37 Facts About Jef Raskin


Jef Raskin was born in New York City to a secular Jewish family, whose surname is a matronymic from "Raske", Yiddish nickname for Rachel.


Jef Raskin received a BA in mathematics and a BS in physics with minors in philosophy and music from Stony Brook University.


Jef Raskin worked as an assistant professor in the Visual Arts department from 1968 until 1974.


Jef Raskin announced his resignation from the assistant professorship by flying over the Chancellor's house in a hot air balloon.


Jef Raskin was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to establish a Computer and Humanities center which used several 16-bit Data General Nova computers and CRTs rather than the teletypes which were more common at that time.


Jef Raskin curated several art shows including one featuring his collection of unusual toys, and presenting toys as works of art.


Jef Raskin occasionally wrote for computer publications, such as Dr Dobb's Journal.

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Jef Raskin formed a company named Bannister and Crun, which was named for two characters playing in the BBC radio comedy The Goon Show.


Jef Raskin first met Apple Computer co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in their garage workshop following the debut of their Apple II personal computer at the first West Coast Computer Faire.


In January 1978, Jef Raskin joined Apple as Manager of Publications, the company's 31st employee.


Jef Raskin had concealed his degree in computer science, out of concern for cultural bias against academia among the hobby-driven personal computer industry.


From his responsibility for documentation and testing, Jef Raskin had great influence on early engineering projects.


When Wozniak developed the first disk drives for the Apple II, Jef Raskin went back to his contacts at UCSD and encouraged them to port the UCSD P-System operating system to it, which Apple later licensed and shipped as Apple Pascal.


Jef Raskin started the Macintosh project in 1979 to implement some of these ideas.


Jef Raskin later hired his former student Bill Atkinson from UCSD to work at Apple, along with Andy Hertzfeld and Burrell Smith from the Apple Service Department, which was located in the same building as the Publications Department.


Secretly bypassing Jobs's ego and authority by continually securing permission and funding directly at the executive level, Jef Raskin created and solely supervised the Macintosh project for approximately its first year.


Jef Raskin takes credit for being one of the first to introduce Jobs and the Lisa engineers to the PARC concepts, though he ultimately dismissed PARC's technology and opposed the use of computer mouse.


Jef Raskin left Apple in 1982 and formed Information Appliance, Inc to implement the concepts of his original Macintosh concept.


Jef Raskin licensed this design to Canon, which shipped a similar desktop product as the Canon Cat.


Jef Raskin claimed that its failure was due in some part to Steve Jobs, who successfully pitched Canon on the NeXT Computer at about the same time.


Jef Raskin wrote a book, The Humane Interface, in which he developed his ideas about human-computer interfaces.


Jef Raskin was a long-time member of BAYCHI, the Bay-Area Computer-Human Interface group, a professional organization for human-interface designers.


Jef Raskin presented papers on his own work, reviewed the human interfaces of various consumer products, and discussed the work of his colleagues in various companies and universities.


At the start of the new millennium, Jef Raskin undertook the building of a new computer interface based on his 30 years of work and research, called The Humane Environment, THE.


Jef Raskin's work is being extended and carried on by his son Aza Raskin at Humanized, a company that was started shortly after Raskin's death to continue his legacy.

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Jef Raskin expanded the meaning of the term "cognetics" in his book The Humane Interface to mean "the ergonomics of the mind".


Jef Raskin discouraged using the informal term "intuitive" in user interface design, claiming that easy to use interfaces are often due to exposure to previous, similar systems, thus the term "familiar" should be preferred.


Best known as a computer scientist, Jef Raskin had other interests.


Jef Raskin conducted the San Francisco Chamber Opera Society and played various instruments, including the organ and the recorder.


Jef Raskin's artwork was displayed at New York's Museum of Modern Art as part of its permanent collection, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the University of California, San Diego.


Jef Raskin received a patent for airplane wing construction, and designed and marketed radio controlled model gliders.


Jef Raskin was said to be an accomplished archer, target shooter, bicycle racer and an occasional model race car driver.


Jef Raskin was a passionate musician and composer, publishing a series of collected recorder studies using the pseudonym of Aabel Aabius.


Jef Raskin designed Space Expander, a hanging cloth maze for a person to walk through.


Jef Raskin designed Bloxes, a set of interlocking wood blocks.


In 1985, Jef Raskin described his house as "practically one large playground", with secret doors and passageways, an auditorium that seats 185, and a model airplane room.


Jef Raskin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2004 and died in Pacifica, California, on February 26,2005, at age 61.