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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 



Comment From e-mail: I just think it is scary as hell that a company that, until the early nineties, was a "third-string" dial-up information network behind CompuServe and Prodigy now has the capital to acquire Time-Warner. I hate to be that "gloom and doom" guy, but there is only so much net worth and value that one can apply to something as intangible as information and software. I'm not Mr. Business guy, but I still realize that these tech-companies have wack P/E ratios and are totally not worth as much money as investors would like to think.

Woz:AOL was definitely by far the best thing going around 1991. It had fewer subscribers then because it was Macintosh only. The others were text based, like DOS. AOL made the right moves including broadening to include PC's and took the lead that they deserve, but their customer support sucks awfully.

Comment From e-mail: What do you think about OS X running on Intel boxes? I have actually seen a demo of it. Apple can deny it but it is being developed. I think it is a great move.

Woz: This would be extremely secretive. I know nothing about it...I'm surprised that you saw a demo of it. That's akin to seeing the plastics of new Apple products in advance.

Comment continued: I have a bunch of friends who are developers. What I saw was passed on from one developer to another. Believe me when I say that it shocked the hell out of me but it also impressed me. Apparently the team who is working on this is almost a ghost team. I wish I had a copy in my hands but I don't.

Woz: You might be right. It now occurs to me that MacOS X, demoed at MacWorld, was very neutral as to Macintosh or Windows. That was a little disappointing to us pure Macintosh owners. I can see now that MacOS X could work for users coming from either platform. It does sound like a very high risk strategy, but the rewards would be incredible if Apple could sell a great OS that runs on Intel hardware.

Comment From e-mail: A male at the age of 28 with a bunch of great friend's and a festival full of great music, energy and vibes in a valley full of fantastic people...  it could not have been a better experience !!!!!!!!    
THANK YOU.


Woz: I'm always glad to hear that because a lot of people doubt that it meant a lot to me. We sacrificed a lot to make it enjoyable for everyone that came. Over the years, my mail and personal encounters with those that attended has told me that it was a very memorable concert, even though you seldom hear of it.

Comment From e-mail: I was wondering if it is possible that you never really left, that you pulled way out of the limelight and have been doing what you do best all along???

Woz: No. I'm not active within Apple and I'm not active in any engineering sense. I had to put my entire soul into each engineering project until it was done, but then I had young children and couldn't take the time from them.

Comment From e-mail: Just wanted to drop you a line to say hello. I've been a fan of your work since the early 80's. Even as a teen growing up in New Jersey news about your work with Apple inspired me and my friends to push ourselves to learn more about computers. For the past few weeks I have been visiting your web site and catching up on what you are up to these days. It's great to see that you are still a major positive influence on kids. Please keep up the GREAT work! PS: It's great to see Apple back on it's feet again!

Woz: I'm glad at so many people are gratified for Apple's super recovery (thanks largely to Steve Jobs).

Even those that don't use Macintosh computers can appreciate Apple as the only major computer manufacturer that hasn't given in to the Intel/Microsoft dominance. For that sort of thinking, Linux sure is rising, but MacOS X will rival it in all performance and feature areas, and is [mostly] open sourced. As for that future, Apple has control of the hardware and won't make any junk under Steve Jobs. Linux is fine for servers, but for personal machines you still have to buy some hardware, most of which is cheap and not complete, and you have to work to configure Linux for this hardware. As the hardware advances, it's hard to predict the software compatibility. For example, today's Linux doesn't have the power management for PowerBooks. So do we trust Apple to match the hardware and software or do we trust the open source community to come up with the solutions? Most people don't want to work to insure compatibility. We've been through that too much. Hopefully Linux will overcome some of that. For example, Andy Hertzfeld has a small company working toward that goal.

Sorry I got so far off topic. What got me started was your compliment toward Apple.

Comment From e-mail: In Mac vs Wintel arguments it inevitably comes up that Macs are good for graphics. Aside from Macs being widely used in graphic design what is meant by this?

Woz: In the past, it meant that the best graphics and photo software was only on Macintosh computers. We captured the high end of this market. We captured the video editing market too. These fields introduced concerns such as good color management, and Apple is still the best at that. One major reason is the simple to use ColorSync system built into Macs.

On the low end, you don't get into trouble unless you try to be smart. The standard setups, including ColorSync settings for scanners and printers, generally result in an excellent job of getting photo colors right, which is important in this age of digital photography. Apple files can be traded and exchanged and keep this purity. We only get in trouble when PC users send us picture files, particularly in BMP format.


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