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Mac creator: \"the Mac is now a mess\"

updated 10:10 am EDT, Fri October 22, 2004

\"The Mac is now a mess\"

In an interview with The Guardian: Jef Raskin, one of the creators of the Mac and inventor of the click-and-drag interface, says that the Mac interface has lost its edge: ". A third party manual (Pogue's The Missing Manual) is nearly 1,000 pages, and far from complete. Apple now does development by accretion, and there is only a little difference between using a Mac and a Windows machine...[And on the iMac]: The unfoldable portable-shaped box on a stalk? It is a practical and space-saving design. But the interface needs fixing. One only cares about getting something done. Apple has forgotten this key concept. The beautiful packaging is ho-hum and insignificant in the long run."

by MacNN Staff





  1. Nitride

    Joined: Dec 1969


    He didn't create the Mac

    Raskin started a project that was called Macintosh, but it was not a GUI interface all-in-one with a vertical design and a mouse.

    Steve Jobs pushed the Mac to what it became as as shipping product.

    Raskin is just a bitter old man who was shown up by a young know-nothing named Steve Jobs.

  1. macimmortal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Difficult or distasteful to accept, admit, or bear: the bitter truth; bitter sorrow.

    Proceeding from or exhibiting strong animosity: a bitter struggle; bitter foes.

    Resulting from or expressive of severe grief, anguish, or disappointment: cried bitter tears.

    Marked by resentment or cynicism: “He was already a bitter elderly man with a gray face” (John Dos Passos).

  1. dece

    Joined: Dec 1969




    Jef did not want to incorporate what became the two most definitive aspects of Macintosh technology - the Motorola 68000 microprocessor and the mouse pointing device. Jef preferred the 6809, a cheaper but weaker processor which only had 16 bits of address space and would have been obsolete in just a year or two, since it couldn't address more than 64Kbytes. He was dead set against the mouse as well, preferring dedicated meta-keys called "leap keys" to do the pointing. He became increasingly alienated from the team, eventually leaving entirely in the summer of 1981, when we were still just getting started, and the final product utilitized very few of the ideas in the Book of Macintosh. In fact, if the name of the project had changed after Steve took over in January 1981, and it almost did (see Bicycle) , there wouldn't be much reason to correlate it with his ideas at all.

  1. Bartman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    what the h***..

    Mac OS X interface is no doubt better than any prev mac os PERIOD.

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    blah, blah, blah, blah

    sour grapes

    "and there is only a little difference between using a Mac and a Windows machine..."

    whatever, the Mac interface kicks...

    I hate XP, but use both. Does he?

  1. reiggin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Jef Raskin: Still Searching for Significance.

  1. scottnichol

    Joined: Dec 1969


    show us

    gawd! we've heard this so many times from raskin. its so easy to be critical and i'd be respectful of his criticism if he'd just show us the light. mock something up, prototype it, or just re-write the interface to the computer using Darwin or Linux. once we all see how it could be done and how insanely great it is, i'm sure he'll have a hit product that he just can't make enough of...

    just getting people to switch from their incredibly familiar windows to a better mac os system is incredibly difficult. good luck with your switcher campaign, jef!

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I must admit...

    ...a number of features have become more windows like - even the dock has overtones & I miss the drop down navigation from OS-9... XPs plug & play works beautifully for me... Discrete apps for contact management seems complex & data management is more complex... Accounting is still so far behind the PC - there is a way to go - backing into OS-9 is like viviting an old friend some days...

  1. Doktorfaust

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Over and over again...

    He's said this so many times over the years... he comes of sounding very arrogant and very bitter...

    You'd think that if he's so good at designing interfaces he'd have designed something we all know and love after so many years.... but alas, nothing...

  1. sagaces

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Canon Cat

    Jef Raskin had his chance to show his stuff with the Canon Cat. And where is the Cat today? How many Cats were sold? No further comment!

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