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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Comment from E-mail:
Steve, I wrote you on Saturday about the Blue Box naming and OSX potential. I was wondering if you could help me out on another item? I was told that I could send suggestions to Apple for improvements to the systems and would be contacted back by them (as they review these suggestions monthly). To date I have sent several e-mails and have not received any responses. Do you know of an e-mail address I can reliably get a response from?
Woz:
My hunch would be that Apple would not want such suggestions, to avoid people later saying that something logical that Apple did was their own idea.

Comment from E-mail:
Hi, I live in south of France and just watched "Pirates of SV". I 've been quite disapointed with the film. It left me a bad taste in the mouth, don't know why. I always hated Microsoft ways.
Woz:
Well, Microsoft became a big winner, selling crap that didn't respect the humans that want computers to work well and easily. Well, they had all the clones insuring low hardware pricing (and little differentiation) and won based on market share. Also, they had a big starting push with the IBM association, which got them accepted into big business, who didn't like the contrary image presented by Apple. Well, there are a lot of reasons to have a bad taste, but recent abuses of their controlling monopoly position is not healthy and doesn't make the taste any better.

Comment from E-mail:
I'm 30 now but my first computer was an apple II in 1980, then in 1984 I've been lucky enough to live whith a Mac 512. It changed my life, and now I can't live without my Mac, I feel stupid sometimes ! I read a lot on Apple history, products and so on.I always thought that only Steve Jobs came to the PARC and saw the object interface. In the film we see a graphical interface as powerfull as the MacOS 6. Was it as finished as it's presented in the film ? Also, Thanks Woz, for everything. I really mean that.
Woz:
Less in most ways, including a lot of research is to which GUI aspects worked most intuitively to people that wanted to use a computer more than learn how to.

Comment from E-mail:
Do you still keep in touch with Jobs, has he mellowed with age?
Woz:
Yes, I keep in touch, but not full time. He seems to have mellowed and be more understanding, but I always saw him that way. I never saw his drastic actions.

Comment from E-mail:
Do you still tinker with electronics, I've started playing with the ADB I/O gizmo from beehive..sure is fun to make motors turn at will..
Woz:
I wish I had the time, just for the sake of my kids to have gotten into it.

Comment from E-mail:
Do you still fly?
Woz:
No, maybe some day if I have enough time and little else to do. But I might find it more enjoyable to ride a motorcycle again in that case...

Comment from E-mail:
Do you have any pets?
Woz:
I have a cat and 3 Bishons Frise dogs. I love dogs to death.

Comment from E-mail:
If you hadn't gotten into computers what would have you done otherwise?
Woz:
Designed radio circuits or been a teacher.

Comment from E-mail:
You are a great guy; I have read of your volunteer efforts in the past and appreciate that which you have done (and continue to do) for others. But 10 hours answering email????? Do some mass market interviews (or not) and get on with more important things in your life, like friends you can see (literally) and family. It seems like such a waste to spend so much time this way.
Woz:
When I really get in trouble is when the email approaches 24 hours a day. I have to change things soon. Sometimes I get ahead of the ball and the demand on my time goes down, but I have to find a way to keep it down. I don't want to hire someone to type answers for me, I'm too 'real' for that. So I'll have to tone down the web site soon, or maybe things will get better on their own.

I also spend a bit of my time on some technical email lists where I can help people there.

Comment from E-mail:
My fiance read an article about military technology in Russia that offered Apple Computer as a counter-example to all the people that claim that the military is the biggest instigator of technological innovation. The author claimed that the creators of Apple designed the computer with the idea that it could help to organize the anti-war movement. I know that Apple was formed a couple of years after the war ended, but beyond that I had never heard the connection before. Could you shed any light on this?
Woz:
The Homebrew Computer Club, out of which my computer development was inspired, had a number of members that had come from anti-war protest movements where the key problem they had encountered was the lack of quick organizing ability. They envisioned computer bulletin boards or internet like uses of small computers to help spread the word and organize quickly.

I don't think that this thought was widespread, among people or technicians, and I don't think that it was a real factor in the growth and popularity of computers. It's just a great after-effect that now we have the great organizing ability.

Although I had a strong personal anti-war sentiment myself, and sympathized with this need, it had nothing to do with designing the Apple Computers or starting the company.


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