March 2015
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RIP Bill (billsf) Squire

Sad news… I got word today that Bill Squire has passed away. The global hacker community lost a legend. In various hackerspaces avant-la-lettre, Bill generously shared his deep knowledge of phones, pranks, electronics and technology in general. In the very early nineties, Bill was the phone phreak and electronics wizard without whom our magazine Hack-Tic would never have been as funny, as rebellious or as well-known.

67 comments to RIP Bill (billsf) Squire

  • rop


    As you may know already, Bill’s body has been flown to the US for a memorial service with his family. This coming Saturday, the 22nd of September, we’ll get together with a group of Bill’s friends to remember Bill here in Amsterdam. At 15:00, we’ll get together in the beautiful Theatrum Anatomicum at De Waag (Nieuwmarkt, Amsterdam), we’ll project some photos of Bill and a few of us will talk about their memories of Bill. Afterwards we’ll have some time to talk and then we’ll go and have a drink at one of the cafes at Nieuwmarkt. Some might even stay to have dinner somewhere there.

    As you all know, Bill wasn’t a very formal person. And I know many of us aren’t either. So please don’t think of this as a funeral service, don’t buy a dark suit especially for this and just come as you are.

    If you knew Bill, please consider yourself invited if you get this message through some roundabout way and please share this message widely as I am quite sure neither my e-mail, blog post or Facebook comment will reach all those that it needs to reach. If you’d like to say a few words because you have memories of Bill to share, please contact me at or +31 6 34861415 (I’ll be offline all day Tuesday). Please don’t feel pressed to do big speeches when all you want is to share a nice memory or say a few kind words.

    If you happen to have nice photos or video material that shows Bill, please send it my way also.

    Kind Regards,


  • IJskimo

    No way! Very sad news indeed.
    My thoughts are with Bill’s family and many many friends.

  • fd0

    Very sad news to see a legend pass away too soon

  • Simon Convey

    Bestje Hippies,

    I wish I could be there. Make it a celebration, not a wake…

    Raise a beer for me,


  • Ron Squire

    Thank you Rop for all you are doing for Bill. I wish I could be at the memorial for Bill in Amsterdam.

    We are having a service for Bill in southern California on Sat September 29th. It will be at 10:00am at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meeting house.
    38980 Sky Canyon Dr.
    Murrieta Ca, 92563

    I am sure that many of the comments left on this site will be read at the service. Very kind words from all of you.

    My brother Mike and I would again like to thank everyone who helped us in Amsterdam. I now know where the friendliest people in the world live.


  • Einstein

    Good luck to the family and all his best friends with recovering from these tragical news
    Good luck Bill with your next step in this universe

    Another great person left this earth to be with other great minds

  • Mr. & Mrs. William Squire

    My wife and I want to express our thanks to all of Bill’s friends for their kind comments and expressions of love for Bill. They have been a big help in getting us through this sad time.

    wish we could be with you on the 22nd for your memorial service, but we will be there in spirit.

    The funeral in California will be held September 29th at 10:00 am at:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints
    38980 Sky Canyon Drive
    Murrieta, CA 92563

    We hope all who are in the area will be able to attend. We echo Rop’s statement about dress and hope you will come as you are.

    Again, we thank all who commented on Rop’s blog about Bill’s talent and abilities.

  • rop

    Hi All…

    I’ve created a Facebook event to get an idea of how many people will be attending. If you’re on Facebook, please note whether you are coming or not…

  • Daniel Sentinelli (Buenos Aires)

    “The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long.”

    He was different, and he was bright, in his own terms.

    Godspeed, Billsf.

  • Patrice

    onze Johan
    onze Johan die heeft ook altijd wat
    nu is ie weer dood onze Johan
    onze Johan die is er niet meer
    hij is nu bij onze Lieve Heer
    – Meindert Talma, Ferhûddûker

    La det være løftet vi deler i dag:
    La oss ære de døde ved å glede oss over livet.
    – Jens Stoltenberg

  • Anton S. (Oakland)

    This is such a blow.
    The world would be such a better place if we had
    more people like Bill.
    He was honest.
    He was creative and enterprising.
    He liked to solve problems for the betterment of
    not only himself, but others.
    He was curious and liked to try new things.
    He sought the truth, and was disturbed when others disagreed–But he wasn’t only disturbed for the normal reasons people have–He was disturbed because he thought he could be wrong.
    He encouraged people, and was an example in this way.
    He always reminded people that there was more than one way to do and think about things.
    He was always thinking–Hacking the universe–You’d see his mind constantly going, watching his eyes dart around, between bouts of giggling and wiggling.
    Yes, he was a generous genius.
    And a good friend.
    Rest in peace Bill.

  • Anton S.

    I wanted to share a story about Bill:
    Once in the middle of the night we were on Market St. in San Francisco. I don’t remember what we were doing or why we were there, but we noticed that there were rats scurrying around. A little while later, we witnessed a young man bend down and pick some french fries up from the ground and proceed to eat them. Seeing someone in such a condition so appalled Bill, that without missing a beat, Bill lead the young man across the street to a burger place that was open late, and bought him a meal.

  • Thanks for finally writing about > RIP Bill (billsf)
    Squire < Loved it!

  • Aram

    I’m sad Bill is gone. He was a great guy to talk to and hang out with. I will always fondly remember us hanging out in Utrecht bars for the monthly Klaphek meetings when I was still under the legal drinking age. Despite him being an accomplished hacker and me being so green I had only just installed Linux for the first time we got along great. In hindsight I think that says more about him than about me. I hope I can honor his memory by approaching the world in the same way he has.

  • A shared youtube video, sparked a memory, which lead to a google search, which lead me here.

    I knew Bill during my brief time living in Amsterdam, another expatriate American hacker, we got along great.

    My fondest memory was at a party, was he was explaining that the Dutch equivalent to the American NSA was called the BVD, and that many of his Dutch friends did not believe him when he told them the same initials were the brand name of American underwear. When he found out that I was wearing a pair, he offered to buy them off me on the spot. I demurred, but later that week, I presented him with a a freshly laundered pair, gratis. I don’t know if he won any bets, or just got some friends to laugh, but he seemed awfully pleased with a simple gift of boxer briefs.

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