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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 


Q From e-mail:
Dear woz.. for whatever reasons i have always been a fan of you and andy hertzfeld. i know where you are, but i have lost track of andy since his general magic days. have any idea where he is or what he is doing? thanks for everything you have done for all of us, ryan b. G.

WOZ:
Andy, one of the original Macintosh software geniuses, is one of the most incredible persons that I have ever known. He also has an incredible memory for interesting things involving Apple. Andy got interested in internet servers and related facilities some years ago. He set up his own domain and T1 lines and routers and all the stuff that I've done for a long time. He is a hands on person. He got interested in Linux and is working on open software. Most importantly, he got married. Next most important, he is great fun for everyone around him. The list of things that I could say about Andy is way too large, but he might be able to tell you.

Q From e-mail:
Hello, Is there any chance I could get a copy of those Apple I specs that you mentioned? I'd love to learn some hardware hacking, and can think of no better way to start than by building one of the computers that started it all.

WOZ:
Sorry. There were only 200 Apple I's made and this was during 1976, a long time ago. I might have such specs in storage somewhere but don't have time to go looking for mine. There are a few people that have Apple I's and handier specs but not myself, sorry.

Q From e-mail:
Woz, I would like to hear your opinions on modern computer directions. Are we where you expected to be by now? What do you see that is exciting for the future?

WOZ:
Too vague for me. Too unpredictable too. My latest hopes are for humanistic software but it may take until about 2020, assuming that Moore's law ends for atomic reasons around 2012.

Q From e-mail:
Steve: I am writing about your last name. My lsat name, Wasnick was originally spelled Wozniak. The last name was changed when my family imigrated to the United States. I wonder if we are distant relatives? I'd really like to speak with you about this topic.

WOZ:
I like hearing about so many other Wozniaks as there are in this country (and beyond). But I can't really talk about it because I'm no heritage expert. There are other Steve Wozniaks and a local one gets email intended for me all the time. On the other hand, I was picking up a ticket at Air Cal in San Jose one day and the agent said "aren't you..." to which I nodded my head "...the DJ?", to which I had to explain that I was 'another' Steve Wozniak. Our namesake John Wozniak had a tremendous hit song, "Sex and Candy" by his group, "Marci Playground." I know that there are many other highly credible Wozniaks. I even have an uncle who is a priest (I've never been to church though).

This Polish name helped a lot when I visited Poland. I actually have photographs of one of my sons teaching Lech Welensa to use a PowerBook.

Q From e-mail:
What did you think about Newton Technology? I would like to know that.

WOZ:
I always thought that computing devices should be smart and do things for us. The Newton has the smarts to read normal handwriting and to figure out handwritten commands like "Sara dentist tomorrow 11 AM". It's also more like a computer in a small package. Maybe PDA's aren't worth enough in people's lives to need a mini-computer. The pocketable Palm Pilot is more a modern Sharp Wizard, but it came at the right time, when everyone who'd want it had a computer. It's big step was easy synchronization. Too bad the Newton didn't have this. The eMate did have easy file transfer over IR.

I loved taking notes for hours on my Newton. I'll miss that the most. It's screen was large enough for this. It will probably be a long time before I have that good a notetaking tool based on handwriting.

There are probably many more things to say. I tried the Newton 3 times througout it's life and it only stuck at the end, with the MessagePad 2100. It was finally good enough in some ways that had bothered me before.

Q From e-mail:
I have an original copy somewhere of something I believe Woz wrote years ago which A.P.P.L.E. distributed very briefly called T.H.E. Spreadsheet, if memory serves, for the Apple ][. It appeared and disappeared quickly from distribution, although it was very fast and a good spreadsheet.

I got the impression this was a rarity. If Woz ever needed my copy (for sentimental or library/museum purposes), I would be honored to give it to him with my compliments.

WOZ:
That spreadsheet was very special and there is a long story that goes with it, but I can barely keep my eyes open. I have a copy of it and keep it in a special place. After it was given to Call A.P.P.L.E. by Randy Wigginton, going on what he thought was a verbal OK from Steve Jobs, Steve and Mike Scott yanked it right away. They only allowed the few that had been delivered to be sold, and then only with a note enclosed saying that it was being provided courtesy of them. Yet they were actually the ones restricting it's availability!

Q From e-mail:
i sent this email to you before, but didn't see a response and i sent it to webmaster@woz.org so im not too sure you even got it, but here it is again, sorry if you received it already once, im sure you're a busy person.

WOZ:
When you have hundeds of emails stacked up, it takes a while. Also, the webmaster links get your email to one of three friends (Dan, Alex, or Auri). Some other link gets your email to my secretary, Laura. A new one gets your email to me (host).
This note went to Alex and he didn't forward about 160 of them until tonight. Also, Laura forwarded 140 tonight. I can't answer email in minutes when things are this crazy, sorry...Steve

Q From e-mail:
How accurate was the movie when it showed the scene where you and Jobs were at a technology convention and when the doors opened and crowed flushed in, crowding yours and job's booth, which was displaying, Apple I, i believe?

WOZ:
It reminded me of the West Coast Computer Faire where we introduced the Apple ][. We had the best booth space of all, right as you came in. We also had a video projector, which was quite a feat in that year. Our product was the Apple ][. I did pull a rather large prank at this show, distributing thousands of brochures for a non-existant product called the "Zaltaire." But I don't have time to elaborate here...Steve

Q From e-mail:
this is a dispute that a friend of mine is having did or did not Bill Gates work for apple at one time. Was he an employee, my friend said that that was inaccurate in the movie and I am under the impresssion, why would the film want to stretch something that far out to say that he worked for apple, if only to foreshadow that one day, indirectly Bill Gates would own a piece of apple and subsequently, Jobs would be working for him??

WOZ:
I find this interpretation humorous. Bill Gates did not work directly for Apple. But we did work deals and commission software to be delivered by Microsoft for our computers. In that sense he worked for us, but not as a programmer, i assure you. It's funny to hear you say that Jobs now works for Bill. I'll have to remember that one!...Steve

Q From e-mail:
To make the question shorter: is it true that Bill gates worked for apple at one time?



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