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Letters-General Questions Answered  

 

 

ONE PAGE, ONE QUESTION:
Q From e-mail:

I just completed reading the comments posted to date on your website, and I wanted to thank you for providing them. I watched "Pirates of Silicon Valley" and liked having the chance to see how much of it reflected reality. One thread I saw from you in the posted comments was your regret over "the clones" winning out, and how much better your machines were than the PC. Now I am not a Windows fan -- I run Linux at home and hate having to use NT at work (I'd love to have my SPARC back), but I'm personally glad the Apple lost out.

WOZ:
I don't think that Apple lost out. Apple brought the computer revolution to people and then brought them GUI. Now, every computer is basically a Mac.

Q From e-mail:
My reason why? Cost and availability. Apple created proprietary, closed machines. IBM did not have the same restrictions on its PC design, and that made those machines cheaper and more available to the public. Steve Jobs didn't seem to get this point, and kept with the closed, proprietary systems when he went on to form NeXT Computers.

WOZ:
To make a real GUI machine cost more money and also resulted in slower speed. But because how to do what you wanted to was more accessable, and was easier, people were more productive on this sort of machine. It shouldn't make you happy that our timing was wrong, that we didn't suck people in with cheap stuff so we'd have them 'trapped' for GUI sales in the future.

Q From e-mail:
Thanks to the model IBM chose, I believe that computers are more widely spread out in society today than they would be were we stuck with Apples. Processing speed, disk size (and cost), memory speed, and bus speed has all gone up thanks to this competitive environment all while costs have stayed down. The Macs I've had to use were always slower, while MacOS was rigid. Meanwhile, developments on the IBM PC front have given me a cheap computer with free UNIX variants (and now my computer never crashes).

WOZ:
What I'm hearing is that you had enough of crashing computers and carry a lot of issues.

Q From e-mail:
I don't mean to denigrate your accomplishments, but I think you forget that you were part of a company bent on controlling the face of PC technology and price. While your own inherent nature is giving, that same giving nature that gave away Apple I schematics was completely buried when you signed on to Apple Inc. IBM may never have been into it for charitable reasons either, but their model turned out to be the better one for all involved, IMO.

WOZ:
Every computer is hardware and software. Clearly IBM didn't satisfactorily solve your software needs. Sorry to be the pit at the center of the cherry. Some of us are.

Q From e-mail:
You are just so down to earth. You seem like the kind of guy who could just sit down with anyone and enjoy a cup of coffee or pizza and beer and rap about anything or nothing in particular and it would be a totaly cool experience, just enjoying life for life's sake.

The whole sell out thing is kind of funny(not funny ha ha but funny interesting). It goes in conjunction with- when is enough, enough and losing focus on what the big picture is all about. My brother had a band called, the Wynonia Riders, and they would play with Green Day frequently around the East Bay and I would chat with them and they were really cool guys. A couple of years later I saw them at a bigger show and they were the same, except busier and more in demand. But there are some artist who lose touch on who they are performing for and why.

In the movie, Pirates of Silicon Valley, I got the impression that the principle of remembering the "big picture", do whatever you do just for the love of it and possibly the betterment of mankind was a very strong undercurrent that your character portrayed. And I am sure that was pick up on by millions of people.

WOZ:
Your comment about me being down to earth is right on the money. I do it all the time, sit down with a coffee or pizza with a stranger even, and chat, and I like it. When I was young I decided to keep my feet on the ground and remain normal, to get along with the most people the best.

I did what I did for the love of it. I did have a mind that could free itself from how things were done in the past and do them differently. I thought of each person that might use a computer individually. Steve Jobs is the one that was thinking of the bettering of mankind and making a huge difference. The two aspects went together well and I'm glad for both parts. I see Steve's part as more important, more high level, than my own in fact.

Q From e-mail:
Mr. "Woz", How does it feel to have a place in the history books of the 20th century? Though the movie didn't go in depth much as to your contributions, you have been a major force in changing the way we utilize a computer on a daily basis. How were you able to "come up with" your earliest conventions? If the movie was accurate, how were you able to put up with Mr. Jobs' mood changes and demands while maintaining a business and friendship? Thanks for being so cool and unaffected by all the glory!!

WOZ:
From the start of Apple, Steve and I went in different directions. I worked on interesting and critical design projects and he worked everywhere else, learning to be an executive and run a company. So I wasn't around any such mood changes. In all my experience, he's almost always been quite nice to me.

Q From e-mail:
Just wondering, how does it feel to have a part of your life played out on a movie?

WOZ:
About the most unusual thing that ever happened to me, especially since I had no idea that I'd be in it. I like to joke that I have to keep reading articles about myself so that I'll know what I'm like and who I am.

Q From e-mail:
Have you ever considered putting up a forum with this kind of heavy response ?

WOZ:
It came so suddenly, I havent' had a minute to spare and even think of a Forum. Thanks for the idea. Maybe a few hundred more emails tonight and then....

Q From e-mail:
Thanks Woz for posting all the comment's it, really shed's a lot of light on the part's the movie left out. Also have you checked out the book "The Silicon Boy's"?

WOZ:
I actually enjoyed that book, although it didn't have a singular direction.


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