Jef Raskin, 61, a computer interface expert who conceived Apple Computer Inc.'s groundbreaking Macintosh computer but left the company before it came to market, died Saturday in San Jose, Calif. In December, he told friends he had pancreatic cancer.
Mr. Raskin joined Apple in 1978 - as its 31st employee - to start the young company's publications department. At the time, computers were primarily text-based and users had to remember a series of arcane commands to perform the simplest tasks.
In 1979, Mr. Raskin had a different idea: a computer that is priced affordably, targeted at consumers and easy to use. A small team, under his command, was put together at Apple to pursue his concept that would eventually become the Macintosh.
Mr. Raskin led the project until the summer of 1981, when he had a falling out with Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder.
After leaving Apple in 1982, Mr. Raskin founded another computer company, Information Appliance, and designed another computer that incorporated his ideas. He also wrote a book, The Humane Interface, which was published in 2000.
Uli Derickson, 60, the flight attendant who served as a buffer between terrorists and passengers during a 1985 airline hijacking that dragged on for 17 days, died Feb. 18 at her home in Tucson, Ariz.
During the hijacking of Trans World Airlines Flight 847 in June 1985, Ms. Derickson talked to the Shiite Muslim terrorists and is credited with shielding passengers whose names sounded Jewish by hiding their passports.
The flight began in Athens but ended up in Beirut, where the crew and 39 passengers were held for 17 days. A Navy diver on the flight was singled out and killed by the terrorists, but passengers credited Ms. Derickson with preventing more killings.
She retired from TWA in the late 1980s. She tried working in real estate but missed flying, so she joined Delta Air Lines in the early 1990s and continued working, mainly on international flights, until being diagnosed with cancer in 2003.
Robert Dawson, 65, who spent half his life teaching law at the University of Texas and helped remake the state's juvenile justice system into a national model, died Saturday in Austin. He had continued teaching while battling lung cancer and taught his last criminal law class Feb. 17.
He wrote the state's juvenile justice laws in 1973, then worked with lawmakers to draft a wholesale revision in 1995. The result was a juvenile system that replaced adult-style punishment with programs aimed at turning young offenders into responsible citizens.