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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Q From e-mail:
I just watched Pirates of Silicon Valley. Actually, I taped it. hehe I'm glad the movie came out because no one really knew what Apple went though. I see a lot of people saying that they didn't know about it. Before the movie though I never had heard your name. Ater the movie I asked my dad because he used to work on Apple II's a lot. He knew who you were and all about you. I think people should give you more recognition for what you did. You pretty well created the PC as it is known today! Did you guys ever talk about patenting or copyrights when you did your work?

WOZ:
I met with a patent attorney and filed some patents on the Apple ][. He gave us copyright advice. One thing we did as a result of this was to always have copyright notices on our software printouts and even our EROMS and ROMS, with the programs in them

Q From e-mail:
Did you work any on the Macintosh project? The first computer I used was a Apple II. I played around with them from 2nd to 6th grade. Then, a year later I was introduced to the Mac. I really liked the Mac. Then, the next year they striped out all the mac's and put in IBM compatibles with Window's 3.1 on it. I was like, "Where are our macs!" The teacher said that they traded them off for better computers. From what I could see it was just a copy of the mac's os. Nothing special. As the years went on I got farther away from macs. Last year I got the change to teach some kids how to use computers at a summer school session. They had some of the original macs down there and some power PCs. That was a fun and rewarded experience to teach little kids about computers. I'm still fond of the old mac. : ) Now I know how much of an enemy Bill Gates is. I hope someone really gives him a run for his money. That will be a good day.

WOZ:
I did not work on the Mac and don't deserve but the least recognition in it's regard. I created some very early computers that made a lot of money but the Macintosh (after the LISA) really changed the world the most after that. Steve Jobs deserves all the credit in this regard. I wish that I could have been so astute to have done that one too! I love what it's become and could never use a PC instead of a Mac

Q From e-mail:
Did you have any say when the movie was created? I really enjoyed seeing the real story.

WOZ:
We were never contacted. I don't know if the story was written years ago or just 6 months ago, sorry

Q From e-mail:
Do you and Steve talk very often?

WOZ:
No, just occasionally. Some friendly chat or get together could always come up, but we're both quiet busy, in different ways, I assure you.

Q From e-mail:
Have you spoken to Bill Gates in the last 5 years?

WOZ:
I've never spoken with Bill Gates, although one time we both spoke, on different days, at a national Education convention in Seattle. I emailed him once with a similar pie in face story and picture (mine was after my college graduation, I enjoyed it, a friend came up with the great caption 'Computer Pie-In-Ear') and I suggested light treatment of the incident and that he have pie throwers ready at boring events when he's onstage. But I never got a reply.

Q From e-mail:
Quick question. The movie ends with Gates telling Jobs that they both had a rich neighbor and Jobs was mad that Gates got the loot. Did a conversation close to that ever happen?

WOZ:
I believe so because I've heard it a number of times. But it may have been more subtly contained in different statements. In principal it probably happened.

The other possibility is if a high level, national, media source gets a story wrong. Neither party has a chance to correct it by the time the rest of the smaller media sources have picked it up. Then it's guaranteed to be in all the history books because they scan the current media of the time as their own sources. I've had a very big misrepresentation about myself leaving Apple because I didn't like what was happening there printed in the Wall Street Journal after telling them that wasn't the reason. The end result was that it got printed everywhere in the world and is now in all the books.

Q From e-mail:
I'm sure that I and other people as well could find these somehow, but how about putting up some old pictures of yourself and some of the originals in the early Apple days to see what you guys really looked like then..

WOZ:
A couple of years after Apple started, before we went public, I sold some stock to employees at a good price so that some financial fat cat wouldn't be the one to profit. I bought my first home, in Scotts Valley, California. Soon thereafter I visited a storage locker where I'd stored my stuff including Apple breadboards and notes and early designs and even all my childhood and college and Apple timeframe pictures. I took a bunch of stuff home, including the best pictures. They were in a brown cardboard box that I set down in the garage. A day or two later I discovered that the cleaners had thrown them out.

I decided never to get mad about this because there's no limit as to how far my madness would have gone.

My mom has contributed a few pictures to a number of books over the years. I'll try to get some of them for my web site. I rarely work on the web site. Others usually put the pages together, as I have to administer all the servers and lines and all.

Q From e-mail:
The movie did not show anything re: what happened to Lisa's mother (I don't know her name...even a trip to the TNT movie site did not turn her name up). Did she ever get any money from Steve (as I and others feel she deserved)? Did Steve and she ever get along any better later on (or even now)? How is she and what is she doing now? There should have been something at the very end showing what had happened to her (an update) as there was for you, Steve and Lisa, (as well as for some of the other people) but there wasn't.

WOZ:
I have no knowledge of any of this. I don't even inquire into people's very personal lives. I'm not even sure myself that the LISA computer was named after this daughter. That's my honest opinion

Q From e-mail:
Comment: In answering one of the e-mails you received, you said that the movie was not accurate re: the dates some events actually took place, maybe being 5-6 years different from reality. I probably wouldn't have been able to catch those errors but I certainly noticed that the background (pop/rock) music they were playing seemed to be inappropriate in some places...playing late 1960s/early 1970s music during events that took place (according to the onscreen dates given) much later than when the songs came out. I'm not sure what the producer and/or director was thinking there but it seemed to "clash" enough to be noticed in those scenes.

WOZ:
I felt the same thing but couldn't put my finger on it until your comment. This happened in a few places. I am very music sensitive in some ways. The musical background can make or break a movie for me (usually 'make'). It can make the difference between the suspension of disbelief or the disbelief itself. I guess the credits would show who is responsible.

 


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