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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 


Comment From e-mail: I just finished the new collector's edition of the book FIRE IN THE VALLEY and in it they continually refer to the Apple I Schematic as a work of engineering art. Once I saw the picture of it, though, I thought "Hey, I'd really like to frame one of those and hang it in my office." But I haven't been able to find one...any chance you can point me in the right direction? The only thing I've been able to find so far is what appears to be a warehouse schematic for one of the Apple Computer distribution sites...go figure. If you've got one to trade, I could probably dig up some cool SCI FI Channel stuff to send you ;-) (We're primarily an Apple shop, btw, and I'm sure everyone who works on our Web site would say "Hi" and "Thanks for inventing the Apple!" if they knew I was writing to you, so I'll pass along those words on their behalf.)

Woz: Sorry, but I don't have time to search through storage lockers and attics right now. I think that the Apple ][ schematic is more a work of art. I'm sure that any that were published, at least in Apple's early days, were drafted by myself. You can even read "HP" on the vellum. The earliest Apple I schematics (and the needed 256 byte 'monitor' program for ROMs) were possibly hand drawn and passed out at the HomeBrew Computer Club. Those, if any still exist, might be extremely valuable.

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: Hi, I know Steve Jobs is a master communicator/salesmen but did he also do any of the hands-on engineering during the early days of Apple?

Woz: No, not hands on. But he was a good point for discussion of higher level things. He could understand the designs and code to an extent (well, like processor data pins going to the RAM data pins) but wasn't capable of matching me so he didn't try. You could also argue that a higher level engineering job involves decisions like the plastic case and switching power supply. These were ideas and direction that Steve contributed.

Comment From e-mail: I just wanted to thank you for your so very significant contributions to humankind. I use a computer at work to make my living (process piping design) and have three running at home for myself and my kids. Before the advent of "personal computers", I used a pencil to do my work, in 2D. Now, I do 3D modelling. Much more interesting and fullfilling. I am aware of your activities regarding education and children, but was wondering if you are doing any engineering work these days? I don't know if you say if you are, but I would love to here about it. By the way, I'm really sorry for you that S. Jobs got all the attention and credit for building Apple. He couldn't have sold the products without having the products. Thanks for your time, I know it is most valuable to you.

Woz: Thanks. But don't forget that I was only there to create at a key point in time. I didn't keep it up all these years.

Comment From e-mail: We are in agreement. People tend to sneer at me because I owned an Atari and now an iBook...so I know exactly where you are coming from. I don't perceive your opinions as bigoted considering you've pointed out many times to judge things based on merit. For example, I've used Microsoft compilers and have found them to be extremely poor compared to others. I didn't base my conclusion on an irrational opinion but, rather, on technical reasons. In addition, my opinion on Microsoft being a monopoly is based on their actions against computer distributors by having them to ONLY release Windows...I have more examples but I'm sure you get the picture. It also surprises me on the way people behave. What's wrong with choice or variety? Some people think that you should only conform to 1 standard. That's why I believe in Apple's slogan of "Think Different..."

Woz: You sound like a good person, the sort of people who can think for themselves. Often it's smart to know what you don't know too. I find that a lot of college students, with hormones flowing, don't restrict their actions in this way. But then again, they learn "my school, right or wrong" and "my country, right or wrong" too. A good way to be is to say that I choose this way for reasons that I know, and other people can choose another way and not be wrong.

Comment From e-mail: I've noticed you've used the term "Bigotry" a few times in your replies to some letters. Bigotry is breeded through ignorance. Many people don't know about Microsoft's violations of anti-trust laws and how they stomp on the competition like Wordperfect and Borland. However, you can point out to those that Microsoft has proven to be a monopoly in a federal court--and that's it.

It's important to get to know the FACTS FIRST before forming an opinion. Unfortunately, we live in a world where people DO JUDGE the book by its cover before knowing all the facts..

Woz: I use the word 'bigotry' to mean favoring those similar to ourselves. A person who uses email client A will tell people using client B that A is the only good way to go. It pains me when Macintosh users are blinded by their own bigotry also. Such things as bigotry, which is a form of ignoring logic and reason and objectivity and the facts, are often indicated by emotional responses that aren't backed up.

So a person using WordPerfect might be a WordPerfect bigot at times, a Word user might be a Word bigot at times. It varies a lot, but is easy to spot in forums and the like. It's not good but possible to ignore. Macintosh and Windows often evoke emotional statements due to unfamiliarity with the other platform, through ignorance. So you and I are in agreement I think.

I hope that I don't come across as bigoted myself. I work hard not to. I even recommend PC's when they are right.



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