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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 


Comment from E-mail:
I recently heard about this website of yours, woz.org, and I couldn't be happier now that I've visited it and got this chance to send you a message! Here we go...

When my grandmother first purchased an Apple IIc for $1,700 in 1987 as a Christmas present for my brother and I (me being 5 at the time), I was overjoyed. The Apple II was everything to me. While most kids had their Nintendos, and later Super Nintendos and Sega Genesis', I had my trusty Apple II. I loved it. We grew together. When my brother got his first IBM-PC, a 386, in late 1990, the IIc officially became mine. I was so happy I immediately cleared space for it in my room. I soon learned how to program for Applesoft BASIC, later getting Integer BASIC loaders from my school and programming for it a bit as well. Since those days, I've made many programs. The Apple II still remains my favorite system of all. I have been collecting vintage systems since 1996, and have since picked up a IIe, a IIGS, and a VTech Laser 128. The IIe has had multiple "souping-up" jobs, including adding more memory, a super serial card, and 8" drives.


Woz:
A lot of people that came later must wonder what they missed out on, when there are so many emails like yours proclaiming how great the Apple ][ was to discover 'computing' on.

Comment from E-mail:
As Funny as a Two-Dollar Bill: My Life by Steve Wozniak (The Woz)
Woz,
I've been laughing my head off since reading about your adventures with the $2 bills and the Secret Service and your daughter's extraordinary luck at keno. I just woke up and this potential book title popped out of the top of my mind.

If you like it, please feel free to use it.


Woz:
I like that title better than any that have occurred to me so I'll keep it handy.

My unusual $2 bills have been the center of other entertaining stories of mine, capped off by this Secret Service Miranda Rights/interrogation in which I gave them the phony ID, identifying me as a "Laser Safety Officer" with an eyepatch on me in the photo. Using this phony ID, which I always used on airplane flights for years, was possibly a true crime but I risked it with the Secret Service and didn't get caught. Too bad the Secret Service man didn't read carefully enough or he would have seen "Department of Defiance" on the ID.

I took my daughter with me to Las Vegas twice. The first time she was 9 and came along for the helicoptor ride portion of my excursion to Ceasar's Palace with a ton of students for "MacAcademy." All the kids played keno at one lunch and my 6 year old son (then) won $88 on the first keno game and was jumping up and down as the champion of the day (I'd only forked out $50 for family tickets covering 5 games). Well, on the third game, my daughter won $1600 from a $1 keno ticket. Side note - she'd copied one of my tickets so I also won $1600. Now my son Gary was dejected and calling his win "puny." At age 12, Sara was in Las Vegas for a gymnastics regional (she now dives and makes the nationals every year) and at breakfast I explained to her not to expect that kind of keno luck and to always plan on losing her money. She played some $5 tickets and won the $7500. This happened a few hours before the Secret Service experience.

 

Comment from E-mail:
This is definitly a high for me, as there's no one I respect more in the computer world than yourself. It was a funny moment, when, I started using the cam's and found you right there at working at your desk. I was so excited and slowly zoomed into to see what you were working on... schematics for a new computer, maybe some advanced math problems... no, a crossword puzzle! Well, maybe that the whole point of the cam, to de-mystifie and de-deify yourself. It's cool, but I don't know if i'd want camera's all over the house watching me.

Woz:
My office is in a prior house, not the one my family lives in. I'm sure that my family would never allow such a thing. We kid the caretaker of this 'office-house", Sharon, that at night people see a reflection off the glass in front of the ValleyCam and see her walking around.

By the way, it wasn't a crossword puzzle, it was a Cross Sums puzzle from a number puzzle magazine that I subscribe to.

Comment from E-mail:
I just had one qeustion. How come the sight doesn't have a proper forum? It seems like you definitly have your own perspective on things and I'm sure alot of people who feel affinity for that perspective would appreciate having a place to meet and swap ideas, etc. Anyway, none of buisness really, just wanted to say hi and great site (like the links!), and thanks for inventing the apple!

Woz:
I'm not sure why the site doesn't have a proper forum. The site really only took on it's better appearance and Q&A sections recently. I'd still rather keep the site small and special.

Comment from E-mail:
My first computer (1968) was a cardboard box "breadboard" with lights, switches & flashlight batteries (and a BIG box of jumpers). Total capability was to add, subtract & multiply binary to 1111. Division was impossible for lack of registers. It had a small clock motor to drive the multiplication function. Each function was hard-wired onto the board by (my) hand. It came from Radio Shack, but I can't remember the name.

Woz:
Our high school didn't have a computer, but my math teacher knew that I didn't need to be in class and let me go to the math office lots of times to practice on the same thing or something similar. But it was during 4th period, our school's lunch period. I'd most often ditch out for 3 lunches and see everyone instead.

Comment from E-mail:
Have you ever seen one of these? Ever wire one? I'm 44 now, and since we are of the same vintage, I suspect we might have both started out on such a kit. After all the years of dedicated geekdom, wonkhood & nerdism; through mainframes, minis, wans, lans, and now the hot rod PC's the thrill has never worn off.

My current fantasy is to Freon cool my Athlon 700 and crank it to 1.4Ghz. What's yours?


Woz:
To be able to sit by a lake and fish all day is mine. Well, I wouldn't mind an extremely low power laptop computer that is wirelessly on the internet at high speed (a'la T1) all the time everywhere. I doubt that the machine has to be faster. I used to want that but don't have the need now. Ultimately the network bandwidth should be at least 10 times that of a T1 for reasonably full video.


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