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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

Comment from E-mail:
A polish joke from someone who is also of partial polish descent: Two guys sitting in a bar watching a news cast. A man was on top of a building getting ready to jump... American said to his polish friend..."bet you a 100 dollar bill he jumps?"... Polish friend said, "ok" and all of a sudden the man jumps, splatters all over the sidewalk down below... His polish friend said, "damn" and gives him the 100 dollar bill. The bartender walks over to the American and says, "I can't understand how you knew he would jump ?"....The American said, "I saw it on a earlier telecast..." Polish friend said, "so did I, but I didn't think the stupid jerk would jump twice...."

Woz:
It's considered better to tell these sorts of jokes about blondes nowdays in order to avoid accusations of telling politically incorrect jokes. In 1974, year before the Apple beginning days, these types of jokes were attacked on the basis that they gave the ethnic groups bad stereotypes, i.e. that we'd come to expect Polish people to be dumb people. I was running Dial-a-Joke, the first such service in the San Francisco Bay area. I was telling Polish jokes, which were the most popular ones of the time. Then the Polish American Congress had their lawyer send me letters to the effect that I was doing something bad and had better stop. I asked if they'd be happy if I changed the ethnicity to Italian and they said that would be OK.

I'm of Polish ancestry. I found that my young callers typically wanted jokes about their own ancestry, even though the jokes seemed to make fun of it. I believe that the laughter was a better benefit than being polite, especially since these jokes were so obviously contrived that no intelligent person could take them literally (When did the Pollak die drinking milk? When the cow sat down).

A number of years back I addressed the graduation of the Engineering school of the University of Colorado. I told the following joke: What do you call 4 Mexicans in quicksand? Quatro cinco. It obviously doesn't say anything bad about Mexicans but I was informed by the person whose job it was to look after minority concerns in that college that I offended 400 people. I think that we've gone overboard. I'm a pretty liberal person and I believe strongly in affirmative action and the like but this whole Politically Correct (PC) thing is just a symbol, like a flag, and anyone telling such a joke gets accused of being evil without evaluating exactly what the joke is in a thinking sense. The responses to this type of joke should be clear and polite in order to have the best effect on the person telling them, who may not even have realized that what they were doing was in bad taste. After all, tastes change. The Polish American Congress Inc. didn't object to Italian jokes at one time, so we're not talking logic that every person can be born with.

By the way, the Polish American Congress Inc. gave me their heritage award 12 years later.

Comment from E-mail:
While looking at the scores on the Defender game, you hold all the top scores except there is a mystery "A" who holds the second highest score.

Who in the world could that be?

Woz:
I guess that you're referring to the Defender game visible on my ArcadeCam.

A would be myself. But the scores are not the top ones. My top scores are over 1,000,000. The score turns over to zero at that point, but a machine bug around 991,000 guarantees that you'll go over. Also, the top scores readable may be too recent to reflect older ones (erased in a board upgrade?), most of which were over 900,000. I haven't checked in ages, as we moved our family from that house (where my daily office still is) to another house a few years ago.

Comment from E-mail:
What a thrill to find this sight! I was bragging on the Inside Mac Games forumn about starting on with a Mac128 and someone sent me over here to "meet a real old timer."

Woz:
I like that phrase! It relieves me of the responsibility to know everything beyond anyone else.

Comment from E-mail:
According to the site, you resigned from Apple. Is this true? And was you actually cheated by Jobs for $5000?

Woz:
No, I never resigned from Apple, and I still receive a small paycheck because I want to be an employee forever. The press constantly tries to make it out that Steve and I are enemies but we are not and have not been. You'll find virtually no negative words and definitely not a single person who ever saw us argue or fight. It's just something that the press likes to say. The Wall Street Journal once printed that I was leaving Apple because I was disgusted, even though I'd told the reporter that was not the case. If it were true, it's hard to imagine me staying on the payroll with employee agreements in effect. Every book from then on printed that story and it became history.

I'm sorry that the story about Steve cheating me ever got out. First, it concerns something from long ago and even our memories are suspect. Second, it's good to forgive small things. Third, I would have gladly split money the way it was if he just said that he needed it. We were both like that. For example, around that time Steve went to India and ran into someone who had lost their plane ticket home. Steve actually gave that person his own ticket. Steve had no money but trusted the person to replace it, and sure enough the replacement was mailed to him and he got home.

I got a great excuse to design a video game for Atari and that was worth more than any money to me. If I'd gotten more money, I might have wound up buying a computer kit or constructing a different kind. Many good things about the Apple I and Apple ][ came from not being able to afford expensive parts.

Comment from E-mail:
Whatever happened to your company Cloud 9? There are alot of universal remote controls out there and I admire your innovation at the time.

Woz:
Contact:Robert Retzlaff 50 Mitchell Blvd. San Rafael, CA 415-472-2393

Celedon is the company


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