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Letters-General Questions Answered  



Comment from E-mail:
I understand that Steve Jobs had 'swallowed too much pride' and left Apple in '94 (or is it '95?), eventually founding neXt. Why did Apple buy neXt? Under which circumstances did Steve Jobs return to Apple to be the iCEO (interim CEO)? Apple's employees begged him?
Pride is probably correct. But he could have had pride and stayed.

Apple bought neXt because it felt that it's OS weaknesses were the main reason for the very negative things that happened a few years ago. It's easy to see how wrong this was, but there's still a chance that OS X will help move Apple forward in some markets.

I have no idea of circumstances regarding Steve's return.

I doubt that Apple's employees begged him but I never asked.

Comment from E-mail:
Do you think/know if Steve Jobs still holds a grudge against his employees (who supported Sculley)
I don't know but I doubt it.

Comment from E-mail:
You said that neXt was intended to turn the tables on Apple. First, do you think that neXt became a competitor of Apple, causing Apple to lose millions? Second, how much did Apple purchase neXt? It occurs to me that Apple purchased neXt because they knew that Jobs was capable enough to beat them. Third, did neXt use the same technology as did Apple? If so why wasn't Jobs sued by law?
neXt was never an effective competitor with Apple. Apple purchased neXt for a very hefty price. Apple was in a position to have a good cash situation (and stock can be created for 'free') and Apple was in desperate straits so the price was high.

All computers use roughly the same technology, with tradeoffs for price. A greater difference is in software. Apple had the best software in some ways but there were things that it didn't do well. Jobs was sued by Apple but I don't recall the outcome, some agreements assuring that Apple technology wasn't being taken I think.

Comment from E-mail:
Why did Steve Jobs return to Apple?
It's arguable. It could be that he wanted to save Apple. But then why did he sell his stock immediately. It's more likely that he wanted to have a good power base. It's even easier to see that he wanted to rescue neXt (that is, all the things that had been created by neXt) and Apple was a perfect and cheaply available shell company to do so.

Comment from E-mail:
I was reading that Gates, Linus T. and Larry Ellison are all atheist or agnostic. The article made no mention of you or Steve Jobs. My question is, are you a man of faith and do you think that Mr. Jobs is believes in God?
I am also atheist or agnostic (I don't even know the difference). I've never been to church and prefer to think for myself. I do believe that religions stand for good things, and that if you make irrational sacrifices for a religion, then everyone can tell that your religion is important to you and can trust that your most important inner faiths are strong.

Steve Jobs may be an informal fan of Eastern religions but it's never obvious in him and I never heard of him regularly attending a church. That's only a guess.

Comment from E-mail:
I spent hours glued to my //, but my favorite thing was Apple Pascal, the UCSD implementation. What an absolutely brilliant development tool ! Wondered what your thoughts on this piece of software were, and if you had anything to do with the development of the port ?
I thought that it was a great surprise that brought Pascal to the Apple ][ in an early year. Bill Atkinson had attended UCSD and had heard of this project. He knew that some student programmers were finishing a 6502 version of the P-machine emulator. So he and I flew down one afternoon and spent all night bringing it up on an Apple ][. I implemented the needed disk routines and Bill some graphics and glue parts. We didn't get it working that night but soon thereafter it was.

It was a great pleasure to work with someone like Bill on this skunkworks project (unknown to Apple management) because he was a genius that only wanted his programs to be as perfect as possible. I also recall that this product went a long way and even helped me learn Pascal.

Comment from E-mail:
Hi Steve.

Will try to keep this question short and concise to avoid wasting your time. I see you're answering the same questions a lot over and over again. These two ones I couldn't find, and they feel sort of out-of-the-ordinary:

I recently learned about the Apple ][ clone Pravetz 82, and the later following Apple ][e clone Pravetz 8C. They were both mentioned in the Wired story "heart of darkness" about the bulgarian virus hacker Dark Avenger. I've learned that these were developed in Bulgaria and manufactured in large numbers in Tasjkent, former USSR. This piece is said to have brought the home computer revolution to the eastern bloc, being used by many, many teenagers, and in school as well.

My question is if you know about them and what they looked like internally. Did you get to know about these at Apple, and what did you do about it? What do you think about it personally? Have you ever encountered one?

I found some photograph on the Net, unfortunately it's nothing like a close-up, but still gives some hints. For example, special key-coloring.

Second question concerns the Apple ][ being used for military purposes, controlling weapons of mass-destruction during the cold war. (These two questions seem to relate in some weird way.) Could you please enlighten me on what you learned about the military use of Apple ][:s, and what you think about it.

Linus W.
Pretty nice picture. I didn't know anything specific about this model, although I'd heard of Apple ][ clones in the Soviet Union.

I don't recall anything specific about the Apple ][ being used for any military purposes at all. In fact, the U.S. military branches standardized on the IBM PC models, effectively preventing Apple ]['s from being bought.



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