[SIGCIS-Members] Death of Evelyn Berezin

Dylan Lederle-Ensign dylan.lederle.ensign at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 19:06:53 PST 2018


The CHM's "From the Archives" podcast recently posted a wonderful two part
interview with her:

http://www.computerhistory.org/podcast/designer-entrepreneur-ceo-evelyn-berezin-part-1/
http://www.computerhistory.org/podcast/designer-entrepreneur-ceo-evelyn-berezin-part-2/

On Mon, Dec 10, 2018 at 9:42 PM Matthew Kirschenbaum <
mkirschenbaum at gmail.com> wrote:

> Evelyn Berezin---software programmer, entrepreneur, and creator of the
> Redactron word processor line---has died. NYT obituary:
>
>
> https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/10/obituaries/evelyn-berezin-dead.html?action=click&module=Well&pgtype=Homepage&section=Obituaries
>
> While SIGCIS understands that headlines declaring the "first true word
> processor" are always going to be debatable, the Redactron (née "Data
> Secretary") was an important early competitor to IBM's better-known
> products, aided by what was, at the time, a daring advertising campaign in
> the pages of Ms. Magazine. It was one of the very first commercial products
> to use integrated circuits, and was arguably more a general purpose
> computer than a word processor.
>
> In *Track Changes*, where I tell her story at more length, I wrote that
> Evelyn Berezin "remains a relatively unknown and underappreciated figure,
> with nowhere near the stature of other women who played significant roles
> in computer science science and the computer industry and have since been
> recognized by historians."
>
> (The only novelist I identified as using a Redactron product was Robyn
> Carr. But perhaps there were others.)
>
> Ms. Berezin was, I believe, in residence at the CHM several years ago, and
> perhaps someone from there might comment further.
>
> Best, Matt
>
>
> --
> Matthew Kirschenbaum
> Professor of English and Digital Studies
> Director, Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies
> Printer's Devil, BookLab
> University of Maryland
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