Monday, November 12, 2012

Andrew Singer, RIP

Rich Siegel:

The THINK products helped define the Mac software ecosystem in the 1980s, and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that the THINK products, and Andrew’s influence, made the Mac software industry successful at a crucial time. There’s a great writeup here (thanks to Philip for the link) about Macintosh Pascal and THINK Pascal and their effect on how Mac software was developed.

Update (2012-11-12): Clark Goble:

It’s hard to explain just how big a difference Think C was. There were many programming languages for the Mac but it honestly was shocking how poor Apple’s own tools were. For several years you basically had to buy a Lisa just to write Mac programs. I tried several languages but it was really when Lightspeed C got me that I think I finally started writing real programs and not just small hacks.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

[...] Link. I remember. Great work. by jgordon on November 12, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in share Tagged pinboard [...]

Andrew was influential not just at Think, but also mentored hundreds of people, not just at Think, but at (primarily) Interval Research. I was one of those (worked with Andrew at least four times), am grateful, and already miss him.
If you have someone in your life who's like that, a teacher or mentor, take the time to thank them, as they could disappear at any point.

In addition to Pascal and C, Andrew led the development at THINK in 1985 of InBox, the first e-mail package for the Mac (running in-house on ethernet). Later at Radius he invented the tilt-and-pivot monitor, the ability of which to seamlessly switch from landscape to portrait mode is an essential feature of all smartphones. Then there was the programmable processor he developed at Interval Research, and the thousand-core processor at Rapport. While not widely recognized for his accomplishments, he was one of the most brilliant technologists in the computersphere.

I worked directly for Andrew at Radius. He came in as our VP Engineering, replacing Burrell Smith. I was his SW/HW QA manager. I remember as early as 1990 discussing products that now exist and have names like Google Glass, and Oculus. One thing he didn’t invent was the Radius Pivot. That existed in our HW lab on Plumeria Drive by November 1997, long before Andrew arrived. It was invented by Erik Gutfeld and Julien Nguyen.

I owe Andrew many debts of gratitude for the lessons and opportunities he created that positively affected my career. My one regret is that I failed to convince him about the extent of problems plaguing the pre-release Radius Rocket, which subsequently caused the first stumble in his eventual downfall. Andrew was brilliant and could be funny, but he mostly was kind and wanting to see the positive sides of things.

Leave a Comment