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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 



Comment From e-mail: If MS is a monopoly, what is Apple then? How many people does Apple license its hardware to?? how about the OS?? The only reason IE is everywhere now and NS isn't, is because NS Navigator is a much inferior product. I didn't just make this claim up, it comes from my experience as a web developer. IE is better even on the Mac and it's really sad when people try to make this "monopoly" excuse for Netscape.

Woz: Apple is too minor in the market to be considered a monopoly. Even Apple is subject to Microsoft's monopoly power (in the Finding of Fact, the judge found that Microsoft said they'd drop their very profitable Office, for the Macintosh, unless Internet Explorer became the default browser). The reverse is not true. Apple is struggling for an existence because of Microsoft.

People who use a particular platform or email program or browser are very bigoted these days. They not only refuse to see the benefits of other choices, they get very political and make it an issue that one is good and the other bad. It's more like "my country right or wrong" than a valid comparison of capabilities.

You don't have a clear idea of marketing. IE could be considered better by some but it's a close call. The judge confirmed this. Even for a much superior product, such market gain wouldn't have been possible by just putting the two up side by side equally. Microsoft had to give theirs away after spending hundreds of millions of dollars to develop it (a very rich person would find it's illegal to spend money to take someone else's business away). Plus, there wasn't one case where Microsoft could have done one thing more than they did to use their monopoly power over ISP's and computer manufacturers. If there are antitrust laws at all, Microsoft isn't one step toward the good side from the darkest misuse of this power that could have happened.

Wake up.

Comment From e-mail: Wow! hey woz! Man you must be soooo smart designing the apple 1, I greatly admire you, I mean, selling a calculator and a van to make money for it(at least that's what I heard)!! So cya l8ter!!!! A fan of yours,

Woz: Thanks for the note. As you can tell, we had no money and no business experience, just some good designs and good people and vision of a new look at computers. Plus our timing was quite good.

Comment From e-mail: I've started this letter twice and can never seem to get it right, but here goes. I was saved from swearing off computers entirely and going to Iowa to be a potato farmer by a Mac. I was working at as a tech support agent for a large technology distributor and the constant frustration of supporting Windows and folks who just didn't care, was draining all the fun out of computers. Then back in '97 I bought my first Mac, a G3/233 minitower. It was the most incredible experience ever. Things just seem to work the way they are supposed to. One thing led to another and here I am going back to school for a degree in Computer Science, I've already got one in Business Administration, and have found that a computer is just a tool to get stuff done. It should not be an end unto itself.

Also, I seem to have accumulated four other Macs, a Plus, an SE, a IIcx and a Quadra 950. I'll wrap up by saying thanks for starting Apple, they have really kept the personal in personal computer.

BTW, my first computer was not an Apple but a Timex Sinclair 1000 with a whopping 16K of RAM.


Woz: The way I see this tool vs. end-in-itself thing is that there are lots of different kinds of people. Some of us, like most of my students, will benefit from it as a tool. But a minority, those that are like me when I was young, really do get something from the computer itself, especially if they can build and add hardware. I'll never forget the hobbyists, even if they are mostly Windows types today, because that was the center of my own life.

A TV was to watch shows, but for myself it was a thing to open up and connect wires to put in my own signals, from VCR's (before Betamax, before channel 3 modulators) and from computers in the early days.

I remember once, in slightly later years, buying a Timex Sinclair computer. It was only $50 or $100 and had BASIC and actually worked very nicely by itself. Even today, a $50 computer on your own TV screen would be a hot item.


Comment From e-mail: I'm a teacher too. I work in Clovis California, for the Clovis Unified School District. Recently the technology direction of my school district has been under a former Silicon Valley "techno-it-all". Under his regime we have no longer been able to purchase any Apple product at all because "the real world" uses PC's and Apple is going out of business as everyone knows. My school is a lone member of the dwindling rebel alliance that still survives (barely) in this oppressive climate. It wouldn't bother me if other schools chose on their own what they wanted to use. If they wanted IBM's, well that's fine! I would at least like some creative autonomy. What I want to know from you is would you work in a school district like this ? What would you do ? No one seems to be willing to stand up for the individuals. It's all about conformity.

Woz: We've heard that abused children grow up to be abusers. If the technical staff of a school and the individual teachers are treated with a lack of respect their self esteem is lowered. This gets passed on to their students. Teachers that prefer Macintosh should be allocated Macintosh. The technical support group should not override this as long as the teacher is willing to provide the needed support, or knows that the technical staff may not be able to provide it. If your school district is large enough to justify even a single Apple technical support person, one should be added for this purpose. Macintosh/PC networks work a dozen ways.

We work that way in our own, primarily Macintosh, district. Basically, a single person and a few part time techs keep 600 Macintosh computers running, using a file management tool to keep the computer software maintained automatically. Macintosh NetBoot, available for newer Macintosh computers, helps minimize the maintenance for Macs as well.


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