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Comment From e-mail: Why didn't the early Apple II's use Fans?

Woz: Other hobby computers of the day used inefficient power supplies. The Apple ][ was the first computer ever to use a plastic case. The heat buildup using even my own power supply design (inefficient type) would have been too great. Steve tapped an Atari engineer, Rod Holt, to design a switching power supply that was much more efficient and generated less heat. Rod also keyed us into the fact that the plastic case wouldn't conduct heat well. At this point in time we took pride in being the first computer to use a switching power supply. Steve was proud of the fact that we didn't need a fan and seems to hold to that ideal to this day.

By the way, Rod joined us as the 5th of 5 key team members for the first couple of years.

  Comment From e-mail: When you type "PR#6" to reboot to floppy, what the the "pr" mean? Does it stand for anything?

Woz: BASIC commands and variable names were often truncated back in those days. PR# was short for PRINT#. Possibly my syntax table had hit a space limit, or maybe I didn't think anything of using the abbreviation. Memory was very tight in those days and I worked hard to make things smaller with reason.

  Comment From e-mail: An Apple ][e could be made so small and low power these days. Still would be a terrific embedded controller IMHO and there would be a market for new Apple ][e's as code/hardware development stations.... Hello, Mr Jobs, I have an great project idea for you... ;^)

Woz: I agree. The sort of project that engineers could apply easily and quickly in many places.

Comment From e-mail: I just wanted to say thank you for everything you have done with apple and computers in general, people like you are a very rare breed. I Started computing in 6th grade for me was 1983, I worked on an Black Apple ][ and that was so amazing to me. I eventually got a C64 (sorry), and ran a BBS from 1990 to 1996, I miss that part so much the internet pretty much killed the BBS community in my area (Massachusetts). I think because of the popularity of the Internet in some way has killed the imagination people had before with computers (IE, BBS's, Games etc.). Look at games, almost all of them are first person shooters, just Doom updates. Very few games impress me now and there isn't much of a personal feel to the internet like BBS's had because the internet is so huge and the time needed to run something on the web or internet with the charm of a BBS is to great. Seeing your site and reading these pages I see there are a lot of people who kind of feel the same way. But I can say one thing and that is THANK YOU for everything you have done to make the early days of computing so much fun and amazing. And one last thing, you are so easy to find and send a message to, I was wondering is there a way I could send something to Steve Job as well. In many ways he is someone I look up to for his visionary thinking it has help me to look beyond what is now.

Woz: You are right. A lot of us miss the days when we had to be true geeks. Things felt more special when we fussed with BBS's. Now the games are lures away from the technology and how to do it.

I can't help with regards to contacting Steve Jobs. Just call Apple and find out how to send it.

Comment From e-mail: Hi Steve. I found your address on the net on your site. Our class is writing a report on the scientists or inventors who have made inventions that have changed our lives. I tried to e-mail you but it did not work. I was just wandering if you could give me some info on you since there are not that many books written about you. I found one book about you but all it talks about is the apple. I already got a lot of info on the apple. I need some personal info on your life and what made you and your x partner decide to create the apple.

Woz: A lot of personal info can be found on my website under WozScape.

  Comment From e-mail:

  1. What did you do as a living before you made the apple?
  2. Where did you grow up?
  3. How has the invention affected your lifestyle?
  4. Why did you suddenly decide to teach?


  1. I was working as an engineer designing calculator chips at Hewlett Packard.
  2. I was born in San Jose (California) and lived most of my youth in Sunnyvale, California, which is in the heart of Silicon Valley. I lived on the city border and attended Cupertino schools. I watched the valley change from orchards to concrete.
  3. I am basically retired and can afford a lot of computer equipment and that keeps me from being a home electronics hobbyist as I once was.
  4. I had a deep respect for teachers and valued education my entire life. In 6th grade I told my dad that I wanted to be an engineer like he was, but that my second choice was to be a 5th grade teacher. In my college years, this interest was revived and I saw aspects of an infant's developing mind that were logical and followed patterns, much as a computer does


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