Comment from E-mail:
1. Do you believe in the idea (that Mac users are truly different than
> others) behind the "Think Different" campaign? Why or why not?
First, the "Think Different" campaign appeals largely to existing Mac
owners. Mac owners have constantly been attracted to the images of more
creative computer use. This has attracted a lot of creative professional
types like ad and video creators, not lawyers. If you like people that
think a certain creative way, it does seem to overlap Mac owners a lot.
Also, Mac owners have had to fight for their existence and have had to
even make sacrifices to hold on to their Macs. This breeds an amount of
passion and camaraderie, just like members of any minority. One aspect
of "Think Different" is that you know from the start that you aren't going
to have an easy time, and that you need a good reason to divert from the
mainstay. You either make this sacrifice or you don't, it's in you, the
2. How much of a role would you say that Apple played in igniting the
personal computer industry?
The Apple ][ was the first computer to sell widely into homes, not into
hobbiest bedroom laboratories or companies. It set a tone of a lot of
personal features and appearance that were acceptable in the home. It
also moved needed personal work projects into the home with a DOS and
the first spreadsheet. Even as Apple ]['s dominated business and schools,
that carried over to the homes. The phrase 'personal computer' came to
mean one that a single person used, but it also meant one that was acceptable
in homes, with a non-commercial appearance.
Had Radio Shack
dominated Apple in the early days, instead of the reverse, we'd be crediting
Radio Shack today.
3. When the Macintosh was unveiled, did you feel that you were really
changing the world?
I did believe that and so did almost everyone at Apple. It was the most
significant change in computing from the user viewpoint ever. Today, 15
years later, every computer in the world is now a Macintosh.
4. Which do you think was more important to making personal computers
popular, the Apple II, or the GUI technology of the Macintosh?
Well, the earlier start is generally given more credit. The Apple ][ actually
included bit mapped graphics and some people were creating text screens
and graphics games using it in a keyboard controlled mode. So the signs
of a GUI were already shown. There are a lot of reasons to look at today
and overlook the real turning point, but you can still see that the press
considers the Apple ][ the turning point. Plus, it made the huge amounts
of money for Apple that gave it the chance to introduce the Macintosh.
The question is
a bit like whether new processor advances like graphics processors were
more important to games than earlier sprite technologies of early Nintendo
machines. The answer has to respect the earlier machines for creating
a game machine industry.
5. If you could go back in time, and change just one thing about Apple,
what would you change and why?
I'd probably leave the floating point instructions in my BASIC instead
of taking them out to save a few weeks. Sorry, but I'm an engineer and
I really don't look at the political evolution of the company.
On the other hand,
I had bad feelings around 1983 when stores had so many models of Wintel
machines and only one Apple ][. It was obvious way down that we were losing
a market share battle despite having a better machine. It would have been
good to lower prices or partner with other manufacturers back then. That
decision could have been the same for the Mac in later years. I do believe
that we could have held standards in the OS and treated it, and other
software, as the revenue owners once everyone had a computer. Look at
the size of Microsoft, and they didn't start with the gem that we did.
We would have wound up a mainly software company with no control over
hardware quality (we'd have to match the clones for price there) but Apple
would be dominant today.