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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Q From e-mail: Thank you for the Apple. Regardless of where it started or where it has been I have it now and it does add to my enjoyment of life. I am somewhat puzzeled by your seemingly critical view of Steve Jobs. I know that you experienced it all first hand but the fact of the matter is that Mr Jobs has driven the car while you got off. I care not why but you seemingly respond in your answers to "Pirates" that you did it all and Mr. Jobs was basicilly a non-technical salesmen. Did he or did he not have anything to do with the Apple computer ? As I interput your reponses, he was just hanging around like a vulture. Thanks for your time. C. H.

WOZ: I'm sorry. I probably misdirected others too. I made a lot of comment about having done a lot of hardware and software, including writing BASIC for the Apple I and Apple ][, in my "Pirates" replies because I did this design while Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and Paul Allen were not as great as engineers. As for the engineering, on the 'dark' side there was Ed Roberts with a computer (who designed it???) and Bill Gates and Paul Allen writing a BASIC. I did all of this and much more, singlehanded, while working a day job at Hewlett Packard too. Steve Jobs did not design the computer in hardware or software terms. He did what was needed to start a company. He found people and companies that could get us to a product (it was manufactured at a company in Santa Clara and we just put the final pieces together in the garage) and sell it and more. He also had product design contributions along the lines of the plastic case and low heat power supply. But almost every other unique 'first ever' feature was my own idea of what would make a good computer. In the spirit I had, of helping and not making money, I gave out schematics to anyone that wanted them in the Homebrew Computer Club. This is what led to the interest that led Steve to see a possibility of making a product for sale.

I've spoken many times in the past about the importance of Steve Jobs' role in the Apple computers. But I was the inventor and engineer, solely. Remember, the Apple I was the first small computer ever with a keyboard standard, and the Apple II had the first color graphics, the first hi-res graphics, the first BASIC in ROM, the first sound and paddles for games, and a host of very clever approaches. Plus, it was so understandable and versatile and usable that it inspired tons of people. I hear from these people all the time, everywhere I go.

In my speeches I go out of my way to make Steve Jobs' role, in non-engineering ways, seem more important. But in response to the movie, I'm trying to compare myself as the engineer to Gates and Allen as engineers and any perceived denigration of Steve Jobs is not intentional.

Thank you for the chance to explain.

Q From e-mail: What you said in one of your comments, "I often wonder why I remained the person I always wanted to be, from late high school on. I wanted to be an engineer and then a 5th grade teacher and I wanted a computer someday and I wanted to be nice to people and I wanted to tell and make jokes and I wanted a family and home. It couldn't have come truer for me." Most people could dismiss this as power, I see it as the true road to power. Most revisit "wealth and power", aren't they roots to all evil? Your POWER is clean and fresh.

WOZ: Thank you for your kind comment. My own comment is just plain out and out the truth. I had my happiness for life long before Apple, I assure you. Mostly it's in how a person thinks and acts and what's important and how true they can stay to what they say they really want when they are young.

Q From e-mail: I just wanted to say thanks for your contributions to the world of computers. I reminded of the spoof Macaddict I think it was, did with "It's a Wonderful Mac" based on It's a Wonderful Life.

What a different world it would be had you not developed the Apple Computer. Well, that's just too scary to think about so I will just say good job, thank you bringing me my beloved Mac. ..DV

WOZ:While teaching, I often wished I was 10 years old again so that this time I could grow up with the computers that I always loved and wanted. But then it occurred to me that I'm lucky to have seen the 'before' and the 'during' in order to see how great a change to life has happened. In earlier years, I never could have dreamed of such rapid advancements, well, changes anyway.

Q From e-mail: Woz, (I hope this gets to you)
Thanks for helping start the thing that has defined my life.

Computers have given me my life and living. I thank you you for making it possible. I think computers aren't as fun an cool as they used to be in the "old days".

I started out with a TRS-80 Model I, but drooled over Apple ]['s, and planned to buy one and upgrade it with stuff from Applied Engineering. By the time I got the money together to do that, The Apple ][ and AE were history. I am a proud owner of a PowerComputing PowerCenter 132, a Performa 6116 and an Apple ][c.

I also helped author the Apple ][ version of FACTS+ (www.programsteppe.com). It's educational software for autistic children. Charlie would love to hear from you, and would gladly send you a copy for your review. FACTS+ is a lot like your designs. Not flashy, but solid and works well.

I also used to work for the NE Distributor of Corvus Hard Drives (Lawrence S. Epstein Assoc.). Those were fun times. Did you ever get to see The "Corvus Concept" computer. It was a Mac before the Mac.

It was a 68000 computer with a Ball monitor, I think it used CPM-68k, but was based on the Apple ][ design. I know it used Apple ][ Cards (Serial, Floppy, Corvus). It was a great system.

I used to sell these drives to Microsoft in their Albuquerque days. But I doubt Bill would remember me now.

I know there were too few to make this real, but I'd love to get a hold of a working Apple I or a replica just to play with. I did see one of the originals in the Smithsonian. Not too sure if it was an Apple I or an Apple ][.

I'm on the lookout for a 20th Anniversary Mac. One day I'll spot one I can afford.

I appreciate the direction you've chosen in life. I am doing something similar in mine. I just wanted to say hi to you. Thanks for all you do. Al H.

WOZ: Thanks for the note. You do bring back memories, including the Corvus Concept. I can look back and see how important the Apple I was now. Good luck getting or seeing one!


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