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Letters-General Questions Answered  


Q from E-mail: 1.What kind of computer do you use daily?2. Does apple give you free hardware, or do you have to pay for it?

Woz: I use the professional PowerBook G3 model. Apple probably would give me any free hardware that I wanted, but I prefer to buy it and be one of the regular people. It keeps me better informed as to what customers are really going through. I have several of every Macintosh model to keep me informed and my entire family up-to-date. I also use current ones for my class (also PowerBooks). It keeps me real to have to buy things like everyone else. 

Q from E-mail: Which Mac do you find yourself using most these days?

Woz: The PowerBook G3 series. Ever since the first PowerBook, which I could bring to the bedroom, I've never gone back.

I like the long battery life and DVD movie capability and built in 10/100 ethernet and modem and USB: it's the professional model. I'm looking for the next one with FireWire.

I like the freedom of portability. I've got most of the Macs in my home running on Apple's AirPort RF network, even though I don't have to.  I like having a highly networked home.

Q from E-mail: I disagree completely with you about Microsoft  being a monopoly: while Microsoft was hardly improving Windows (3.0 3.11 95 98 NT 2000), Apple did not change anything (besides cosmetic changes) to improve its product and compete! Only withMacOS X will Apple have the same features Windows NT has had since 1994 ! It's unfair to say it is a monopoly just because the competition did not have competence to see what was happening with their competitor and improve their products !!!

The gas station example is wrong. This is better: Imagine 5 car companies improving their cars for years. Four of them were just changing the colors of the car each year, while the other one were improving the engine, brakes, suspension and sound system. Ten years later the 4 companies claims the other one is a monopoly because the majority ofconsumersprefers to buy the other car ! Is this fair?

Woz: You should read the judge's determination. Microsoft has an OS monopoly and had it all the way back to DOS days. They use this monopoly illegally to enter other markets like the Web browser market and to exclude other companies from these markets. All the innovation that can possibly occur in these cases has to be attributed to them, as they don't allow others to do a better job. This is what my car example was. Your example is all wrong and has nothing to do with illegal monopoly power. In fact, there's no way that Microsoft could have used their OS monopoly more illegally than they did in their effort to secure a browser market share that they couldn't have come close to achieving on a level playing field. 

At least Microsoft had the good sense to see what Apple had and copy it.

Q from E-mail: I still remember the ad Apple Computer ran showing an Apple ][  being used to monitor operations on an offshoree oil platform. I think we forget the *variety* of uses the first computers like the Apple ][ saw. In a day where computers get used for little more than games, surfing the Net, and word processing, it is interesting to note that early "home" computers like the Apple ][ were used for decoding satellite images, monitoring heartbeats for oscilloscopes, etc. Those computers brought out the imagination and skills of a generation of teens and college kids. It seems like almost every MIS person got their start with an Apple ][ or the likes. 

Woz: That's good of you to remember these things. We sure do tend to forget the Apple ]['s importance in creating this company and industry. 

Q from E-mail: When you call Apple to order stuff and you give them your name, do people recognize you and say "Hey, your that dude that created Apple!"

Woz: I order Apple stuff online. I doubt that any human ever sees the names. But once I ordered a gigabit ethernet option. Apple noticed two months later that only two of these had been ordered, both by me! I do get noticed every time I buy shareware, and that brings me a lot of T-shirts that I get good use out of.


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