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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 



Comment From e-mail: What universities(s) did you go to? ( other then Berkley (right?))

Woz: I had lots of 800's on college entrance exams (the highest) and probably should have applied to places like MIT but I visited the University of Colorado in Boulder and saw real snow for the first time in my life so that was the only school I applied to. Computer Science classes weren't for undergrads in 1968 but I was able to take a grad course in FORTRAN. I got put on probation for computer abuse that year and they threatened to make me pay a huge amount because I ran so many programs that I ran my class budget 5 times over. I was too scared to tell my parents of this so I didn't go back.

The next year I went to De Anza Junior College in Cupertino. I took a bunch of computer courses, even when they didn't work toward an engineering degree. A friend had a key to the computer center there and we'd go in and run programs all night.

Then I worked for a year programming. I earned enough money for more college and went to Berkeley the next year. Then I took off to earn money for my last year of college and my career kept advancing and Apple happened and all. It was 10 years before I went back and finished at Berkeley.

While working at Hewlett Packard I took various college courses at De Anza college and at San Jose State. In my property of materials course at San Jose State I remember ending a major paper with "properly treated lower Balsonite (or whatever it was) is damn hard and shit tough." I hope the language doesn't offend you. It's funny that the teacher never commented on the line.

I also got extremely good at "Computer Space" over at State. That was the first arcade game, predating Pong but not hugely successful like Pong was. "Computer Space" cost too much but was a better game where you flew a rocket ship around and shot enemy ships.

Comment From e-mail: It is really awesome to be emailing back and forth with you, I mean it is not really often you get to talk to Einstein or Thomas Edison( some of my heroes) , so it is really neat to be able to converse with one of my heroes.

Have you heard of the magnet program??(it may be something we only have in Florida) If you have heard of it, have you heard of the microelectronic engineering, I was wondering what they teach in the program ( by the way that is a high school course ; I will be in ninth grade next year)

Woz: Magnet schools are the best for kids interested in technology, that much I've heard.

Comment From e-mail: It's fantastic to hear about all the things you've done outside Apple - working with children and in education, the US Festivals, making people laugh, and being a generally nice guy. I was brought up to believe that bringing happiness to people through things like this are of more value than anything. I look up to you a great deal, and it is so wonderful to know that you do so much for others.

It's hard to find role models with my computer success and look at life. When I talk about all these things, and toss in images of my own thinking and evolving philosophies and ways of being, it goes over extremely well to college aged audiences.

And as for Apple... my God. But you already know what an amazing thing has happened there and it's truly shaped a fair chunk of my life. Without Apple I would probably never have become so heavily involved in computing and I can't imagine being happier. I'm now working on the staff of a Mac magazine, taking the BComp degree at university, and training up as an Apple technician.

You're busy, so I should let you go. I know you like to make people happy, so I hope you have read this with a smile on your face.
Raena A.

PS - I spent most of last week up in the bush on an Eddie Rice Camp, with 20 kids from reasonably crappy home lives. It rained for most of the time, the tents leaked, and the spiders were big and scary. But we did some great stuff, and the kids *loved* it. You should have been there!

Woz: There are only a certain number of things that we do, of days that we live, that leave memories forever.

Comment From e-mail: In response to a letter you wrote: 'I once won a soldering iron from Popular Electronics Magazine for submitting a joke."

What was the joke?


Woz: Around 1960, cheap little plastic toys and other things were from Japan and calling something Japanese meant that it was cheap and wouldn't last long. I was at a discount store and an elderly couple were admiring a transistor radio. The salesman pointed out that it was soldered by hand and the couple was impressed. Then he added that everything made in Japan is hand soldered. It brought a smile to me as the couple was duly impressed.

Comment From e-mail: After the interview, I visited your site and noticed you make a recurring typo (I used to edit newspapers). You leave an apostrophe in the word "its" when you use its possessive case.

If the word "it's" can be expanded to "it has" or "it was" or "it is", then you leave the apostrophe.

But when using the possessive case ... "Many of the hardware advantages that Apple has is due to **its** being more tightly controlled by Apple and in **its** being more tightly integrated with the software," .... don't use the apostrophe.


Woz: I deliberately spell the two words correctly, and I even point out the difference to others. Some actually state that the wrong way is right, but you are correct here. I've even copied and forwarded clips from Microsoft Encarta and Bookshelf on this to parties when there was a debate. Who knows what happens when we're tired. Perhaps others, even a webmaster, had something to do with the misspellings. I'd have to see the specific cases.

So I'm deliberately careful, but can always have accidents. It's even harder to be accurate now that I type in Dvorak.


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