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Apple Wiki
Steve Wozniak and Andy Hertzfeld 1985

Steve Wozniak (left) and Andy Hertzfeld meet an Apple users group in New Zealand in 1985.

Andy Hertzfeld (born April 6, 1953) was a key member of the original Apple Macintosh development team, and some would consider him a pioneer among software engineers. From the early days of Apple Computer through the design, development and promotion of open source software with the Open Source Applications Foundation, his key contribution has been making computers easier and more fun to use.

Hertzfeld's Apple Computer business cards listed his title as "Software Wizard", and he wrote large portions of the original Macintosh system software, including the ROM code, the User Interface Toolbox, and a number of innovative components now standard in every graphic user interface, like the Control Panel and Scrapbook (or clipboard).


After graduating from Brown University with a computer science degree in 1975, Hertzfeld attended graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1978, he bought an Apple II computer and soon began developing software for it. He was hired by Apple Computer as employee #435 in August 1979. In his role as a systems programmer, he developed the Silentype printer and the first 80-column card for the Apple II.


Andy Hertzfeld original Macintosh commercial

After a shakeup in the Apple II team and at Hertzfeld's request, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs added him to the newly formed Macintosh team in February 1981. Working for Bud Tribble and alongside Bill Atkinson and Burrell Smith, Hertzfeld became one of the primary software architects of the Macintosh Operating System, which was considered revolutionary in its use of the graphical user interface (GUI).

Since leaving Apple in 1984, he has co-founded three new companies—Radius (1986), General Magic (1990) and Eazel (1999), where he created the Nautilus file manager for the GNOME desktop on Linux. Now, with the Open Source Applications Foundation, Hertzfeld's work is directed toward promoting innovation and ease of use on the Linux platform.

As an outside contractor to Apple, Hertzfeld wrote Switcher, the first implementation of cooperative multitasking for the Macintosh that preceded MultiFinder. He later created QuickerGraf, a rewrite of QuickDraw for faster performance and support for 24-bit color that was integrated into System 6.

His latest project is, a web site devoted to collective storytelling that contains dozens of anecdotes about the development of the original Macintosh. The stories have been collected in an O'Reilly book, Revolution in the Valley, published in December 2004.

Media portrayals[]

Hertzfeld was portrayed by Elden Henson and Michael Stuhlbarg in the film dramatizations Jobs and Steve Jobs, respectively.[1][2]


  1. Jobs (2013): Full Cast & Crew, Internet Movie Database. Accessed 2022-10-06.
  2. Steve Jobs (2015): Full Cast & Crew, Internet Movie Database. Accessed 2022-10-06.

External links[]


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