Geek Of The Week: Andy Hertzfeld

Geek Of The Week: Andy Hertzfeld

Andy Hertzfeld was a computer programmer who bought an Apple II in 1978. He immedately started writing software for it, and he was so impressed by the machine that he went to work for Apple in 1979. He left Apple just five years later, in 1984, shortly after the Macintosh was released. He continued to work in the IT field, but it was his work at Apple that made him legendary.

While at Apple, Hertzfeld worked on the Macintosh operating system. He and a handful of people (including Bill Atkinson, Burrell Smith, Chris Epinosa, George Crow, and several others) were the brains behind the Macintosh. Hertzfeld authored the Scrapbook, Control Panel, and much of the ROM code. His Apple business card actually read “Software Wizard.” This group of people (shown below) have come to be know as “revolutionaries” in the tech industry.

Mac Design Team Geek Of The Week: Andy Hertzfeld
Hertzfeld (center) and the original Macintosh team

After leaving Apple, Hertzfeld went on to start three companies: Radius, General Magic, and Eazel. The latter was the software firm that created the Nautilus file manager, an integral part of the GNOME desktop environment (included with most Linux distributions). He became an employee of Google in 2005, and has worked there since.

In addition to being IT geek royalty, Hertzfeld is also a published author. He wrote a book in 2004 appropriately titled, Revolution In The Valley. The book recounts the amazing story of how the Macintosh was made and everything it inspired. For starting that revolution… and so much more, Geek Trio honor Andy Hertzfeld, Mac OS developer and geek of the week.

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.