February 28, 2005

Jef Raskin stands atop a cliff holding a remote in one hand and a model plane in another, ready for launch

This is an outline for a computer designed for the Person In The Street (or, to abbreviate: the PITS); one that will be truly pleasant to use, that will require the user to do nothing that will threaten his or her perverse delight in being able to say: "I don't know the first thing about computers," and one which will be profitable to sell, service and provide software for.

You might think that any number of computers have been designed with these criteria in mind, but not so.

Jef Raskin's vision for The Macintosh computer, taken from a memo dated May 1979 when the Macintosh project he was heading was still called Annie. Read the rest of the memo, Design Considerations.

Jef Raskin passed away this Saturday evening at his home with family and friends to his side and favorite music playing. His untimely death comes within a month of having secured $2 million start-up funding for the Aza project, a revolutionary concept involving "unified" computer programs with an interface dramatically different from anything that currently exists. The Raskin Centre was preparing for an initial release of Aza in a years time.

Wired Magazine on Jef Raskin
Demo of Aza, the Zoomable User Interface (jump to the bottom of the page)
Recent photographs and audio interview
Raskin Centre secures funding for Aza
The early years of The Macintosh

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