Woz, the other day I was surfing about sites on the history of the
Mac. I read through the part where you were involved in a plane crash.
From then on, I did not notice any mention of you. What had happened after
the plane crash? Were you sacked from Apple? Not that I'm curious though.
Sorry. Another thing: I heard you were 'crying' at Macworld Expo. What
After my plane crash I had a 5 week period where I didn't remember
from minute to minute and didn't know that time had passed. I had all
my old memories and got around but was a little weird to friends and family
who didn't know about this forward form of memory loss. When I came out
of it and found out that I'd been in a plane crash I realized that it
was the perfect time to return for my last year at Berkeley. I also embarked
on a couple of huge rock concerts for the year after that. I then returned
to Apple, but I went where I could best contribute which was to the division
working on the Apple ][, which in 1983 was finally being overtaken by
the IBM PC in sales.
At MacWorld I did cry when I saw the video of Sina's (?) children and
again when Steve announced that he was becoming full CEO. It felt like
something very right from the past had been repaired, especially since
Steve was very much the same as back in the beginning.
Some friends and I have been wondering if you still have any Apple
1 units left over from the original 600(?) you originally produced in
that garage so long ago. We'd go nuts if we could build one, but I believe
that getting the system ROM would be a dreadful task. There's been an
emulator for the Apple 1 released recently, but I'm not much of an emulator
fan. I remember hearing about the Apple 1 when I was fairly young. My
older brother told me it was a big, wooden box that spat out binary digits
unless you loaded BASIC. Heh. Other than that, I never actually saw the
glorious system until one day when a book entitled, "BASIC and the personal
computer" gave me a good-sized pic of the wonderous unit. Ever since,
I've been waiting for the day we win the lottery or similar, so I can
find one for $40,000 or so... ehh... maybe someday, right?
We built a total of 200 Apple I's. Perhaps 175 were sold. I don't know
how many Apple bought back when the Apple ][ was introduced with a buyback
program. I still have one or two Apple I's, fortunately, but I don't know
if they are complete enough to work. I also probably have my original
The Apple I had a keyboard in place of the binary switches and lights
that all previous small computers came with. But when you turned the Apple
I on, it only used the keyboard to do what those switches had done on
the others. You could enter data into memory, examine memory, or run a
program at a specified address. It was all in hexadecimal, which was easier
to type than binary. I used it as a stepping stone to developing my BASIC
in hex, typing it in for each programming session. All memory was lost
when the unit was unplugged, so I could type 4KB worth of hexadecimal
into it in about 40 minutes. Once the BASIC was done, I developed a cassette
interface to read in the BASIC.
The Apple ][ was the first low cost computer to offer BASIC in ROM, ready
to use after turning the computer on. It was the first product ever to
be shipped with 2 KB ROMs.
Comment from E-mail:
I was wondering if you offer any kind of college scholarship. If so
where can I find the specifics, and apply for it? Also, I would like to
say I loved pirates of silicon valley which lead me to read fire in the
valley. Writing breakout in four days. wow! This webpage is really cool,
thanks for your time.
I don't offer scholarships and even though I have a high school senior
right now I don't know anything about them, so you'll have to find help
elsewhere for that. By the way, my Breakout wasn't 'written'. It was designed
with TTL chips before games were made with microprocessors. There was
no program. I deliberately added the hardware (paddles, sound, color,
graphics, hi-res) and software (BASIC commands) that would create this
game in BASIC. It took less than an hour to write. Within 10 minutes I'd
made enough variations in brick size, colors, playing characteristics,
score position, etc. that I got to see a new world for arcade games once
they were software. These variations would have taken me months to try
Do your cameras make a sound when they pan and zoom or is it accomplished
with a solid state apparatus that changes angle and focus electronically?
It would seem to be a great distraction if there was a device (especially
a camera) that periodically hummed or buzzed as people were looking around
when you were in the room.
The camera makes a slight sound but I seldom notice it anymore. Often
I have music on anyway. Also, I can look over at a monitor of what it's
viewing. I do this maybe once a week, almost never. But out of my peripheral
vision it's sometimes my best reminder of the WozCam.
The other cams are in other rooms. The ClassCam, in the classroom, was
dismantled after some viewers were zooming in on the wrong parts of the