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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

Q From e-mail:
I have a few questions. 1. How old were you and Steve Jobs when you first met?

2. Did the scene in the movie where S.Jobs embarrassed the applicant about being a virgin really happen? The movie shows Jobs being mean to the applicant. The movie showed you in the hallway watching. Who was the person that interviewed the applicant? Did that really happen?

WOZ:
We probably remember different times, but I was around 20 and Steve was around 16, as I recall (1970)

That scene gets a lot of comment. I was not personally there that I can recall. I believe that I've heard of it before, but it could just have arisen out of joke that somebody told.

Q From e-mail:
I would assume that "webmaster" is Steve, but god knows... About 5 years ago (I was 15) I went with a friend of mine to meet his friend, Bob in St. Paul, Minnesota. Bob (I forget his last name) was telling me about his life back in the day, and told the following story: I worked with Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs and their accountant (I forget the name) in Woz's garage. I hand-twisted wires for the Apple I motherboards. Woz went on a trip and left the accountant in charge. While he was gone, the accountant, who I didn't get along with, fired me. When Woz got back and saw that I had been fired, he fired the accountant...life went on. I then went to work for Atari and started manufacturing games... Did you ever work with a guy named Bob that did hardware for the Apple I's? I'm dying to know if this story is true, because it is truly amazing. Bob mentioned that he was kind of pissed that he wasn't mentioned in Steve Levy's book "Hackers". Also, was Steve Jobs portrayed accurately in Pirates? My boss is very pro-Apple, and claims that Jobs isn't really as bad as they make him out to be, while I think that he really is an asshole (not that Gates is any better). I think it's great that you are working with children and computers. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. You are a very great person. The Apple II ruled, best regards,

WOZ:
Not a bit of truth in this. Accountant? Do you mean the lady across the street? A guy named Bob? Hand twisted wires on the motherboard? Me fire someone? MY garage? Sorry...

Q From e-mail:
Dear Mr. Wozniak, I have read all of the email messages and your responses on the numerous "Comments" pages on your web site. (It took me almost two hours to get through them all, because there is a lot of material there, and the pages load in slowly for some reason.) I would like to take this opportunity to defend you against that one very negative email message posted on one of the "Comments" pages. The person basically accused you of being a "self-aggrandizing" "egomaniac." I am very sensitive to egomania in others, and I can't stand it--so I recognize it immediately. I feel that in no way are your responses to the email messages, and your web site in general, "self-aggrandizing" or reflect any bloated egotism. The thing that particular writer doesn't seem to understand is that there is a big difference between honest self-confidence and egomania. You can be honest about your accomplishments, and confident of your own contributions, without being conceited and full of yourself. In fact, I believe that in this way, you are a role model of someone who is well-accomplished, intelligent, generous, AND honest about all of these things. What good to the world would it do for you to lie about yourself and say, "Yes, I'm a greedy, self-centered egomaniac, and all you measly computer-using sheep should bow down before me!"? You seem to be centered enough to know what's important in life, be honest in admitting what you have and haven't done--and what you are and aren't good at, and not worry about what people like that think. And for this, I admire you.

WOZ:
I hope that you are like myself, because it's a path to a very happy life. I am normally quite modest, and the web page entries had been written, one at a time, to individuals before the idea to share the responses came up. It was really a way to get more done for less. I wish that I'd seen that it would look egotistical, because why would someone promote themselves so positively 20 times in a row.

Actually, my comments were mostly a defensive reaction. I was trying to say that Ed Roberts and Bill Gates and Paul Allen developed a computer and wrote a BASIC for it and they are applauded for their engineering. But I did all that the three of them did, and much more, and I just want some such positive recognition to swing Apple's way, as well as my own.

I determined when I was in high school not to follow weird ideas that couldn't be proven and tested. I determined that I would always keep my feet on the ground, even if I looked and acted and thought with a free mind. I could appreciate some hippie reasonings but I wasn't going to turn my life over to beads and drugs. I've never lost my grounding and never even worried about it. it's bliss.

Q From e-mail:
I think it is fantastic that you are taking the time to answer questions regarding the movie. I watched the PBS special which aired a few years ago and had no one to answer my questions (even though I lived in the Bay Area). I liked the movie, but it jumped around too much and skipped some of the most interesting parts of the Apple history and never really did clarify why you guys named the company Apple. Which brings me to my first question -- Why 'Apple' -- was it because of Jobs love of fruit and time spent in Oregon?

WOZ:
I don't know what kind of orchard Steve was into up in Oregon. It could have been a normal farm, but I recall that it was an orchard. There certainly could have been apple trees there, but it's only a guess.

Q From e-mail:
I am currently immersed in Infinite Loop written by one of your high school class mates. Hopefully this book will fulfill my need to follow the chronological order of Apple events. Have you read it?

WOZ:
I don't read many of the books that mention Apple because so many of them get the early days wrong.

 


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