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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 



Comment From e-mail: I am better than everyone I know at computers. That's why I choose Linux because it was more advanced. Windows sucks and there aren't enough non-desktop publishing apps ported to the Mac. But I would choose a Mac over windows, because Windows is always crashing and its slow and looks awful. But it has the most apps. You cant win all the time.

Woz: For different people, different platforms are the best. It's closely integrated with how we view ourselves too. Windows is too closely associated with corporations excluding the Macintosh platform as a form of corporate bigotry, that I find it too offensive to use as a person. Linux does suffer from a lack of apps for some kinds of people, notably Macintosh users. But I have yet to hear that Linux is as bad as any other platform in it's possibilities.

Comment From e-mail: I posted this in SlashDot, but it probably won't make it to you, so I'll pose this to you personally. In your opinion, is there room in the industry for another Apple, where a couple of guys get together, start with nothing, and launch something amazing? Or has the industry gotten too overgrown? One of my fascinations is technological history, so I watched "Pirates" with baited breath (somewhat disappointed, however). I have had countless daydreams about meeting one of the industry pioneers - what I would say, what we'd talk about, the responses I'd get. If I ever make it down to San Jose (I'm up in Spokane, WA), is that offer for a cup of coffee still open? Thanks for your time, and God Bless.

Woz: It may make it to me. I'm answering some selected slashdot questions tomorrow.

I think that it's always possible for what we did to be done again. It would normally require a once-in-a-decade new market opening up to be huge, one that established companies can't address or don't address. Right now the whole world is switching to internet services instead of what preceded. This phenomenon is just at it's start yet there are countless opportunities for young people with nothing to create a big success here, even though most are achieved by business people from before. But look at successes like Yahoo and Netscape that came from unknowns.

The problem is always that I can't say what the unknown opportunity is. If I could, so could millions of others and nobody could be successful by themselves.

Comment From e-mail: I am a traditional country singer who grew up traveling on the road with Merle Haggard. Legendary songwriter Hank Cochran is producing my first CD now with Merle involved. We plan to make it REAL country.

Woz: Just a week ago I was listening to the only great radio show here (KSJC's "Lubbock or Leave It" and one of the songs, that just made me cry with thoughts of how lousy most of today's country music is, was an old Merle Haggert one. It wasn't "Okie" but sounded similar. When I hear this sort of stuff I just realize that I missed a lot of the music that would have been 'mine'.

Comment From e-mail: And Emmy Lou is a friend of mine! That is great that she played at your wedding! Did you meet the Road Mangler, Phil Kaufman? He was her road manager and has become quite a celebrity in his own right...

Woz: I'm not good with remembering people or names and I don't try to get too friendly with performers because I feel that I'm one of hundreds bugging them. So I barely recall the name Phil but don't really know him.

What I liked about Emmy Lou was the nature of the music and words that she sang, as well as her incredible voice. Also, the folks that she was associated with (Rodney, Rosanne Cash, Guy Clark, Steve Goodman, and the like) tended toward these great word songs that got beneath the surface.

Comment From e-mail: Charlie Daniels Jr is my best friend. He and Big Charlie both are big Macintosh fanatics! I sent the link to your site to Charlie yesterday when I found it. He is vacationing in Colorado and has his Powerbook with him. He was going to pay you a visit.

Woz: Kewl.

Comment From e-mail: I knew that you guys (Apple) got the GUI from Xerox... But why on earth would Jobs let Gates and Co. even get a look at the Mac before it hit the streets? I mean, jeez... I understand why Xerox let you guys see the technology.... The Xerox 'Brass' had no vision, but Jobs did.

Woz: Steve wanted Microsoft to write some apps for the Macintosh.

Comment From e-mail: As far as personalities go... I know Steve was/is your friend, but was he really as much of an A--hole as depicted in the movie. You seemed to be one of a hand full of people to keep a cool head and remain 'true-to-yourself' once the $$$ started rolling in.

Woz: Well, Steve pushes to get greatness. It turns a lot of people off and burns some out. I'm just too polite with people, shy actually, to behave this way. I decided when younger that the thing that was most important was having people like you.

Comment From e-mail: If possible I'd like to connect with you there at MacWorld in SF...and bring you over to the Club Photo booth...they would be thrilled! They are releasing the newest Mac version of the Living Album, (1st in over 2 years) which we will be adding onto the LGX CD. I have been their major Mac proponent....I am glad they stuck with the Mac platform! They will be doing live uploads so we can publish any photos taken that day... Let me know if this works for you? If you don't have lunch already booked, I'd be honored to invite you for a bite...

Woz: I will definitely catch the Club Photo booth. I think that it's clearly time for this product to get better known. I looked in a catalog today and didn't find it. Also, my wife had horrible time reducing some pictures she took of our daughter's dog in order to email the pictures. PhotoShop wasn't behaving and I'll have to find out why later. There's a real need for people to start keeping and organizing their photo albums on HD.

Comment From e-mail: Currently I do not own a MAC. The main reason for that is because I am a hardcore gaming enthusiast. I think that that might change in the future and I am considering buying an iMac for my wife and daughter. I work as a Network Administrator, primarily with WindowsNT. Strangely enough, I do not advocate the use or purchase of Microsoft products. I make a living solving problems with these products. Needless to say, there is PLENTY of work to keep me busy. But on a personal level, (when I am not playing computer games), I am working with Linux. If I do purchase an iMac for my wife, I will dual boot it to Linux for my own use. I have also seen BeOS in action on an iMac and was very impressed.

I have a question for you if you have time:

One thing that I think could really help Apple right now, would be to go completely open source with its OS and possibly move its OS to one based on Linux or FreeBSD. Over the years I have heard only two complaints from ANYONE about the prospect of owning a Mac. The first is a lack of applications. While this is not wholly true, I think that the number of apps available could be dramatically increased if they moved their OS in the direction that I suggested above. The second complaint was the difficulty or inability of upgrading your Mac as opposed to a PC. Firstly, I don't know enough about Mac hardware to know if that is true or not, but my guess is that if it ever was true, its not so today. The reason being that most PC's (Mac's included) are at a point where they are so far over powered for today's applications that upgrading is totally unnecessary for at least 3 or 4 years which is the expected life of the machine anyway.


Woz: Apple prides itself on keeping greater compatibility by strictly controlling the hardware and OS and having less configurations to deal with. That might go against Open source. I would certainly favor Open Source though. I think that a lot of future OS 'improvers' would get educated this way. Examining code and trying to understand it is a better way to learn than from books. Associating the Macintosh with Linux would be the most positive thing Apple could do to be accepted everywhere. But Linux is UNIX and the underlying kernel of MacOS X will be MACH, which is also UNIX. It just may not be as popular as Linux.

While upgrading Macintosh hardware is often not easily accomplished, the basic elements (RAM, HD, Keyboard, peripherals, PCI cards) are easy to upgrade. It's just not so in the consumer models, the iMac and iBook. The audience for these products is better off not including upgrade in their vocabulary. Upgrading causes more problems than it fixes. Isn't that why you are working with WindowsNT and not willing to buy Microsoft for yourself?



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