INTERVIEWER: Your whole approach seems counter to the industry trend to make bigger computers to accommodate bigger programs...
RASKIN: Yes. Instead of saying bigger, bigger, we’re saying better, better. When I told our investors about this project, I said, “We’re going to have a word processor, information retrieval, and telecommunications package with only fifteen commands and 64 bytes of code.” All the other companies were talking hundreds of commands and hundreds of bytes of code. The company (Information Appliance) was surprised that it came down to five commands. It’s the only project I’ve ever been on that got simpler with time instead of bigger or more complicated.
We have a whole valley full of people talking UNIX versus MS-DOS. What do you need any of that for? Just throw it all out; get rid of all that nonsense. Maybe you need it for computer scientists, but for people who want to get something done, no. Do you need an operating system? No. We threw out that whole concept. Applications like VisiOn, Gem, and Windows are just cosmetic treatments on hidden operating systems, but we have no operating system beneath this. You know what happens when you apply heavy cosmetics to something? You get that heavy cosmetic look.
So here is a program that runs on an ancient Apple IIe, a one-megahertz processor, and from the user’s point of view it runs faster than IBM, Macintosh, mainframes, SuperVax, or anything.
“Programmers At Work”
Jef Raskin’s Wiki Page
Raskin’s company, Information Appliance,
never earned him great fame or fortune.
(Raskin passed away in 2005.)
The phrase and concept, however, have become part of
the contemporary high tech world.
Information Appliance Wiki Page