T/Maker

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T/Maker Company was an early personal computer software company, formed in 1983 in order to market CP/M and MS-DOS programs that had originally been published by 3rd party publishing houses. They expanded into the Apple Macintosh market, releasing the well-known ClickArt line of clip art. Other well-known products include WriteNow on the Mac and NeXT platforms.

Peter Roizen released "Table Maker," later shortened to "T/Maker," in 1979, one of the first spreadsheet programs designed for the personal computer user.[1] The application ran on CP/M, TRSDOS, and later on MS-DOS computers. T/Maker was originally distributed by Lifeboat Associates of New York.

Although T/Maker was released six months after VisiCalc, it was perhaps the first application to provide an 'office' suite approach to data. Tables could be used in databases or spreadsheets and were accessible in 'word' type documents. At the time this was ground breaking; it had never been done before.

In 1983 T/Maker Company was incorporated in Mountain View, California by Heidi Roizen – Peter's sister and a then-recent Stanford University Graduate School of Business graduate – who became its CEO.

T/Maker Company went on to publish its own line of integrated applications, and also products by others intended for DOS and Windows computers as well as the Apple Macintosh, including ClickArt, the 5th software title available for the Mac.

Other notable T/Maker products include Personal Publisher, the first consumer-oriented desktop publishing application for the PC (acquired by Software Publishing Corporation in 1986), SmartBundle, the first "office" styled bundle of major applications, Vroombooks, an early leader in multimedia storybooks, and the popular Macintosh word processor WriteNow, (which it licensed from NeXT in 1985 and ultimately sold to WordStar in 1992), voted one of the "Top 10 Most Insanely Great Applications for the Mac" in 2004 as part of the Macintosh's 20-year anniversary celebration.

Heidi and business partner/chairman Royal Farros purchased T/Maker from Peter in 1986 and continued bootstrapping until 1989, when it became venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners’ first venture investment. Ann Winblad became a director of the company at that time. Tim Draper of Draper Fisher led the company’s second round in 1993 and also joined the board.

T/Maker was acquired in 1994 by Deluxe Corporation. Both Heidi and Royal left the company in 1996, Heidi becoming VP of Worldwide Developer Relations at Apple Computer and Royal founding and becoming CEO of the Internet's first online print shop, iPrint.com.

T/Maker’s remaining products were ultimately acquired by Broderbund, who continues to market and expand the ClickArt line.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Susan Lammers, Programmers at Work, Microsoft Press-1986. p. 198. The Visicalc spreadsheet program was released while T/Maker was still under development.

External links[edit]