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NerdTV #1: Andy Hertzfeld

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Hey Andy, it's great to see you. Welcome to NerdTV. Thanks, good to see you. What do you think NerdTV is? Well you described it to me as Charlie Rose for nerds, an interview show focusing on technical issues of the day, maybe a little bit of history. We couldn't afford the table, so we do it without the table, but otherwise it is the same. So... You are best known for doing system software for the Macintosh. For the viewers who don't know you can you give us a short resume of where you came from and what you do? Sure, I was a grad student at UC Berkeley in 1978 when I bought my Apple II and it suddenly became a lot more interesting than school. So I started focusing all my time on being an Apple II hobbyist, dropped out of grad school to go to work for Apple in August of '79. I did some products for the Apple II, most notably the first small low cost thermal printer, the Silent Type. I started on the Mac team in February of 1981, wrote a lot of the initial system software for the Macintosh including the User Interface Toolbox, the Window Manager, Menu Manager, Control Manager. I left Apple in April of 1984, pretty soon after the introduction of the Mac. I helped my friend Burrell Smith who did the digital hardware for the Mac start a company called Radius in 1986 that made peripherals for the Mac. I did a lot of stuff as a third-party developer, sold system software back to Apple. In 1990, along with Bill Atkinson, who was sort of my mentor on the Mac project, we started a company called General Magic that made some of the first handheld computers - - what they call a PDA, though I always thought that was not such a good name. That was John Sculley's name. Yeah, that's right. I could go into lots of details about that, but we had a falling-out with Apple. Apple was our benefactor at starting General Magic, but about a year into it they decided they would rather BE General Magic and tried to get us blink out of existence… which we eventually did, after a few years. I left General Magic in 1996 to become an internet hobbyist and got bitten by the free software bug in frebruary of 1998, around the time of the mozilla announcement. I was conspiring about the structural problems at the software industry and suddenly, after reading Eric Raymond's book, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" i realized that free software could be the path to an open and fair software industry. So I decided to devote myself to making that happen sooner and ended up starting a company called Eazel... Started that in august of 99' I tried to make free software easier to use we couldn't get a second round of funding and so we had to shut down the company in May, 2001. After that I started working with Mitch Kapor, who is a tremendous character.... The guy that lauched Lotus 1-2-3. Helping him get the Open Source Application's Foundation off the ground. Through developing and innovative personal information manager called Chandler, but in about a year and a half ago, on this point, I took off from that to do a project that both, 'are writing down my memories essentially reminiscing' about the development of the Macintosh, but I developed some new software and published it on the web that I called the Folklore project. I stablished the website called, devoted to what I called... ...collective historical story telling.

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour, 7 minutes and 14 seconds
Year: 2005
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Robert X. Cringely
Director: Robert X. Cringely
Views: 162
Posted by: fukumori on Dec 5, 2008

Andy Hertzfeld, the original Macintosh systems programmer, talks about MacHistory and how he fell in love with Open Source software.
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