Jef Raskin, 1943-2005

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In memoriam, Jef Raskin 1943-2005

As for who he is, there’s this,

Jef Raskin, a mathematician,  orchestral soloist and composer, professor, bicycle racer, model airplane designer, and pioneer in the field of human-computer interactions, died peacefully at home in California on February 26th, 2005 surrounded by his family and loved ones. He had recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Jef created the Macintosh computer as employee number 31 at Apple in the early 1980s, revolutionizing computer interface design. Jef invented “click and drag” and many other methods now taken for granted by computer users. He named the Macintosh project after his favorite variety of apple, the McIntosh, modifying the spelling for copyright purposes. Jef’s article “Holes in the Histories” <> addresses popular misconceptions about the Macintosh Project. Jef strongly believed that computers should make tasks easy for people, not the other way around. For twenty-five more years, his work focused on improving interfaces, culminating in his book, The Humane Interface (Addison-Wesley, 2000). Jef created the Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces (RCHI), <> which will soon release a preview of Archy, a culmination and exemplar of his design principles. Archy redesigns the basic building blocks of computing to demonstrate  an entirely new paradigm for computer use. RCHI will continue under the technical leadership of Jef’s son, Aza Raskin.