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Letters-General Questions Answered  



Q From e-mail:
Hi Woz,I enjoyed "Pirates of SIlicon Valley" and amalso enjoying your comments very much!My question is unrelated to the movie but one for which I am dying to have an answer:I remember being in High School using anApple][ and playing Adventure. Then oneday I typed 'xyzzy' at the basic prompt andit told me "Nothing happens.", just like theAdventure game would do. Hilarious, but is there a story behind this?Thanks,Jack Harrity

I don't remember it in the Apple ][ BASIC but I do like using xyzzy for passwords on occassion. It's one thing that some of us won't easily forget.

Q From e-mail:
"Pirates" brought back a lot of memories from the days of my first Apple ][. I remember what a fascinating piece of engineering I thought it was, and I've enjoyed each step in the progression from Apple ][, Apple ][GS (Woz edition-had to have it), and all the Macs I've owned since then. The movie made me remember the wonder I felt each time I turned on that Apple ][, relative to the way I now take the capabilities my G3 for granted. This machine is more of a tool. A great tool, to be sure, but still a tool. Your Apple ][ was a great adventure. I guess neither you nor Steve Jobs could have got Apple Computer on the map by yourselves, but it takes good engineering first, or the marketing shills have nothing to sell. Thanks for getting all of us computer nerds where we are today.

There are lots of people that have said what you say, about the good Apple ][ days memories, and of some hard to define characteristic of that machine that was more in the personal communication realm than in the tool realm. A lot of people feel that the first engineering comes ahead of the marketing and business ends. Also, compared to engineering as an art, those who run the company get the easy job. But they don't get as much fun.

Q From e-mail:
I am working on my engineering degree and I wanted to say thanks for paving the way and inspiring us future 'pirates'. I loved the movie because I always wanted to see the scenes that can only be read about, such as Gates screaming about the Lisa's OS, ect..just wanted to ask you one question..do you think Apple should have licensed MacOS to compete with Windows? I recall reading (I think) that you thought this was the way Apple should have gone.

Yes, but we should not have remained in the hardware business, as that would have resulted in conflicts of interest that would have prevented us from seeing the value of the clones.

Q From e-mail:
I have enjoyed reading your comments about Pirates of Silicon Valley (although I preferred the PBS special Revenge of the Nerds). I also just finished reading Apple Confidential. It seemed that back in the 80's engineers devoted themselves to making computers as 'insanely' great as possible. Even, sometimes, sacrificing the bottom-line to make a computer truely outstanding. And the public though nothing of paying $3,500 for a computer. Now, companies are knocking-off sub-$500 clones with all the personality of a toaster. And the public loves it. What ever happened to engineering? Thank God for Apple and the iMac for bringing back the 'coolness' factor. Yet, if you read any of the computer newgroups you read people bitching about the cost of an iMac and how Apple won't survive without building a sub-$1000 clone. You were lucky to have worked when creating a computer was like creating a work of art. Thank you for you efforts,

Thank you. Your thinking is good. Almost all of the people that I really like, think this way and use Macs too.



to questions about "Pirates of Silicon Valley"

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