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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Comment from E-mail:
I still remember the first Mac experience. Living in Japan, it wasn't a easy task to own a Macintosh back then. But my dad pulled together his allowance and bought our family a IIcx. I still can't thank him enough for that IIcx among all other things. After my family moved to Hong Kong, I owned several macs and I loved all these products.

I watched "Pirates of Sillicon Valley" while I was job hunting, about a year ago. That movie told me one thing. Do what I want and don't let ass holes get in my way. I wanted right job with just right people around me. Apple definitely wasn't for me. It's too big of a corporate business to start with, and some of the people I knew from there were a little too business oriented. Then I had an offer from FileMaker, which turned out to be the perfect place to be. It is small, it is a fun place to work, FileMaker Pro is a great product, and I am privileged to use my Internet skill to the full extent. It didn't surprise me to know that FileMaker is a part of Apple.

Now, I am working with great enthusiasm and I don't regret turning down all these corporate offers. People I work with are great and their enthusiasm toward our product is also right.

So what does all this add up to be? Thank you for creating Apple. Thank you for being who you are. And thank you for that nice little movie you directed. You may not be the richest guy in the world (though you are rich enough), but you certainly are the coolest guy to me. Because of you, I am who I am today.

Woz:
I'm glad to hear your story. Your thinking is much better than most people's, especially about corporation and smaller companies. I'm refreshed to hear it. You are the sort of person that we had back in the beginning, the ones that all made Apple great. Yes, it does seem to be past, for the most part.

Keep up the good work and always feel good about yourself. I'm not that rich anymore because I gave so much to charities, and still do. You might catch the biography on me on the A&E channel on Wednesday (2000.12.13). Also, I'm getting the Heinz award in February. It comes with a $250K check but I'll have it go to charity because I was selected for being a humanitarian as well as a technologist. I wouldn't have gotten here if I'd even invented the Apple computers for money. I wouldn't be selected for this prestigious award if I'd just worked to maximize my money.

Comment from E-mail:
My name is Adam W. I was wondering, since you've been "into" the apple scene forever. From the birth of the mac and it's OS, how do you feel about the new Max Os X? Does it appeal to you? Do you find things you'd rather remain the same to the old one? Any suggestions that you'd like to see innovated into it? I hope to hear from ya soon.
Woz:
I think that the MacOS X is the best one yet. It feels and looks nice and consumer machines should. It gets around accusations that MacOS 9 is ancient and weak. It was costly and the conversion is costly and difficult. I think it's as great a risk as switching to the Power PC was.

I haven't had enough time with it, due to a busy schedule, to explore my own suggestions. I'd try to look for a LONG time and think about things that really helped me using computers and then look for a way to slightly change something in MacOS X to make it 'smaller' but do everything as well including what I think of, or so well that I don't need what I think of. Fewer options about how you do things, but with the finest results, is the way I'd try to go, not to just add and add and add good things. But it's nerve racking to work this way and takes a lot out of you. Managers and programmers have to both work harder than ever.

Comment from E-mail:
I'm a software developer. I also nourish the dream of backyard inventing. In either case I find it difficult to stop when I'm onto something. And then the other one suffers. e.g. I might end up sleeping very late and then I'm not upto 100% at my job in the morning and by the time I'm home, my brains are completely fried.

I get possessed by an idea and then I have to get it out my system. When my projects were small it was ok. Now I want to do bigger things but like I said how can one find a balance?

You were at Hewlett-Packard and you invented Apple I. How?
Thanks very much.

Woz:
I invented the Apple I and ][ on my own time. I did use some parts from our HP lab stock. I did these projects openly. The policy was that an engineer could use such parts for something of their own design. I offered it to HP first, because I felt that they 'owned' that right. They turned down the idea. Then I called the HP legal department and had them consult with every HP division to get a legal release. The important thing is that I didn't try to go around HP.

Comment from E-mail:
Hi, since a while that I try to set my root directory to be invisible on my ftp server Os X PB. I just want to know how it is possible to set a '/' (root) directory like any ftp server that we can browse on to the internet.

The idea is that I don't want that anyone can see my files or drives, trash etc.. on the root level, also drives (I know how to set my drives privileges but I don't know how to put them away of other users, invible should be the way I'd like to see them as admin;-)...

I'm sure that you understand my problem so if you can telling me how to do a simple root level like every ftp servers where we only see visible files I will really appreciate it.

Can you help me please? Jocelyn

Woz:
I think that this is hard to do. You have to find work-arounds.

I don't yet have much experience with MacOS X. But this exact problem comes up with MacOS 8.x and MacOS 9.x using AppleShare servers, over AppleTalk or TCP/IP network protocols.

Before MacOS 8 the sharing options for any subdirectory (folder) were to 'Show Files', 'Write Files', 'Show Folders' and 'none'. The 'Show Folders' (Subdirectories) option allowed someone to connect to a volume and see the subdirectory folders but not the files at the root level. This same hiding could be continued at other subdirectory levels. It was incredibly useful to me in my classes over the years and 5th graders picked it up instantly and used it well.

But it disappeared with MacOS 8. I screamed when I saw that. I lost something really simple. I wish that I'd been in contact with the right people to prevent it. Simple minds understand the simple concepts 'Read Only', 'Write Only' and 'Read/Write' but don't see the value in showing subdirectories while hiding files.

Sorry.

Comment from E-mail:
I have had an interest in the history (so to speak) in Apple and Microsoft for sometime now. It was only recently when I rented the movie, "Pirates of Silicon Valley." It only intrigued me to find out as much as I can about both subjects. It may, or may not have depicted the people or acts as they actually happened, but I am leaving my opinions open nonetheless. It lead me to believe you were am extraordinary person, and after finding your site, and reading all of your responses, my beliefs were proven to be correct.

I have no great question you, my letter was merely to inform you of how much I enjoyed your site, and to thank you for making it. Information collectors like myself who have to read everything they can on subjects are very appreciative of sites like yours.

Once again, thank you for your site, and for your time in reading this letter.

Woz:
Thank you very much for sharing your impressions.

I was a very unusual engineer that always searched for more clever designs than others did. Some are that way, but only a few of us. I was especially lucky in all my Apple designs because I had total freedom to be as creative as possible in this regard. I didn't have strict controls on what I could do or what I could add. I didn't have schedules - my schedule was my desire to get something worth showing off done.

I did almost all of the hardware and software designs in the earliest days of Apple, and before. Steve Jobs was good at digital electronics but was a step short of an engineer, so he left it to me to do the great job. A lot of people respect the design or invention at the level I did it, designing circuits, constructing them, testing them, changing them, getting opinions, demonstrating them, going back to the drawing board, etc. But you could say that an entire product needs more in the way of finishing the design with attractive or appropriate packaging and conveyed in a way that people will buy it. Creative things have to sell to get acknowledged as such. Steve Jobs didn't really set the direction of my Apple I and Apple ][ designs but he did the more important part of turning them into a product that would change the world. I don't deny that. He also had the ability to manage and direct a complete design project, and proved it over the years. He didn't function that way much in my own case, but he did have the ability to understand which technologies were the ones to go with and which design efforts and techniques made sense. I could only do this when the project was very narro and basically for myself alone. It was hard for me to look at other people and create the best products for them. I could look at myself and come up with the greatest things in that regard, and it was lucky for me that the world wanted what these products led to.

Some great people are leaders and others are more lucky, in the right place at the right time. I'd put myself in the latter category. But I'd never call myself a normal designer of anything.



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