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Letters-General Questions Answered  



Comment from E-mail:
Hello were watching the woz at his computer! This has got to be the best webcam site in the world. Hrmm wonder why Bill Gates doesn't have one of those.
What kind of camera are you using and where can I find one of these? one other question what are the boxes on the desk? Are they routers for internet?

I think that it would be really great for Bill Gates to have one of these. I'm sure that it would be quite popular.

I bought my cam from Rearden Technologies http://www.rearden.com. They supply Macintosh software for any cam, or you can buy it with the Sony steerable cam which is popular for teleconferencing. This camera can even be set to follow your head. I'm not sure of other places to get this camera with software for general WebCams.

Comment from E-mail:
You might have already gotten a question like this before, but how do you feel about the present state of the Macintosh product line, and the current Mac OS. What are you thoughts on OS X, too, with it's roots in Unix and Aqua interface? I'm a recent mac convert and am in my 2nd year of High School (went from an old dos box to the 333mhz iMac.) I'm a bit peeved about Job's recent iTools launch, as it completely excludes users of OS 8.6.
I think that if we kept improving MacOS gradually, we'd wind up near MacOS X. I like some things about it but don't expect all your computer troubles and complexities to be noticeably diminished. I like the Aqua appearance but I don't like the dock. I like to place things around my desktop, or wherever, and find them where I left them.

The world is moving toward having more tools and apps and files kept on servers of the internet. This is in direct conflict to the reasons for the popularity of Personal Computers in the 70's. We finally had a powerful machine where all the data and apps could be right in front of us. But the internet is very efficient for this, so a rethinking is needed. Besides, you can't stop something so right, in many ways, from happening. It's better to ride on the steam roller.

Well, the iTools, which aren't yet a big part of my life, are a step in this direction. If you have MacOS 9 then it's amazing to mount someone's iDisk right on your desktop and use it in a familiar way. I was very disappointed that it required MacOS 9. It's good that Apple is leading the way to the future but it's too bad that prior hardware and software and accessories have to be left behind. But it's too great a burden to drag forever. This approach was much better justified when Apple was having financial problems, but is perhaps a bit overkill today.

In a similar vein, look at AppleWorks 6.0. It's definitely not being well accepted. I like the web graphics. The 'future' view says that we all share Apple's graphics database, and that graphics inserts don't have to accompany a document, only their size and location. This is a bit like Netscape's early offer of standard background patterns for web pages via URL references. It feels nice. The problem is that if you get a lot of documents depending on some company's database, you become more 'trapped'. I don't like to be trapped. I always make decisions that give me the maximum room to change my mind.

Comment from E-mail:
Another question: How do feel about Microsofts contributions to the world of Mac software? I use Outlook express and IE for mac, and after watching pirates of silicon valley, I feel a bit guilty using them ;)
I don't mind Microsoft software on the Macintosh. I use other alternatives when it's appropriate. But the software development world for the Macintosh has dried up to where it's hard to find many good products in any area, and that results in the Microsoft software being the best easy alternative, even if it's not too good.

Again, you do wind up being trapped to your email program and browser, and I don't like the feeling of being trapped by Microsoft.

Comment from E-mail:
Hello Steve, Someone send me a tape with apple-1 source code on it. this tape recording "sounds" different from that I already have (My own tape has been translated correctly into Hex-code some years ago with a sound analysing tool!).

My question: Where there two different casset interfaces for the apple-1? Different recording speeds?

Thanks for your help (again).

BTW: Did you start writing your book, looking through old stuff and found some code snippets for the apple-1? :-)

There was only one casette tape interface for the Apple I. I believe that I used the same format for the Apple ][, but I could be mistaken. Both tapes should sound the same. But cassette tapes aren't digitally (crystal oscillator) accurate as to timing and speed, so it's possible that two tapes could sound different.


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