Bill Atkinson

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Bill Atkinson
Born 1951 (age 64–65)
Nationality American
Education University of California, San Diego
University of Washington
Occupation Engineer, Inventor, Nature Photographer
Known for

Part of the Apple Macintosh development team; conceived, designed and implemented HyperCard, the first popular hypermedia system.

His book, "Within the Stone," published in 2004.

Bill Atkinson (born 1951) is an American computer engineer and photographer. Atkinson worked at Apple Computer from 1978 to 1990. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego, where Apple Macintosh developer Jef Raskin was one of his professors. Atkinson continued his studies as a graduate student in neurochemistry at the University of Washington, nearly getting a PhD [1].

Atkinson was one of the first thirty members of the original Apple Macintosh development team,[2] and was the creator of the ground-breaking MacPaint application, which fulfilled the vision of using the computer as a creative tool. He also designed and implemented QuickDraw, the fundamental toolbox that the Lisa and Macintosh used for graphics. QuickDraw's performance was essential for the success of the Macintosh's graphical user interface. He also was one of the main designers of the Lisa and Macintosh user interfaces. Atkinson also conceived, designed and implemented HyperCard, the first popular hypermedia system. HyperCard put the power of computer programming and database design into the hands of nonprogrammers. In 1994, Atkinson received the EFF Pioneer Award for his contributions.

Around 1990, General Magic's founding, with Bill Atkinson as one of the three co-founders, met the following press in Byte magazine:

The obstacles to General Magic's success may appear daunting, but General Magic is not your typical start-up company. Its partners include some of the biggest players in the worlds of computing, communications, and consumer electronics, and it's loaded with top-notch engineers who have been given a clean slate to reinvent traditional approaches to ubiquitous worldwide communications.[3]

In 2007 Atkinson began working as an outside developer with Numenta, a startup working on computer intelligence. On his work there Atkinson said, "what Numenta is doing is more fundamentally important to society than the personal computer and the rise of the Internet."[4]

Currently, Atkinson has combined his passion for computer programming with his love of nature photography to create art images. He takes close-up photographs of stones that have been cut and polished. His works are highly regarded for their resemblance of miniature landscapes which are hidden within the stones. Atkinson’s book “Within the Stone” features a collection of his close-up photographs and was published in 2004. The highly intricate and detailed images he creates are made possible by the accuracy and creative control of the digital printing process that he helped create.

Some of Atkinson's noteworthy contributions to the field of computing include:

Atkinson now works as a nature photographer. Actor Nelson Franklin portrayed him in the 2013 film, Jobs.


  1. ^ Walter Isaacson. The Innovators. 
  2. ^ Lemmons, Phil (February 1984). "An Interview: The Macintosh Design Team". BYTE (interview). p. 58. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Halfhill, Tom R.; Reinhardt, Andy (February 1994). "Just Like Magic?". Byte Magazine. Archived from the original on July 13, 1997. 
  4. ^ Schonfeld, Erick (March 6, 2007). "Jeff Hawkins and the Brain". Business 2.0 (CNN). Archived from the original on 25 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-03. 
  5. ^ Isaacson, Walter (2011). "Steve Jobs". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 

4.,. 'Bill Atkinson'. N.p., 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.

5. "About The Artist." N.p., n.d. Web. 15. Nov. 2015.