make the transitions easier for us all. You have provided valuable and objectiove information, and I will miss you in the Post – but I will go to your online blog! If the Post wants to retain both younger readers – and older ones like me – it needs to provide information about technology. I wish you the very best. Please keep writing!

  117. I cannot think of any other reason to read the Post. Your reviews were very helpful. Enjoy your time off and good luck.

  118. I will follow you here…and anywhere else you show up. Thanks for everything.

  119. I guess I’m just too old and too longtime a subscriber to understand what the Post thinks it is up to. We can get news anywhere, but not the package of local news and general info the Post at its best gave us. A columnist is a brand, you’re a trusted brand, and they’re giving that up for more political ranting?

    Thanks for many years of calm and insightful writing.

  120. OK, so does all this make it more or less likely that we’ll ever see the blog post about cyanogenmod? :-) I’ve gone to Redemption on my Incredible, but can’t bring myself to make the leap away from Sense. Help me Obi-wan.

    And best of luck from another IR scholar.

  121. You will be missed, Rob. It is the Post’s loss and our loss. If I can ever be helpful to you, please let me know. You were insightful, thoughtful, informative, and fair. ~ Art Bushkin

  122. I’m sorry to see you go. It is always management’s prerogative to allocate resources, but I would disagree with their decision about tech issues. You were one of the writers who I never failed to follow. Good luck to you and your family.

  123. Good luck in whatever you decide to do next. I’ve enjoyed following your column from Chicago.

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  125. Rob – Thank you for many years of great reporting and analysis. I’m sorry I won’t be able to read your column in the WP but I understand burnout and actions of pointy hair bosses. If you pop up somewhere else to talk about tech, I will continue to follow your views (just as I read another WP tech alum, Brian Krebs).

    If anyone in WP management cares about feedback on their decision change the paper’s focus …. I live a couple time zones away from DC and have almost zero interest in city news. I’ve read Rob’s column online for many years and it is a key reason I’ve continued reading the WP.

  126. Rob-you obviously have a wide and loyal fanbase, as evidenced by the comments here. You will be missed. The Post’s loss, however your family’s gain. See you on the web somewhere.-Dave

  127. Your column and David Pogue’s in NYT are the best. Sorry to see that David now has no rival.

    I have enjoyed your columns for 17 years. How time flies!

    Best wishes.

  128. Very sorry to see you leave. Thanks for all the good advices that I have learned from you. Please let us know where and how to follow you.

  129. Thanks for all your thoughtful insights, comments, and observations over the years. I may not have always agreed with your posts, but I definitely always appreciated them. Best wishes for al you do in the future.

  130. I’m a little late to the good-bye party (it’s about 2:10AM Monday 4/18) but I just wanted to say…

    I’m going ot miss you and your columns! I’ve always found your columns interesting, insightful and helpful…don’t know what we will do without you…

    All the best!

  131. Thank you, Rob, for keeping me sane. I would have spent half my computer life weeping if it wasn’t for the wonderful tech info you provided.
    I wish you good fortune in your next endeavor.

  132. You are leaving? Phooie to the Post!

    I’ve really enjoyed your writing over the years, and have learned a lot, since I’m a bit of a fogey and my kids aren’t at home anymore to explain things to me. You write in a way that’s interesting to a non-techie person like me, yet I’m sure that your readership includes all kinds! I’ll follow you here and see what you’re up to.
    Best of luck wherever you land, and in the meantime, enjoy your time with your family.

  133. Rob

    Thank you for your years of clarifying the mire of information that is the ever evolving world of technology.

    Your column was the reason that I went to washingtonpost.com each day, and the first thing I read. I think the management has made a rotten decision.

    Please keep us updated as to where you land, so we can redirect our browsers.

    Good luck!

  134. From a little town near Barcelona (Spain), I’m sorry to see you go.
    I was quite used to your comments and critics about the IT world.
    I hope you enjoy the rest of your life and your career.
    Cheers an good luck.

  135. I’ve always enjoyed your columns and just now learned that you’ve left the Post. I’m generally a devoted fan of my hometown paper, but they’ve really disappointed me with this decision. Best of luck in your future endeavors!

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  137. I’m sick–found out late on the day of your last column and just found this. The REAL Washington POST was my hometown paper all my life but has been captured by aliens. Won’t someone please bring it back! Thanks for all your good work and I hope you can enjoy life for awhile, but please let us know where to find you because your loyal readers need you.

  138. Sheesh. One less reason to check the Post’s web site — another in a series of unwelcome departures, in fact. Rob will be badly missed there, but I look forward to reading his work somewhere else.

  139. I’d been reading Fast Forward since it was a pull-out section back in the…when was that? I enjoyed your columns and the Help File and feel like you were filling a real need with your writing — helping regular people navigate the ever-changing technology landscape. Enjoy your “time off.” Hope to connect with you again somewhere down the road.

  140. First Krebs, now you. Another sad day for the Post. Thanks for a job well done, my friend……………

  141. I’ve missed your chats and articles for a month now–and I do miss them. Just wanted to tell you that you also had at least one avid reader in Switzerland.

  142. First was Book World. Then Rob’s exit. No reason to keep buying the Post unless you are curious about Friday night’s box scores.

  143. Rob, i somehow missed your swan song and negligently failed to folo up until just now.
    i miss your work even now, and especially miss your availability and responsiveness to my nerdy but sometimes challenged queries. In all ways you were a worthy competitor to Walt and David, but i found you more responsive, and i wondered how you could manage it. Your family stands to benefit now.
    You’re in a line of distinguished. To mention only m’self, i was a Post reporter 20 years, starting at copyboy and ending at Scotus. A few years after my departure in 1977, i congratulated Howard Simons, a valued managing editor, on his job as Nieman curator. He responded graciously as ever, “No one knows better than you that there’s a life after The Post.”
    Earlier than that, Adrienne Barth, widow of the great Post editorial writer Alan Barth, observed, “There arose a Pharoah who knew not Joseph.” The price of longevity, it seems.
    Since i never wanted to manage and had no talent for it, it’s no wonder that i puzzle at some of management’s decisions. This one seems most unfortunate.
    So, carry on, and if you don’t mind, i’ll ask you to sign me up for anything you’re producing.
    Jack MacKenzie
    John P MacKenzie
    CityLights, 4-74 48th Ave apt 4D
    Long Island City NY 11109-5602
    718 340-1134  cell 917 270-7943
    john.p.mackenzie@mac.com

  144. I’ve been wondering where your articles were. I was out of town when your announcement was made, and it didn’t occur to me to check the internet until now for your whereabouts. I kept thinking (hoping) it was just a (long) vacation.

    Throughout the years, I have so much enjoyed your articles, the help desk (now who will answer our questions?), your brief notes that came in my e-mail weekly, etc., etc. There is nothing in the Post now that fills that void. Your writing always seemed to *smile* and was clear and easy to understand.

    Anyway, I wish you the very best in your new life. You *will* be missed, and now I am doubting that I will keep my Post subscription. Way too many good things have dematerialized.

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