Originally Posted by island hermit
Okay, okay... you're right. I thought it was only Hertzfeld who was saying that Jobs was the main push and I've found a lot of inaccuracies in Hertzfeld's account of those days. One person that I trust, though, is Bill Atkinson, and you are correct, Bill Atkinson says that Raskin was the Father of the Macintosh "Project' but Jobs turned it into something else and is the Father of the Mac.
For the record though, it wasn't Steve who envisioned the information appliance. That was Raskin's idea. Steve brought it to fruition. So, in my mind, that is an important point. Raskin was the visionary for the idea, Steve was the visionary for how it should look.
No problem, yes, Atkinson "recollects" better than Hertzfeld.
And yes, Raskin's idea was information appliance and well, named his company that. But what I and probably you think of in terms of information appliance is not what Raskin imagined. The Canon Cat was an information appliance that did one thing well...office work. Much like a toaster does one thing well...toast things. Or maybe stove is a better example for the Cat. You use it to cook...bake, fry, whatever. You don't use it to do dishes...for that you have a dishwasher appliance.
When I think appliance computing I think iPad...something multirole, general purpose but an appliance like user experience. It works, it's not arcane, it's approachable, etc.
In the Raskin ideal you don't have an iPad with office apps, music apps and games. You have a PDA, an iPod and a DS...each device tailored for the task. There are certainly advantages to this strategy like physical buttons for games.
So a lot to like about Raskin's thinking and I hold him in high regard. I have his book The Humane Interface on my desktop bookshelf within reach. But I think a lot of his concepts appeal more to the computer science purist than to the real world.