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ANDREAS RAAB BIO

Hi, I'm Andreas from Germany and I'm very interested in Squeak and everything around it. My initial encounter was back in '96 when Squeak was released to the Internet by Alan and his group at Apple. Michael actually pointed it out to me, noticing that it has all of its source code included and that there wasn't a Windows port yet. How could I resist? In particular considering that I was just going to finish my PhD thesis (in computer graphics) and urgently needed some distraction activity (those of you who have written a thesis probably know what I mean ;-)

Ever since then, I have been involved with Squeak. After meeting Alan, Dan, and the rest of the gang they asked me to "finish up my thesis and get on a plane to sunny California". So I did, and started to work with Alan's group for Disney back in '98. While at Disney we did a lot of work with terrific people all around the world but especially B.J. Conn and her kids at the Open Charter School . Watching B.J. and her kids in the classroom is an exciting experience. One of the most interesting (and at that time annoying) observations was that those kids did things that every Computer Science major knows is incredibly hard. But those kids just did them! This got me very thoroughly thinking about what needed to be done in order to have everyone (including CS majors) to do those things in exactly the straightforward way those kids did.

After leaving Disney, I started working on this goal. I moved back to Germany to set up a terrific group of friends and collegues to both make more of Squeak accessible to what we call the "omni-user" as well as to improve its usability for educational purposes. Here in Germany I am closely working with the University of Magdeburg, in particular with the professor for computer games, Maic Masuch as well as with the faculty of design, in particular Prof. Christine Strothotte and Prof. Carola Zwick where we do a number of fun projects in the area of user interface design for scripting environments for kids.

Hopefully, this work will lead to a much improved Squeak scripting environment for "children of all ages" where the only limits are your own imagination. In the meantime, I ask you to enjoy what you find at Squeakland.org - but stay tuned for more!