The Digibarn Computer Museum reports that Jef Raskin, human-computer interface expert who began the Macintosh project for Apple Computer died on Saturday, February 26th, 2005. Raskin was born March 9, 1943.

David Warlick, in his Digital Divide Network blog, reports that Raskin, who named the Macintosh after his personal favorite fruit, died of cancer.

“I named it for my favorite kind of eatin’ apple, the succulent McIntosh (I changed the spelling of the name to avoid potential conflict with McIntosh, the audio equipment manufacturer).”Jef Raskin, April 11, 1996

Jef Raskin was the human-computer interface expert who began the Macintosh project for Apple Computer and was the author of The Humane Interface, which in large part builds on his earlier work with the Canon Cat. Raskin received a B.S. Mathematics and B.A. in Philosophy from the State University of New York and an M.S. in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University. As an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), he taught classes ranging from computer science to photography.

Raskin joined Apple in January 1978 as the 31st employee. He later hired his former student Bill Atkinson from UCSD to work at Apple, and began the Macintosh project. He was credited with the decision to use a one-button mouse as part of the Apple interface, a departure from the Xerox PARC standard of a three-button mouse. He has since stated that were he to redesign the interface, he would have used a two button mouse.

At the beginning of the new millennium, Raskin undertook the building of The Humane Environment (THE). THE is a system incarnating his concepts of the humane interface, by using open source elements within his rendition of a ZUI or Zooming User Interface. (source:

More about Jef Raskin here.

[Attribution: O’Grady’s Power Page]

MacDailyNews Take: Raskin was truly a very interesting modern-day Renaissance man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.