We'll miss Claude Almer

Claude Almer 1950-2020

We’re devastated to report the passing of Claude Almer who died in Sydney, Australia, on November 19, 2020 after a long illness

Claude Almer

Claude was technical and personal support for Office Watch since well before the newsletter started in 1996. Whenever in-depth analysis of some virus code was needed, Claude would dive in and come up with accurate details, or would just talk through some technical or personal annoyance.

In their day, his cALMER Utilities were known around the world for their usefulness and effectiveness in detecting and blocking viruses. Typical Claude humour, his anti-virus program was called NBY (Not Born Yesterday). He was active in the Sorcerer Users Group and later the Sydney PC User Group, though he cunningly managed to avoid being elected to the board of Directors!

Claude was incredibly smart, speaking seven human languages and using too many computer languages to count.  When he discovered Regular Expressions, it was hard to get him to talk about anything else for a while.

Claude was the most Aussie man I’ve ever met. Despite growing up in Switzerland he embraced his adopted home where his sarcastic style, dry wit and hard work fitted right in. His occasional letters to the Sydney Morning Herald were typical – short, pithy one-liners. 

He loved both Pink Floyd and Spike Milligan. Claude hated the Murdoch media in all its forms, long before it became trendy.

He adored the Aussie bush. “I need trees and birds, the correct sounds and smells around me.”.  He had been a volunteer bush firefighter and loved his all-native garden (no foreign plants in an Almer front yard!).

Though his remarks belied it, he was a devoted father. Together with his wife, Mary, they raised three intelligent and delightful daughters. Claude was rightly proud of the Arabic taunt ‘Abu El Banat’ (father of daughters).

He was a good and dear friend that I miss terribly.

Claude Almer is survived by his wife, Mary.  Daughters MaryJane, Claudia and Annabelle, ‘sons in law’ Nando and Markus, plus his beloved grandson Sebastian.

A memorial is expected in February 2021.

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Tributes section has a listing for Claude where friends can post a personal message.

Office Watch will be taking a break from its regular schedule.

– Peter Deegan