In memoriam Marcel

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In memoriam Marcel

Post by walter » 26 May 2020, 21:23

Hello community,

It is with sadness that I inform you that my friend Marcel has passed away earlier this week. You might have read his posting "On ROM v5a" in which he already mentioned that he had immunotherapy that did not work. There was no other treatment left.

Marcel (and me for that matter) enjoyed the Gigatron very much, the design, making it into a kit, seeing a community grow around it with some fantastic hardware and software developments from others. And interacting with many people on the net, and in real life at various events around the world.

That the Gigatron was a project Marcel loved so much, shows in the fact that, knowing his time left in this world was limited, he spend a chunk of it on creating an alpha version of ROMv5.

We discussed the future of Gigatron earlier. I had plans to move on to something else. Marcel wanted to get CP/M running on the Gigatron. Unless somebody else dedicates his or her time to it, CP/M is no longer going to happen. I will keep on running the website and forum, taking orders and shipping them and providing support. There is currently stock that will last about two months. After that, we will stop selling kits. As you have been able to read earlier, both the hardware and software are open source, so you will still be able to make one. The manual will be published online when we are out of stock.

Marcel did some brilliant work and I thoroughly enjoyed our shared journey with the Gigatron. I hope his brilliance and his optimism has inspired others.


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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by at67 » 26 May 2020, 21:50

Hi Walter,

I knew Marcel was sick, but obviously I had no idea as to the extent of his malady :(

What the two of you have accomplished is a wonderful contribution to the retro scene and I dare say has had a huge impact on it's explosive growth over the last few years.

Ever since I first caught wind of Marcel's Hackaday Blog and project series I was entranced with the idea of fulfilling an itch that I never quite got the opportunity to fully scratch as a youngster. Marcel's work has provided me with countless hours of enjoyment and it saddens me deeply that I will never again be able to converse with him over the intricacies of the Gigatron and it's infinite possibilities.

My sincerest condolences to Marcel's loved ones, his family and friends and of course you Walter.

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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by hzdrus » 27 May 2020, 00:12

This is truly sad and a big loss. Marcel will be dearly missed. Probably like many others, I never posted in the forum but enjoyed following Gigatron's progress and Marcel's work.

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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by Ammer66 » 27 May 2020, 02:09

omg! So sorry to hear that. Speechless. Farewell Marcel!

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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by qwertyface » 27 May 2020, 08:14

Thank you for letting us know Walter, and I'm so sorry for your loss. You said that you hoped that his brilliance and optimism has inspired others; they certainly inspired me!

I've learned a huge amount in a short time from my journey with the Gigatron, and in particular from Marcel's code. But just as importantly he was always encouraging on this forum and elsewhere. It hurts to think that he won't be there to answer us with enthusiasm and wisdom in future.

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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by monsonite » 27 May 2020, 09:31


This is deeply saddening news, and my sympathies go to his family and friends, and of course to the wider Gigatron community.

I met Marcel last September at the Cambridge Computing Museum, and have never met such a charming, thoughtful and brilliant engineer. I have had a hardware career for nearly 35 years, but his tenacity and insight into the fundamentals of computing were outstanding.

It is a great loss to our community to lose such a gifted founder, but with every Gigatron kit sold - Marcel exceeded his original ambition many times over.

Once the shock of this devastating news subsides, I hope that the community will regroup, decide on a collective strategy and turn Marcel's Gigatron into a lasting legacy that truly reflects his dediction to the project for the last three or more years.

With deepest sympathies,


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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by alastair » 27 May 2020, 15:05


I'm very sorry to hear the news. Even though I've never met Marcel, we had online chats and swapped "war stories" about our early days. I was somewhat aware of his situation, but this still comes as a shock. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

The Gigatron was the inspiration for my own project and Marcel convinced me to pivot to a v8080 and target CP/M. He gave me some good pointers on turning it in to a kit and I hope to continue some of his legacy with my own project.

Best regards,


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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by norgate » 28 May 2020, 08:39

I'm so sorry to hear about Marcels untimely passing.

Marcel was certainly an inspiration for me and gave me helpful advice for my Pluggy Reloaded project.
May his legacy live on in this community.

My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends.


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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by Cwiiis » 28 May 2020, 09:48

This is terribly shocking news, having been away from the community for a while I had no idea Marcel was dealing with health issues. I silently watched GitHub issues and you would never have known given his passion for development. The gigatron, and Marcel, have both been hugely inspiring for me. It rekindled my love for retro computing, electronics and recreational programming, all in one fell swoop.

Unfortunately for me, life got busy and I just never found the time to get back to it, but I've been intermittently watching from the sidelines, hoping to have the time to dig back in, especially seeing at67's excellent Basic work and Marcel's work on the many ROM revisions since the first release. I'm deeply saddened by this news and my thoughts are with Marcel's family, friends and this community.

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Re: In memoriam Marcel

Post by Dave » 29 May 2020, 23:04

I'm very saddened to hear of Marcel's passing.

Marcel's death must be a terrible blow to you Walter, and to Marcel's friends and family. Please accept my sympathy and my condolences.

Like many on this forum, I had the opportunity to communicate with Marcel (and with you too, Walter). I found both of you to be engaging, accessible, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and encouraging.

Marcel left us far too soon. However, every time I use my Gigatron or participate in the community of users that have developed around the Gigatron I'll think of him.

Rest in peace, Marcel.

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