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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Q From e-mail: I just had to laugh at the part in the movie where someone called Dial-A-Joke. I remember calling that number to hear the joke of the day. Was it really you who did this?

WOZ:Yes. It was in the days before you could buy a phone or answering machine. I had to rent the same one as theaters rented, a very costly one. I was "The Crazy Pollok". This was the first Dial-A-Joke in the San Francisco Bay Area, back in 1973 or so. I used a heavy Russian accent and used the name "Stanley Zebrezuskinitski" when I took live calls. I met my first wife this way, she was a caller.

Q From e-mail: Wow! I've been dreaming of the day that I could actually meet you! It's an honour, as I am a great admirer of you and Steve Jobs. The 2 of you combined something that very few people could ever dream of. I was also curious: do you still like jokes?

WOZ: I've always liked jokes. The movie producers were way off on that portrayal. I play tons of good pranks all the time. We may well meet some day.

Q From e-mail: I have been reading with great interest all of your thoughts about the "Pirates of Silicon Valley" movie recently shown on TNT. It's very interesting to note that you had no direct role in the production of the movie other than it being about you and the history of Apple. I would have thought in order to get it accurate that they would have at least conducted interviews with the major characters in the movie! Thanks for taking the time to put up all those web pages!!

WOZ:The movie producers (or whomever) did extensive research. A lot has been written about Apple for decades. Many materials are direct interviews with us from back in the years it was happening. This is very good source material. They probably would have been further off track and would have encountered legal problems to contact us now. I was amazed at how well the characters were represented.

Q From e-mail: But I do have one question for you, What is your current involvement with Apple Computer Inc.?? Are you still an employee? (other than the obvious honorary employee #1) Do you still work on projects for or with them? Visit regularly? Get asked for advice?? Anything??

WOZ: I want to have an Apple badge forever. I am a low-salaried employee. Although I only represent Apple very occassionally, my presence at events and speeches that I give reflect on Apple. I'm available for any opinions and sometimes offer them, or advice, but it's hard to work through a beaurocracy and I don't want to strain my relationship with Steve Jobs by always interrupting him. I've been told that the key to getting through a beaurocracy is to find the person that is brave enough to make an exception.

Q From e-mail: Do you and Jobs remain friends, and do you see each other regularly? Just curious. It must have been a fun ride 8-)

WOZ: We remain friends but rarely see each other. I don't think that either of us has a problem with seeing the other, I always feel comfortable. I'm afraid to detract Steve from his important things, plus we live far from each other and have different lives and different friends.

Q From e-mail: I have to throw in a HUGE "THANK YOU" for you personally. I have been fortunate enough to own a //e, //c, //c+ and several //GS's. I was also lucky enough to meet you and get your autograph at one of your "Applefest" appearances many years ago. I have always had a unique fascination with computers and specifically Apple Computer for many years. Thanks for all the great memories, awesome computers and inspiration over the years!!

WOZ:I love to hear this sort of thing, where you are thankful for computers. I'd expect to hear more from people that have had it with their machines and software not working that would rather kill me! All I can say to that is that I have the same frustrations and almost want to get away from computers totally on occassion. People should be more important than computers, but it hasn't always worked out that way. If you're that mad, take it out on someone who deserves it more than myself, please.

Q From e-mail: I just wanted to write you because I watched "Priates of Silicon Valley" last night, and was saddened by what it showed. I hope all of it wasn't true.

WOZ: Although most incidents in the movie did not happen exactly the way they were shown, the meaning that you get from them is extremely accurate. Many recent books fail miserable in this regard.

Q From e-mail: Who is the "Dan" they referred to as being cut out of the stock deal?

WOZ: There were several that I gave this sort of stock to, and there were dozens that I sold it to cheaply so that employees could benefit rather than investors. The "Dan" might be Dan Kottke.


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