Interview with Jef Raskin

About Jef Raskin

Jef Raskin joined Apple Computer as its thirty-first employee on 3 January 1978. He worked as its manager of publications, and manager of the Macintosh project from 1979 to 1982. He majored in mathematics and physics, and minored in philosophy and music, at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and philosophy and computer science at Penn State. Before joining Apple he taught computer science at the University of California, San Diego; was a visiting scholar at Stanford University; worked as a musician, conductor, and music teacher in the Bay Area; and founded the technical publishing and software firm Bannister & Crun.

After leaving Apple, Raskin founded Information Appliance, Verity Recordings (a classical music publisher), and worked as a consultant and author. He also holds a number of patents and trademarks.

Raskin is author of The Humane Interface (Addison-Wesley, 2000), co-author of Information Design (MIT, 1999), and author of hundreds of articles in Wired, MacWorld, Pacifica Tribune, Dr. Dobb's Journal, and other journals (a large but incomplete list can be found in his resume). He is currently at work on several projects extending the ideas presented in The Humane Interface.

About the Interview

The interview was conducted in Jef Raskin's Telocity office in Cupertino, on 13 April 2000. There are two short breaks, first to save the recording, and then to break for lunch.

The interview was transcribed and edited by Alex Pang, and reviewed by Jef Raskin. The original recording (an Audio Interchange Format file) has been deposited with Stanford Special Collections.


The transcript has been broken up into several pages, each of which deals with a particular subject. When discussion of an issue occurs in two or three pages, or a device or institution (such as the mouse and Xerox PARC) gets substantive mention more than once, hyperlinks are provided between those different sections. A full transcript is also available that contains the same content, but presents it on a single page.

Document created on 3 June 2000;