What do you think of Steven Levy's book 'Hackers: Heroes of the Computer
Revolution' specifically the chapter titled 'Woz'?
I loved it. Very accurate, very interesting. Most other Apple books bore
me or have huge errors concerning those early years and how much I did.
So I don't bother to read very far in the other books. Many readers (and
watchers) are interested in what serious and talented technical people
are like and how they operate when they are young and creative, not how
company execs think and act.
glad that "Pirates of Silicon Valley" had the interesting tone of the
Just wanted to say that you are one of the men I admire most. Right
up there with John Lennon. If only someone with your integrity would get
elected president. Of course anyone with our level of integrity wouldn't
Well, thank you. I'm sorry people with the highest integrity can't often
be elected because they can't stoop to the demands of the political games.
I generally don't vote, but I plan to vote for Ralph Nader because he
can't be bought.
I develop web sites for a living, and was at the 5k awards site. This
site gives awards for good design in a small package. Developers see if
they can design a site that is interesting and still under 5k. One of
them is a 3D version of Tetris, which I know is your favorite game.
I have to check this website out. I'm generally too busy to hear about
a lot of things that really appeal to me. I'm talking about developers
creating good sites in small space. Saving resources was always 'my thing'
and very important to me. It's fun when you do it, and art when you do
it so seriously that every little improvement is worth a lot of work.
Brute force web sites are just brute force, not cleverness, in action.
Keep up the great work you do with the students you teach. Education
is the most necessary, and unfortunately one of the most neglected things
in this society.
We probably need both types of people, some that care about kids and education
and some that run businesses. It's hard to have some success, like Apple,
and try to remain who you really are and to do the things you would have
done without Apple. That's where I was immune to the success. I'm very
thankful for who I am. I know that the fame has interfered a bit, mainly
taking away the time I need to do things that are 'in' me. But I got to
have more of the full life I always imagined, including family and community
respect. I got to do some things that I likely would have done anyway,
Get back to Apple if you have the time and keep Steve in line :)
Yikes. Business is for the sharks for the most part.
Wow, you did respond :-) Thank You. So I'm living in Mountain View,
just moved here about 8 months ago. Moved from small town america in Pennsylvania
and I'm working for a company in Sunnyvale called idealab!. You being
a Silicon Valley native, perhaps you could suggest some things to do.
I really don't know anyone in the area, I'm not much of a party kind of
person. I'm mainly just a Linux computer guy who came to the valley for
the same reason everyone comes to the valley and then later realizing
that the high pay doesn't amount to much since I'm paying unbelieve amount
of money just to maintain my living. Was it always like this? If not,
can you put your finger on the turning point?
Well, you're actually close by. Even if you're not a party person you
may like popular music. Some great concerts are in your area at Shoreline
Amphitheater. I would suggest trying to get tickets to Bare Naked Ladies
and the Bridge School benefit.
I don't know your age but you might enjoy Malibu Grand Prix where you
race small cars. I liked doing that before and after Apple. In fact, my
first date with the mother of my children was going there, and I was glad
to beat her as she was a former Olympian.
If you're a recent transplant from Pennsylvania, you've surely heard how
California has everything. That includes the gold country and one of the
wonders of the world, Yosemite. You can at least 'escape' the valley once
in a while. Heck, you can even drive to Tahoe and gamble if you want to.
I grew up in Santa Clara Valley and saw it change to Silicon Valley. I
lived in a beautiful Eichler home in Sunnyvale, at the Cupertino border,
and the area was mostly orchards. Everything was fresh and new and there
were lots of kids. There was no crowding. There wasn't a high cost of
living. it wasn't such a work-hard, work-serious place. There was a lot
of electronics but not as much geekness as now. The negative changes from
what I grew up in (air quality, traffic, cost of living, constant 'industry'
talk, etc.) is why I want to leave as soon as my kids are out of school.
I want to move to a quieter and more peaceful place.
I'd say that the turning point to which you refer came about during the
80's, in the wealth frenzy that was signaled by companies like Apple.
So ever since the Pirates of Silicon Valley, I have this new found
love for Apple that I honestly never even considered previous to understanding
how it really went down in the beginning. It's a great story. Apple should
have a museum, like the Intel museum I went to today over on Mission College
Blvd. Small, but nice considering it's free. I personally really wasn't
impressed with the San Jose Tech Museum for some reason. Actually I think
it's wonderful for small children, but I had more fun watching the children
enjoy themselves then I actually did with the museum itself.
There are indeed a lot of very amazing and impressive stories around this
valley, certainly more than anywhere else in the world. But consider that
this valley is suffering from fame, just as a person can. Everything seems
so important here, that it takes over your life. Other things seem to
get less attention. The wealth insures that companies will start up here
for a long time, partly because investors want to invest close to home
where they can watch things better. Well, it's a vicious spiral and you
can't even tell what the original valley was.
Heck, I've remained closer to who I always was than most anyone, but even
I have trouble knowing the real 'I' that would be here if all this hadn't
I have some thoughts on creativity and computers, and I'd be glad if
I can share it with you.
I used a Mac for the first time when I was in 5th grade. That Mac came
with HyperCard, with which I could make my original picture books, games,
address books, and so on. The Apple II comes with BASIC along with provocative
examples. (AppleVision etc..)
But today's Macs only come with a Web browser.. (and Nanosaur if an iMac
:) If a computer comes only with a Web browser, many new users might assume
that personal computers are just for browsing or collecting information..that's
what I'm worried about. This situation might be causing "being part of
the rumor/knowledge crowd more important than enjoying our machines and
getting proficient on them." (from your comment to another post)
I believe that a computer should come with a easy-to-use tool to create
something interactive (that's what makes a perosonal computer different
from VTR, or Game consloles), and good examples to show the new users
what computers can really do, without any extra cost.
If a computer is only for using the internet, I don't think it is a "personal
computer" any longer. Any thoughts to that? Thank you very much for reading.
I definitely like what you are saying. BASIC and Hypercard let us create
and invent and build. One thing that is virtually constant among good
computer people is that they had construction toys of some kind when young.
It's a real shame that all you're expected to do is use other people's
creations. it's like forcing you to sit and watch the [interesting] world
go by, rather than living and being a part of making it.