The making of Macintosh – An Interview with The Macintosh Design Team (Byte – Feb, 1984)
Bill Atkinson nearly had his Ph.D. in neurochemistry before he admitted to himself that his real love was computers. He “got a quick E.E.” and started his own company. He was happily minding his own business when his friend ]eff Raskin asked him to come see what was happening at Apple, which was then six months old. Bill wasn’t really interested, but airplane tickets showed up in the mail, so he took a look. What he saw was “several years reaching into the future” of anything he could do where he was. He stayed to write Apple’s Pascal and later became Mr. User Interface for Lisa before he moved over to the Mac team.
Andy Hertzfeld says, “The Apple II changed my life.” The computer people at Berkeley were a little narrow-minded about letting a grad student really get into the computer as Andy wanted to. So he spent nearly all the money he had in the world on an Apple II and had a computer he could control completely. He decided the Apple was more interesting than his classes and began writing programs for magazines. When Apple bought one of Andy’s programs, Steve Jobs offered him a job, which he took when he finished school. He worked on silent-type printers and Apple III demos until a shake-up in his part of the company shook him loose. He looked around and decided to go with Mac.
Larry Kenyon arrived at Apple from Amdahl with a double degree in psychology and computer science. He was working on Apple III products when the same shake-up that shook Andy loose freed him, too. Andy asked Larry to join the Mac crew because he was one of the few people who understood the arcane art of making the Apple II work with printer peripherals, and anybody who can do that has to be good. No one in the company really believed that Mac was a product when Larry joined the Mac team. It was just a research effort, and there was some risk involved: would you still have your job in a few months?
Joanna Hoffman is still on leave from her Ph.D. program in archaeology at the University of Chicago. She has a background in anthropology, physics, and linguistics. She came to Apple because of Mac. After using her computer skills in the field of archaeology for so long, she was tired of looking at the past and turned to the future. She was Mac’s entire marketing department for more than a year. She wants to make Mac a tool that feels natural for international users by making it speak their languages.
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Category: Mac History