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Letters-General Questions Answered  



Q From e-mail:
I've read every book on Apple I can get my hands on and I wondered if you had ever considered writing a book to tell the Apple story from your point of view. I think a lot of us old time Apple fans would like to hear it from the source.

I've not been able to take the time for a book, mostly of amazing stories and interesting insights. I've done my own things and laid very low. But with the email that resulted after the "Pirates" showing, I've gotten a lot of writing done. Ideas to show someone that has the time to write. This is the kick I needed.

The Apple ][ was shown as it gradually evolved. This web page has turned into the same sort of thing, where some possible book is being read as it evolves. I kind of like that.

I assure you that most of my biography will be much more, and much more interesting, than what has been prompted by questions mostly in a narrow catagory. Every answer I've given has been truncated due to time. Fortunately, I think that I've been doing a good job of expressing myself with few words (if you'll excuse all the replies where I kept honing on my engineering skills back when, the ones in response to letters that I answered just for one individual at a time (taking many hours) before I realized the need to post them for sharing with many others).

Q From e-mail:
Some kid asked about building an Apple 1 clone on your page. I seem to remember that the A/1 used 8551's for the I/O and they went AWOL about 20 years ago. I tossed my A/1 (stupid me!) when I couldn't get parts to repair it.

Also, this chip and the 8554 (?) were P-MOS chips that blew out very easily from static.

Q From e-mail:
Whatever happened to Harley Licht? wasn't he was the guy who got you a lot of your first 6502s? (He was also the only guy I knew who had merry-go- round horses in his living room). He said that one time you and Steve were in his office to buy parts and Steve got up to walk out becase he thought Harley was charging you too much. You pointed out that Harley was much lower than anyone else. I think they were like $700 at the time and he was giving them to you for about half.

I hope that you meant $7.00 if you are referring to the 6502 processor.

Q From e-mail:
I remember a homebrew when Gates came down to bitch us out about sharing copies of his Basic. Jeez, you gave yours away and I gave away a spooler for CP/M. Who was this bastard anyway to try to charge for his stuff???

I don't recall Gates coming to the Homebrew, I only remember a letter that he wrote to us. Dan Sokol had borrowed the BASIC on paper tape out of the club library, and made copies of that tape at work. He brought 3 copies back and made up a rule that you could take anything from the club library as long as you brought back at least as many as you took.

Q From e-mail:
Steve,I just wanted to say thanks for responding to my e-mail message. I know it takes a great deal of your time to even look at these things. I really never expected to actually HEAR from you!
Some say time is the greatest gift you can give, so I just want you to know I appreciate the time you took to answer me. I don't know many other famous people who would even bother dealing with the face of the masses.Thanks again,Julie Diamond

We've often heard about time being worth more than money. I've tried to lay low and not be public and be an accidental recluse all these years, but the movie "Pirates" really blew the door open on mail. I can see why celebrities have to have personal assistants handle their mail. I do have assistants these days to help me, but I handle my own mail if I possibly can. Even back at Apple, I wouldn't let a secretary take my mail or phone calls.

After I started donating large local computer labs to local schools around 1990, I felt guilty. It was easy to give money, so it didn't mean as much as it did to me, on the inside. So I started teaching and helping the schools in any way I could. It was truly a much greater gift than money. I don't care if I only helped a couple of hundred of students personally over the years. It's the amount that I could do by myself. No matter how small it seems, it was something good that I could do it so I did it.


to questions about "Pirates of Silicon Valley"

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