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Letters-General Questions Answered  


Q From e-mail:

Hi, Woz, I am a BIG fan of you, I mean, YOU BUILT A COMPUTER, there's nothing to say, you are a genius how did you built a computer?, you have to be an >electronic genius too, did you read like a thousands books about electronics? how did you learned all that? Even Steven Levy in his book HACKERS thinks you are great And one more thing, why did you leave Apple?, according to "Pirates of Sillicon Valley" you were the brain of Apple Jobs just was better to do bussines and talk.

I lucked into books when I was young that almost nobody could have known about. I didn't have books telling you how to design. I had catalogs of parts and manuals of computers, and with a little logic education of my own, I just started figuring out how to make the one from the other. I was very lucky to have this talent but I never thought that it would be my career or worth a lot. I really enjoyed the "Hackers" book too.

I never completely left Apple, although I left my job as an engineer there to start another small company and build a small exciting product, the first universal remote control, which was programmable and far more than any other such device to this day.

Q From e-mail:
I'm a cs major and I have been following you for a number of years, way before this movie came out. I like your additude in life. I was wondering what religion do you belong to? From what I konw if youI would say that you are very Zen-like in your actions and writings.

I have never attended church nor been religious in a formal sense. I was influenced primarily by things that I heard and read about Christianity and some Eastern religions and the universal Bahaii  religion and some transcendental thinkings. I decided about age 17 or 18 that I wanted to stay very good and pure and not give up concerns for others as I progressed through life. I wanted to be very much like the good parts of Christianity that I could pick up, having a good code to live by and being very forgiving to bring out the best in others. I just felt that an intelligent person like myself could figure out good behaviors without going to a church and having to follow the thinking of a large group, all of whom follow it largely because they all do. They accept ideas of others in their religious group, rather than the reverse, thinking out a religion based on what they can reason is right and wrong. So my God existed but was in my own head and was very important to me to this very day.

I also don't like presuming that my God, my principles of life and methods to achieve eternal happiness are right for others. My methods and principles might be the way for some others to have a good life but not for all. For some, opposite ways might be better. I especially don't want to be a major factor in pushing my own children's thinking. They should find their own clues and pick their own ways independently. They should turn out different from each other, not a bunch of clones, in this area. My own methods for happiness could be good for some of my kids, but I only speak of them occasionally in terms of what they are and why I am that way, and I put myself forth as an example. It's a slight effort to avoid the temptation to sway others to be like myself, but it's better for the others and that's the greatest reward for myself.

I'm sure that my thoughts and principles are very Zen-like. It's amazing how good a head can feel without stress and the need to change everyone else, but you can't convince others of it. They have to stumble into it themselves. It's like anything that you can't tell by words how you feel about it. You actually have to experience, to feel, some things. You can't even tell for sure if you're going to like a song until you hear it.

to questions about "Pirates of Silicon Valley"

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