A column in the editorials section of the April 2, 2000 Orange County
Register stated that you chose the 6502 over an Intel processor because
it cost $4 less. The author cited this as one of the fateful decisions
that forever linked Apple to Motorola, and was a curse on Apple. My guess
is that you were always a "6" processor type person, and that cost was
almost not a factor in your selection. What was your thought process on
selecting the 6502 over an Intel processor?
The 6502 was close to $400 less, and I couldn't afford the more expensive
was never linked to Motorola. Motorola didn't make the 6502. The LISA
looked at processor options and wisely chose the new 68000 from Motorola
because it was heads and tails superior to any other, not just a little
better. A new machine and OS didn't have to choose it's processor for
any other reason. At that time, if you wanted to be compatible with the
greatest installation of microcomputers, you'd have had to choose the
6502 for the LISA. Later market events didn't curse Apple because of it's
having chosen the 68000 for the LISA and Macintosh. The citing that you
reference makes me wonder about that article.
6502 was much superior to the Intel 8080. I had studied computer architecture
as the primary interest of my life. The versatile addressing modes of
the 6502 meant more than even if the 8080 had been a 16 bit machine. I
did have some woes in later years for the 68000. It had efficient direct
addressing modes that I wish Apple programmers had never used. Programs
should be transferable to machines with more and more RAM exactly as they
are, and that is only possible if every instruction uses a base address
register plus an offset, as in the IBM 360 series.
Woz, it seems you actually respond 50-100 (maybe more) email messages
= a day! How can you cope with the overwhelming mail? Unless you're SuperWoz
or your wife helps you out...
For a while I was responding to more than that. Many of my responses are
private and not posted on the web site. But I got so exhausted and behind
on personal matters (setting up computers, working with kids) that I was
looking at the calendar each day to see what appointments I had coming
up. I got so exhausted that I've cut it back a bit right now, and when
I'm finally rested and ready I'll figure out how to do it.
What do you think of Mac OS 9? All the bugs it contains... is it worth
the $79.95 it's worth in the stores?
Well, I don't run into the bugs much. Every OS has hundreds of bugs. I
don't think that it's worth much over MacOS 8.6. I can't say that I benefit
from it, compared to my friends that didn't upgrade. Except that I use
Sherlock and for some reason it just wouldn't run, except a few times
after a restart, when I used MacOS 8.6. I have no idea why.
Apple Computer and I hope you wouldn't mind if I ask you a few questions.
Most of the resources I've looked at cover a lot, but I think you are
one of the only people that could answer these ones. So they are: Why
was the computer industry so important in California, instead of somewhere
else? Why was the market ready for the Apple I when you, Jobs and Wayne
made it? And what do you think Apple's role will be in the next ten years?
Thanks for your time.
I don't think that the computer industry was particularly large in California
when the first microcomputers started appearing. There weren't many places
in the world where silicon chip companies abounded, that's why this area
was already called Silicon Valley instead of the older Santa Clara Valley.
So a lot of the early microprocessors were being produced here. But not
In fact, it was a Pennsylvania company that made the 6502 processor that
I chose for the early Apple computers. Most other early microcomputers
used the Intel processor, which was from California. But some used processors
from Motorola in Arizona.
Computers were introduced by companies all over the country. These were
all small operations and only a few were in California. We had lots of
computer engineers in our area but these early computers came out of New
Mexico, Utah, Massachusetts, Texas, and many other states.
When the computer revolution got going, Apple was the biggest early success.
A lot of people had really missed this technical revolution and missed
out on investment opportunities. They didn't want to miss out on any more
aspects to the growth of this new business.
So funding of companies with products in the computer area was very successful
and very abundant from some point on. Why were so many of these companies
in California? Well, for one thing, they all started with certain types
of engineers that were already omnipresent here. Companies find it easier
to expand than open offices in other states. Venture capitalists value
closeness to the rest of this fantastic business climate. New companies
can always find tons of engineers already here. A company that makes a
graphics board has trained engineers in the art and sometimes they will
start a new graphics board company, or go with one. So you can see a lot
of reasons why an industry would tend to be lumped into groups, like traffic
on a highway, or swarms of bees, or flocks of birds.
You are probably the one person on the planet who can answer this question,
because I think of you as the Father of the Macintosh paradigm. I write
about the Mac Continuum for My Mac Magazine, and I run the Critical Thinking
Forum you cite on your links page The more I
look at Aqua, the more I see the ultimate "NEXT OS". It is obviously an
excellent operating system, but is it still a Mac? This is a critical
question for me, because I believe that the essence of the Mac, and the
whole paradigm of the Macintosh Way might be lost or diluted in the coming
of this new OS. Are we looking at the end of the Macintosh?
I was not anything close to the father of the Macintosh paradigm. I was
just a side supporter. Steve Jobs had the real excitement over this technology
but it was implemented by Apple first in the LISA computer, even though
1 MB of RAM cost $5000 when the LISA was introduced. The Macintosh was
partly an effort to outdo the LISA, perhaps for negative reasons as well
as positive ones. Jef Raskin had gathered an outstanding group of excited
computer people at Apple in the Macintosh project, including the ones
who had become my own best friends there, the ones that wanted to do very
special things. So Steve Jobs had a very good group to carry out his project