Joanna Hoffmann

The Mac Design Team

Joanna Hofmann was a physicist and archeologist, before Jef Raskin hired her as the 5th person on the MacIntosh team in 1980, as the only marketing person in that early group.

She seems to have made many very important contributions to the original Mac and MacOS, including writing the first draft of the User Interface Guidelines. She was hired not least for her international background as Raskin says here: For example, he [Bruce Horn] attributes the internationalization of the products to the Lisa group, but it actually began when I hired Joanna Hoffmann into the Mac group partially because of her international background and my interest in providing international fonts.

She's been having a Wikipedia stub for quite some time, but not much more.

The Grand Unified Model (1): She seems to have been hooked on starting memes: If the Mac were able to be released in other countries, with menus, icons, dialogs, dates, and sorting orders translated to different languages, it would make a big improvement in our potential market share. I can't even remember when I started to recognize that the localization ability was necessary; it was a meme (probably started by Joanna Hoffman) that infected us all in the Mac group.

What Karen says about her I am still friendly with, and work with, a number of people from the Mac group. One person I worked with who I thought was brilliant was Joanna Hoffman. She focused on international marketing, and she was great to work with, and always had ideas. She was a person who wasn’t in software, but who made great contributions. (Susan Kare, an artist and graphic designer who created many of the interface elements for the Apple Macintosh in the 1980s)

Joanna with the LISA business plan

"Alice, the Macintosh's first great game" Obviously Mrs. Hoffmann was pretty good at that one: Within a few weeks, I must have played hundreds of games of Alice, but the most prolific and accomplished player was Joanna Hoffman, the Mac's first marketing person. Joanna liked to come over to the software area toward the end of the day to see what was new, and now she usually ended up playing Alice for longer and longer periods. She had a natural talent for the game, and enjoyed relieving work-related stress by knocking out the rival chess pieces. She complained about the game being too easy, so Capps obliged by tweaking various parameters to keep it challenging for her, which was probably a mistake, since it made the game much too hard for average players.

Snowcrashing For all who have read Stephenson's "Snowcrash, most probably Joanna Hoffmann was the role model of 1 of 2 main female characters in that crashing novel. Guess who!

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Smart Sophie Again

In October 2001. after the University of North Carolina's Toolsmiths' Conference, held to honor of Fred "Mythical Man-Month" Brooks a certain Mark Smotherman asked famous computer architects which processor designs they admired.

Our heroine Sophie Wilson, chief architect (with Steve Furber) of the mighty ARM and more recently of the Broadcom FirePath gave this short insightful and very instructive answer:

Primarily the 6502. I learned about pipelines from it (by comparison with the 6800) and its designers were clear believers in the KISS principle. Plus the syntax of its assembler and general accessibility of it from the machine code perspective. I can still write in hex for it - things like A9 (LDA #) are tattoed on the inside of my skull. The assembly language syntax (but obviously not the mnemonics or the way you write code) and general feel of things are inspirations for ARM's assembly language and also for FirePath's. I'd hesitate to say that the actual design of the 6502 inspired anything in particular - both ARM and FirePath come from that mysterious ideas pool which we can't really define (its hard to believe that ARM was designed just from using the 6502, 16032 and reading the original Berkeley RISC I paper - ARM seems to have not much in common with any of them!). And clearly the 6502's follow-up, the 65816, wasn't "clean" any more, so whichever of Mensch and Moore contributed what to the 6502, Mensch by himself was a bit at sea.

Biggest object lesson was, however, National Semiconductor's 32016 (aka 16032): this showed how to completely make a mess of things. The 32016 first exposed the value of memory bandwidth to Steve Furber and I, showed how making things over-complex led to exceedingly long implementation times with loads of bugs in the implementation, and showed that however hard you tried to approach what compiler writers claimed they wanted, you couldn't satisfy them (no, I never did use a VAX). And an 8MHz 32016 was completely trounced in performance terms by a 4MHz 6502...


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Kimiko Ryokai & Justine Cassel

ANTS-CD1: It's party time at Home Sweet Cube.

This lady with friend and dog's name is Kimiko Ryokai. She does pretty cool projects at MIT. She's from Tokyo and went to study Linguistics and Psychology at SUNY in Albany, N.Y., USA.

lngr had a link to the I/O Brush project (Kimo Ryokai, Stefan Marti, Hiroshi Ishii, Josh Monzon & Rob Figueiredo) a while ago. Goldchen also liked that painttool, it seems.

These projects are done in a group called Tangible Meida, something I like a lot. Check out StoryMat and CrossTalk.

(motzes has dug up a tool worked out by Jeff Han et alii at NYU that might hold even more promise and relies on a simple biometric technique well known in those circles called FTIR2).

Before joining the Tangible Media Group and after SUNY, Miss Ryokai finished her Masters study with the Gesture and Narrative Language Group led by professor Justine Cassell.

Now a full professor at Northwestern University in the departments of Computer Science and Communication Studies, and director of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Technology and Social Behavior, Mrs. Cassel's homepage is well worth a visit. Heir appearant to Adele Goldberg I


1 Everybody got that now? It means "And Now To Something - Completely Different", which in turn is a quotation from the MPFC. 2 Frustrated Total Internal Internal Reflection. Do not let that irritate you. Those Neural Network guys always use these strange humanizations for their simple primitive SBSes3 3 Sand Based Simulators


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The Danny Dig

dannyd ibanez

His Motto: "Success is not for the chosen few, but for the few who choose" - John Maxwell

the catfish pointed there.

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Diane Pozefsky

CS Research professor at UNC and (former) Director of Storage Networking Architecture at IBM.

Not quite in line with the other heroines in the gallery cause she's got a quite large entry in english wp already.

Her homepage is at

She did her CS studies at Brown University and her professor there was none other than Andries van Dam.

Oral history videos and an interview transcript can be found at the IBM Fellows site. Can't link the videos directly, so you'll have to go there. The 'work and live balance video', which seems to be one of the issues she's interested in, is especially interesting. A world wide thing that.

Yet another topic of her interest, not surprisingly, is WICS (women in computer science: One of the two initiatives that I'm looking at is the women in computer science issue. Okay, this has been an ongoing problem for a number of years. the number of women in computer science keeps declining. And we're trying to figure out why and what we can do about it.

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last updated: 22.10.21, 01:16

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Oktober 2021
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Should be
pretty easy to guess from the context and image who HaFi and InTu are. Besides, thx for the hint to the open bold-tag.
by MaryW (22.10.21, 01:16)
Low hanging fruit
1 comment, lower geht es mathematisch schon aber psychosomatisch nicht.
by MaryW (15.10.21, 19:51)
da ist wohl ein <b> offen geblieben… und wer oder was sind HF und IT?
by tobi (25.09.21, 10:50)
manche nennen das
low hanging fruits, no?¿
by motzes (25.08.21, 20:33)
Freiwillige Feuerwehr
Wie ist das mit den freiwilligen und den professionellen Feuerwehren? Wenn 4 Häuser brennen und nur 2 Löschzüge da sind, dann gibt es doch eine....
by MaryW (22.07.21, 07:06)
That is a good argument and not to be underestimated. I was convinced a malevolent or rigid social environment (the others) posed the largest obstacle....
by MaryW (18.07.21, 08:54)
Und noch etwas
Die Schutzkleidung ist ein großes Problem. Sie verhindert allzu oft, dass mann mit anderen Säugetieren gut umgehen kann.
by StefanL (26.05.19, 07:09)
U get 1 big smile from me 4 that comment! And yes, i do not like embedded except it is good like this. It's like....
by StefanL (19.05.19, 16:30)
Just saying. #esc #strachevideo— Helene Voglreiter (@HeeLene) May 19, 2019 (Sorry, falls embedded unsocial media unerwünscht ist…)
by tobi (19.05.19, 10:57)
That's an adequate comment! Und das erste Zitat ein ganz besonders tolles Beispiel für den "Umschlag von Quantität in Qualität".
by MaryW (15.05.19, 19:57)
In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen people. – Momus You’ll always be a planet to me, Mr Bacchus. – Charon Fußnote! Find ick knorke.....
by tobi (15.05.19, 14:07)
I think I maybe know what you meant. It is the present we know best and the future we invent. And history is mostly used....
by StefanL (13.05.19, 00:55)
by StefanL (05.05.19, 21:15)
what about hindsight is 20/20?
by tobi (05.05.19, 14:00)
Ja echt.
Vielleicht schaffen wir es aber ja wieder einmal auf ein Konzert zusammen.
by StefanL (01.05.19, 05:55)
oh schade, verpasst…
by tobi (30.04.19, 09:07)
Als ethnische Gruppe bezeichnete Max Weber eine "Menschengruppe, welche auf Grund von Ähnlichkeiten des äußeren Habitus oder der Sitten oder beider ... einen subjektiven Glauben....
by StefanL (28.04.19, 07:28)
vielleicht aber
hat er auch während des Moderierens seinen Text sozusagen live in die Wikipedia kopiert? (leider wird diese theorie durch überprüfung der datenlage nicht unbedingt erhärtet.)
by chris (30.03.19, 09:08)
by misc (28.03.19, 09:28)
Na, heute wird er nicht weinen, sondern die Korken knallen lassen. Aber bald wird er wieder weinen, nämlich wenn er mit Verspätung merkt, dass der....
by ArchibaldL (27.03.19, 06:15)

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