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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Comment from E-mail:
My name is David, I'm French and it's been 2 hours I've been reading your responses.
First of all, thank you very much for answering so many people... it's quite incredible. That's why I wouldn't even have a bad thougt if you didn't answer to my numerous questions. Reading all this it seems that you often look back with nostagy to all the marvellous this you did some years ago. I can't believe that you don't have any new goal, expectation,... What are they ?

Woz:
My goals are to go back to the LISA (and early Macintosh) dreams of how computers would be naturally useable and intuitive and truly plug-n-play. I have a lot of ideas of ways to enforce these things and to even make it more difficult to have buggy and crashing apps. But that's way off in the future. I'm starting a very small company right now to build some electronic, non-computer, products but my real intent, if the company goes, is to use it as a launching pad for bigger things.

Comment from E-mail:
The second question is about how do you explain the human relation that a mac user has with its computer, and the faith he often has in Apple.
Woz:
A lot of it is artificial. The good parts of it are due to some incredibly intellectual employees that we had working on the LISA. They believed in test procedures to design the best UI, for noviciates in particular. Some of that work carries over to today's Macintosh in ways that do 'feel' better.

Another thing is that we are a definite minority player. Sometimes our life is at stake. Those sorts of things bring out a lot of passion to prove that our favorite and familiar platform can do the job.

Comment from E-mail:
I also wanted to tell you that In France (and all over Europe), you (and of course Apple) have many fans ... On the other hand, here, many know about Apple, and few know who are "the 2 Steves". That's why my 3rd question is : Is there a french version of the movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley" ? And next time you come in my country would you perhaps consider having a TV interview here ?
Woz:
Of course I'd be favorable to that.

Comment from E-mail:
I'm an engineer, I'm currently working as a programmer in a French company making Intra/Extranets, Website, and other things that might appear to you as "toy programming". But since I was 10, I've always wanted to work for Apple. The only way to live my dream is to emigrate to the USA ... Before doing this my last question is : Is Apple a multicultural company or Is it dificult for a foreigner to work there ?
Woz:
I don't really know. I do know that we've had a lot of foreigners work at Apple. One issue that I was aware of was a fellow from Cork. After we closed that facility Steve Jobs told him that he couldn't work for Apple unless he moved to the States. When he visited Cupertino he'd be setting things up in a large room, with 2 different exits, and people would watch each exit to tell him when Steve Jobs came by. He'd quickly exit the other door to avoid Steve finding out that he was still working for Apple. Ha.

Comment from E-mail:
I am Daniel Streicher,
a 13 year old Mac/Apple Obssessee. I have used a mac since I was three.
Starting with my Dad's LC 3 III and moving up to the Imac I use now, I have always been a hige fan of the Mac. I have a poster in my locker at school that has a picture of an Apple 1 and says "Thank Woz". I also trying to obtain a Mac 128k for my room, but I have no idea where to get one exept for like 400 bucks on ebay. Enough about me though, I have a few questions. First, I have heard that Steve Jobs is more of the buisness man than the computer guy when it comes to his involvment in Apple. I know you made the the original prototypes for the early computers, so I was wondering if that is true. I also keep trying to explain how RISK vs. CISK fills in most of the megahertz gap to my windoze using friends, but I'm having a hard time getting the point across. Can you please explain the details to me? And lastly, can you tell me a little about Jeff Raskin, his story his sort of covered up in most Apple history?

Woz:
Yes, I did all of the design of the Apple circuitry except for the power supply, and I also wrote all of the software. Steve was more involved in the many other aspects of a successful product. In effect he 'designed' the way people saw this new type of product. How they considered it was an even more important part of the design process.

RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) used to be hands down the way to go. But there have been architecture advances that minimize the importance of that. Even when RISC was 40% faster than CISC, Intel said that according to Moore's Law, 40% speed equated to only 4 months. So it really wasn't such a big deal. In my own opinion, it's more worthwhile to use minimal resources (a simpler computer) and get better results. There's some technical purity about that. I always try to do that in my own designs.

The principle of RISC is that you have simpler instructions that operate faster, due to signals having to pass through fewer logic gates, fewer transistors. The designer could look at the processor instruction set and judge the frequency of use of the various classes of instructions. If an instruction that has to be replaced by 2 instructions occurs only 5% of the time, then you don't want to add the logic for that instruction if that logic slows every instruction down by 15%. You can work the math to see this.

Jef Raskin was one of the most important people that Apple ever had. He was a very bright person who saw things that most others missed. He saw and directed Apple toward graphical computers, based on work at Xerox PARC center and going back to Douglas Englebart's research in the 60's. Jef also had ideas about how computers should work to be most natural to human beings, and he was almost always correct. He based a lot of his opinions on real research in these areas. I don't think that we'd have had GUI's as early or as good without Jef's presence at Apple.

 



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