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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Comment from E-mail:
A lifetime friend and I have one tectonic rift in attitude towards Apple and the Mac which I thought to share with you as the founder of my computer platform. He and his associates who are in IT and work for a very large ISP and upon finding out from hij what is his difficulty in treating MacOS seriously gave me this answer. It is not that we in the IT like in any way the trash made by Gates, in fact we despise Windows as much as the next guy, it is that we also dislike the slickness of Mac. It is as if a friend sent away for ten years and came back wearing fitted Italian suits with a svelt model on his arm and a Maserati parked outside. It is just not our style... I thought that funny and interesting. It is as if the slickness which I read rather as smoothness and ease of use is seen to be rather less geeky and therefore less arcane and for those that are used to ferreting out problems, less interesting in that sense.

I guess one could never convert those that need problems to solve to give up their livelihood for a trouble free system but it does shed a certain perspective on where they are coming from. It will be hard for Apple to convert the unconvertible. Clearly it is a system that is fresh and new and geeky as can be that is a turn on to those cohorts...Linux. I suppose they will hate that when it too becomes too slick!

Further to this, they do not trust that OS X will appear after the dreadful history of Copeland and company. My assurances notwithstanding, they will wait with a decided lack of interest...too slick I guess!

I know that you are rather less involved in Apple than in the old days but we share the common place of being owners of Apple, likely more you than I (!) but I thought to share this information with you for whatever reason...

Woz:
Well, I guess that we have to be psychologists to predict things. It used to be that you could compare specs and add up the numbers. I guess humans support change as long as it's not too much change and not forced upon them.

But a lot of major changes come along and take hold and take over with no foreseeable reasons or predictability. Often it comes from an unknown factor, or an unpredictable feature. Sometimes it just happens like a fad. As long as Apple gets enough shots, some will hit.

Comment from E-mail:
I stumbled upon your website via a link that I now can't remember but before anything, I have to say that your site is very good; easy to navigate, easy to ready, and sophisticated too! (the t1 site cam is a nifty idea). Come to think of it, it is just like a mac! I also found other interesting and useful things on your site such as a story that I was looking for too (the mac secure article).
Woz:
Thanks. I never have had time to maintain and set up my own web site, only the physical network parts and software. Al Luckow is the most recent WebMaster and it is he who has done such a wonderful job. The upcoming change that you might expect is some sort of notice about my time running short these days.

Comment from E-mail:
Anyhow, I was wondering if you have time, could you answer some questions for me. I know you are a busy man and I don't expect a response quickly (I can't believe you get 10 hours of e-mail per day!) but I'll ask anyways :).
Woz:
For the last few weeks it's been more difficult than usual, because I was in rehearsals for a play and only getting a few hours of sleep every night, trying to keep my regular things going. I have lots of very important emails saved so that I can return to them when I get time. This last week was improved, as I started bringing my laptop to rehearsals, and now the play. Los Gatos High School has lots of AirPort Base Stations which makes it very convenient for me. But a popular site included an article on me and a link to my site and I got deluged with email once again. Today is the first day off from the play for me and I'm finally hoping to get some critical things done around home.

Comment from E-mail:
First question, I am looking to buy an Apple Powerbook. Could you sugguest one? I will be using it primarily for the internet, word processing, databasing, etc. I don't want to get the new G3's because they are too expensive and the ibook....well...any help in that area would be appreciated.
Woz:
Well, you've certainly chosen to buy my favorite computer. It takes a special person to say they'll make some sacrifices to be rarer 'different' person who uses a Macintosh. I like feeling free, mobile, and versatile and a laptop is my primary machine all the time. I think that you'd be extremely happy with the iBook. It basically works reliably. But part of the mindset of a reliable machine is that you shouldn't be the sort of person who wants to update and add everything in the world.

There are some drawbacks to the limited iBook that you should be aware of. First, it's targeted toward people that have the basic needs and probably not much more. Like all modern Macintoshes, the iBook has no 'older' serial ports nor a floppy drive. If you need such things, you can always purchase ones that plug into the USB port. Since there's no PCMCIA card slot, consider USB as your only connection to peripherals, including Smartmedia and Compact Flash Card adaptors (for digital cameras), the older serial ports (to use an older printer), CD-ROM Recorders, Scanners, etc. If you need a high speed external disk drive, you won't find it. Also, if you need a digital 'firewire' input from a camcorder, you won't find it. Also, the hard disk may be limited if you want to store a lot of pictures or music (MP3) on your laptop. Also, forget about playing DVD movies or DVD-ROMs.

So these are some issues to keep in mind when you compare the iBook to other laptops. Since Apple just released the newer PowerBook (G3), the prior models may be found at greatly reduced prices if you look for them. The PowerBook G3/333 would probably be the best bet for you in this case. All of the iBook limitations don't apply.

But there's always a huge advantage in the iBook simplicity.

Comment from E-mail:
Question: It seems clear there are 2 camps of thinking about the X ui. [For the record it will not fly here.] It would seem that the opposite tack to your handing out the schematics for the first Apple at Homebrew are being used on X as they were on the newest iMac. That is, Apple is being more secretive then a wife who goes into the closet to put on her nightgown. How can there be any uncontrolled input, or is any wanted, into what looks like a ?Not Invented Here? mind set?
Woz:
Yes, about the secrecy. That's what always happens in a system that rewards corporations for this. Before you're really a corporation, you can get away with more.

Comment from E-mail:
I wish Apple would offer a ?bare iron? box with no software and let the buyer choose OS and whatnot along with Apple offering the ?solution? type packages. [bare iron available only at the Apple Store] so if someone ?JUST HAD TO?. put 7.1 on a 500 MHz G4 the ?idiot? could. In the foreseeable future [2-3 years] I would like to be able to be able to buy something like a bare Apple box, put that with Linux [with the Mac like GUI they keep taking about] and something like the ?WINE? project and be ?personally? open sourced. Let merit again be the criterion. [And I still don?t see anything which can beat AppleWorks].
Woz:
It's a political question. Should Apple sell the MacOS for a generic set of hardware (Common Hardware Reference Platform). This would sway apple from being a hardware company to a software company. I'm mostly in favor of this, but then Apple might weaken its ability to include special and proprietary advantages in the hardware that the OS can take advantage of.

Comment from E-mail:
I understand that you gave your first prototype computer to a friend. I think I read that it was put up for sale but was not sold because the person felt that it was worth a lot more. I would think that a wealthy collector would snap up this historic creation. Why do you think it has not generated more interest and been valued more appropriately?
Woz:
I never gave a prototype away. These had little value as working computers and represented all the personal work I did developing these computers. So if one escaped me, it wasn't with my approval.


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