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Letters-General Questions Answered  


Comment From e-mail: My only question is, what do you think of the iMAC? and do you have a favorite flavor? (two questions I cheated.)

Woz: I like the iMac very much. It's a computer that I don't have to assemble. I do have towers and I mainly use my PowerBook, but the iMacs are great to place around the house (all on Airport radio connection) for visitors to use. These iMacs get a lot of use for games and even video editing, and they needed very little setup.

Most people that I know don't want to learn all that it takes to load up computers and learn thousands of things about how to do certain things with them. For these people the iMac or iBook are the only products that I'd highly recommend (except, for some, WebTV).

Comment From e-mail: Hi Woz, I am a newbie to computers. I read an article in the Providence Journal about your speaking at Brown University. and decided to come visit your site. I couln't get the Woz Cam to work and don't know why. Could you help? Thank you, Carol

Woz: The WozCam software came from a company and it might need version 4 of Netscape or Internet Explorer to work fully. Otherwise, after you try to move the camera, you might have to click the Reload button.

If you're on a modem, the live operation will be very hard.

Comment From e-mail: Keeping this short. I love the macintosh, I love Apple. Thank you for making Apple a great company. I have recently studied your role at Apple and I am in awe.

Woz: The best people love the Macintosh. But, to be fair, I helped start the great company with my Apple ][, which turned the world around, and I helped start a great company with a spotted history, but I didn't have as much personally to do with the Macintosh design as you might think

Comment From e-mail: I was reading slashdot.org today and I saw someone had posted this comment. Is this true?
> "Actually, the Apple ][ colour controller was an accident! They didn't know it was generating colour until one day they connected it to a colour monitor, rather than a black&White one, and to their surpise, it was colour...so Woz had to reverse engineer his system to figure out how to control it's colour capabilities."

Woz: That is so so untrue.

I dreamed up the method of using pixels on a color TV screen, based on an exact multiple of the color subcarrier frequency, while constructing a [hardware] game for Atari around 1974. I based my [monochrome] 1975 Apple I design on this frequency, intending to add color ability to it later. When I got down to adding the color, I came up with so many circuit optimizations that I designed the Apple ][ instead.

I used such a simple, patented, scheme to generate color that the circuitry doesn't show any direct evidence. It's as though you'd have the same number of chips to generate the video, even without color. But you'd have a tough time explaining a chip or two that gated the color subcarrier frequency during part of the horizontal blanking. It can't be passed off as an accident. Not to mention that you could never even 'see' color on a TV without this subcarrier reference.

Comment From e-mail: So you are retired, that is great. I was wondering how you feel on how the govenment is charging Bill Gates with monopolizing the computer industry, do you think he is?

Woz: Bill Gates is not charged with monopolizing the computer industry.

The corporation Microsoft is charged with using it's monopoly power (a 'given', already expressed in Judge Jackson's Finding of Fact) to suppress new companies from starting. I think that Microsoft did more in this regard than any company in the world could have. There's nothing more that a 'worse' company could have done. Therefore, if there are laws against such things, they apply and they should be applied to the fullest extent.
[also see: Woz.org Microsoft Feature]

Comment From e-mail: I just read all the emails posted on your site. They got me in the mood to send one too. In 1983 I bought and Apple ][e. A great machine, and I still have it! It still works! When I started college in 1982 the Physics department had four black apples made by Bell and Howell. We used them for tutorials and to do homework on. That's what convinced me to get an Apple in '83. I used the machine all through collage, and several other students did too. Not many people had a computer at school in those days. I used to write programs that would do calculations for me and also plotting programs to print out my results from labs and stuff. They were good times. That's when I realized I loved computers because they are really flexible tools that you could program to do things for you! In 1989 I started work for the U.S.Army. at FT. Monmouth. We did most of our work on PCs, but we did our graphics work on Macs. It wasn't long before I fell in love with the elegance and simplicity of the Macs. I didn't need to know about its guts to get it to work for me! By that time I was programming on the PC all the time at work. A few years later my "future" wife bought me a Powerbook 100. I loved it, and still do! It is so neat being able to play on the computer where ever you want! Right before my wife and I got married, she asked my if it was alright if she didn't like computers. (she used PCs before) I said sure! no problem! Then I bought a PowerMac 6100/av I still have that one too. That's the main machine we all use. My wife looked at me do things with it for a few months. Get on the internet, write letters, record video clips, make HyperCard stacks, etc. She now is a happy Mac user! She loves it. Funny, she still hates computers though. Gee, this letter is real long. Sorry. I'll finish this up as quick as I can. My little girl told me when she was three that she wanted a "pink 'puter". She must have got a hold of someone at Apple, a few months later the fruity colored iMacs arrived. Both my children love the 'puter these days, and I think they have more software than I do. The girl is now 4 and the boy is 3. Thanks for starting a company that makes great computers. Jeff D.

Woz: I'm glad to be a 'collection point' for all these lifetime computer stories like yours. I have to share a secret. My wife uses and lives on her computer but she really doesn't like them either. I get to spend all the time it takes to make things work.


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