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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 



Comment from E-mail:
I have always been interested in the US Festival. I was too young to attend the shows but I am a big Van Halen fan and that has been my reason for the interest in the festivals. Rhino being the company that brings rare, fun music to the people that they can't find anywhere else, I am interested in re-mastering the masters to the two shows and releasing them on CD. By any chance do you know who owns the masters to the shows? Do the bands own their performances individually or does one person own the performances in the show? Does MTV own the video rights to the concerts? Any knowledge you have would be of great help. I am in the very preliminary stages of this project, still trying to see if it's going to be possible to do, and what kinds of hurdles we have in front of us

Woz:
More than ever I've come to regret my poor rights negotiations with the groups in the US Festivals. I'm not even sure what those rights are or exactly where the audio and video sources are, but they do exist. Perhaps some of the other key employees could be tracked down for this, but I don't yet have the time to search.

Comment from E-mail:

On a separate note....I bought my first home computer this past July and it was a G3. My best friend is a big Apple fan and he turned me on to the company. With having an Apple at home and a Windows/PC at work....there are times that I just want to throw the PC out the window! Why does Microsoft have to make things so complicated? Kudos to you and your accomplishments at Apple. I apologize for not being completely up-to-date with the story, but are you and Steve Jobs still friends? Do you still speak?

Woz:
I'm glad that Microsoft has improved in this area since DOS. Sometimes complexity changes to what the majority use. Actually this happens everywhere, from date systems to time systems to typewriter keyboards, etc.

Steve Jobs and I never had a falling out ever. We still talk friendly on occasion. He has been a good friend to me in a lot of very important ways.

Comment from E-mail:
Hi, my name is Kelli Schroeder. I am doing a project for school and am wondering if I could ask you some questions through E-mails. I am really interested in the computer ( the personal one especially) and would like to know how you got your idea. If you would please E-mail me back I would be very grateful.

Woz:
I had been designing computers my entire life. Most of these were commercial models. I kept redesigning them in order to become a better and better designer. I did design one of my own design in 1970 and I got the parts (luckily) and built it. In 1975, it was finally possible for me to affort the parts for a real computer. I had in recent times designed such things, for personal enjoyment mainly, such things as video arcade games, a terminal that worked with a keyboard and your TV to call computers, a modem, a personal pinball game, a hotel movie system, early VCR's, etc. I worked at Hewlett Packard designing calculator chips. A calculator is a small minicomputer ready for use.

All of these things converged to show me a type of computer to design. If I hadn't built a computer with switches and lights, for data entry and examination in binary, I'd probably have designed that kind of computer, like about 30 other companies in 1975 and 1976. But I wanted to get a step beyond it for ease of use that was affordable. This primarily meant including a keyboard and no switches for data. The $60 keyboard was the most expensive part of the Apple I and ][. The only cheap output device was a home TV, because everyone had one. There were no video inputs back then, but we could modulate our signal on Channel 3, as VCR's had recently been doing.

The Apple ][ was the exceptional machine. I managed to come up with some amazing design tricks and reductions that made good sense, for performance and few chips. I incorporated a lot of game features like color and paddles and switches and graphics and hi-res and sound, but after all I'd designed video games for fun. Arcade games weren't yet in color, but I'd come up with a good idea in my head for generating color with almost no chips, with the color method matched to common low-cost chips. It was risky and I didn't know if it would actually work, but it did.


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