Jef Raskin at Apple Computer

Jef Raskin with an Apple II computer.

Jef Raskin (March 9, 1943 – February 26, 2005) is the human-computer interface expert who began the Apple Macintosh project for Apple Computer and is the author of The Humane Interface, which largely builds on his work with the Canon Cat. Raskin received a B.S. Mathematics and B.A. in Philosophy from the State University of New York and an M.S. in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University. As an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), he taught classes ranging from computer science to photography.


Jef Raskin Interview + Homebrew Computer Club from Screen Savers

Jef Raskin Interview + Homebrew Computer Club from Screen Savers

Apple Computer

Raskin joined Apple Computer in January 1978 as the 31st employee. He later hired his former student Bill Atkinson from UCSD to work at Apple, and began the Macintosh project. However, he clashed with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs over the design of the Macintosh and soon left the project.[1]

After Apple

After leaving Apple, Raskin joined Canon to design the Canon Cat. Released in 1987, the Cat was closer to Raskin's vision of how the Macintosh should have been designed as a simpler information appliance.

At the beginning of the new millennium, Raskin undertook the building of Archy (formerly The Humane Environment, or THE). Archy is a system incarnating his concepts of the humane interface, by using open source elements within his rendition of a ZUI or zooming user interface.

Jef Raskin passed away on February 26, 2005, at the age of 61, reportedly due to cancer.


  1. Andy Hertzfeld. Five different Macintoshes. Retrieved on April 24, 2006.

External links

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