Interview with Sandy Miranda

Source: Interview with Sandy Miranda, 14 April 2000.

About Sandy Miranda

Sandy Miranda grew up in Silicon Valley: her father "built one of the first houses on Arastadero Road, which is really ground zero for a lot of what went on." Later she worked at Fairchild Semiconductor as a laboratory technician while studying English and mythology at San Jose State University. After graduating, she joined Douglas Engelbart's Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute, eventually becoming the "first tech support [person] on the ARPANET." After a stint at the USGS, Miranda joined Apple in 1980, where, she worked as a technical writer on the Lisa and Macintosh projects. She began her career as a freelance writer after being laid off in the famous merger of the Lisa and Apple groups (during with Steve Jobs made his remark that "I only see B and C players"): her first contract was to write the "Test Drive a Macintosh" script.

Miranda continued to work as a technical writer in Silicon Valley until the mid-1990s, and for the last decade has been a producer of the "Music of the World" show on KPFA, an alternative radio station in Berkeley, California. She was one of the first radio broadcasters to develop a Web site for her show, and now broadcasts online as well over the airwaves.

During the interview Miranda talks about her work at SRI; the culture of Apple in the early 1980s (particularly its support of women); her careers as a technical writer and radio personality; the relationship between the counterculture and rise of personal computing; and the excitement of working on leading-edge technical projects.

About the Interview

The interview was conducted on 14 April 2000, at Buck's restaurant in Woodside. There is too much background noise on the recording to publish audio extracts of the interview. The transcript was created and edited by Alex Pang, and reviewed by Sandy Miranda; a final version was created on 28 June 2000.

A copy of the original audio file (an Audio Interchange Format file) has been deposited in Stanford University Library Department of Special Collections.


The transcript has been broken up into several pages, each of which deals with a particular subject. When discussion of an issue occurs in two or three pages, or a device or institution gets substantive mention more than once, hyperlinks are provided between those different sections. A full transcript is also available that contains the same content, but presents it on a single page.

Document created on 20 June 2000;