Woz, My dad bought an Apple //c back in 1982 (I think) after our Commodore 64 failed to impress him. We had a neighbor who had a //c as well, so we pirated software between us, based on what we could find on Bulletin Boards (with my 300 baud modem). Yes, we also made some purchases, but at the time, none of us had any real appreciation for what we had.
I used my //c to play a bunch of games, make posters and signs, and write school papers. I thought I was the coolest kid in school, because I had a "computer". At the time, I had no idea what Apple was about, and had someone mentioned the names Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or anyone else mentioned in "Pirates", I would have given a dumb, blank stare in response. To me, it was this cool toy that did just about anything I could imagine wanting to do.
I took a BASIC class in high school, and learned on IBM computers. When I discovered that I could write BASIC programs on my //c, I was ecstatic! I started writing simple programs to flash names of girls on the screen who I had crushes on, and so on. We're talking really simple here. But seeing these things work gave me such a feeling of happiness and confidence, I can't begin to express it.
When my dad decided it was time to get a newer, better computer in 1987(?), I figured "ok, something bigger and better than my //c". I had no clue what I was in for. He bought a Mac SE, and the first thing I remember saying to him when he showed me the interface was "Why do I have to click the mouse twice? Shouldn't it be once? That's stupid!" When I left for college in 1989, I took my //c and a handful of games (my favorite being "Below The Root", which I used to LOVE), along with AppleWorks (the original AppleWorks). I used it for two years, and then came back home to finish my degree.
In the next several years, living with my parents, I graduated with an MBA, and started using a 6100/60, and just before my parents moved to Florida (leaving me to pay rent in our house in Staten Island, NY), I bought a Mac Clone (PowerBase). I set up my //c on my desk right next to my PowerBase, and at one point in time, I even got the //c to call the Mac (using that old 300 baud modem). It stayed connected only long enough for me to write "Hi" to myself, and when I saw it appear on the Mac screen, I couldn't believe my eyes. Here was a 16-year-old computer talking to a 16-day-old computer. At the time, Steve Jobs was just returning to Apple, and I started to hear his name a lot more frequently. I researched him, found out a bit about his past, and discovered your name, and your involvement. Prior to this, I really didn't follow the computer industry much, except to know that I was using the better, less popular platform.
I now own a Yosemite G3/400, and my PowerBase is connected via Ethernet and sitting under my desk, but the //c sits proudly on the desk next to the Blue G3. I now know and appreciate who it was who created the //c, and who wrote the BASIC that I used to make Stacey and Laura's names appear flashing on my screen. I now understand who you are, and what you are about, and I feel foolish for calling Steve Jobs my "hero". Granted, as a current AAPL shareholder, and Mac user/evangelist, he is a hero of sorts, but when it comes to computers in general, my early involvement, and the joy I got when I was a kid, I now know that it is you I have to thank for putting in the blood, sweat and tears (not to mention putting up with Steve Jobs!).
I almost never use the //c anymore, but even at 17 years old, it still boots up, and still runs programs off those flimsy floppies. I even found a girl recently who had a //e and used to play Below The Root! Too bad, she was not interested in going out with me. Her loss :)
I have a "cool" Web site at http://www.stealth.net which you will find amusing, if not creative and cool, just for the navigation metaphor.
Thanks, Woz, for inventing the machine that made me love computers, and helping start the company that has shaped so many important details in my adult computing life. Whether you wanted it or not, whether you cared or not, you made a difference to a lot of people, and I, for one, will forever cherish that. You're my hero.
For quite a long time I laid quite low and had no idea that so many people were fans for the right reasons. I figured that many were fans just because they had the Apple Macintosh and loved it, as I do, and heard my name. But so many were touched the right way by the Apple ][. It truly had an impact that no modern computer can. In your own story I see that a couple of simple things (games, BBS, flashing names, etc.) that truly inspired you. I look back to my own such experiences in my youth, largely before computers but related to science and electronics, so emotionally that I know that those experiences truly shaped my life. Even my father, an engineer, is very important to me now, more so than when he was around. I'm even thankful for the 'right' books that I stumbled on that gave me direction here.
Before computers, many fewer of us typed. But I was a very good typist, even acing out the girls in typing 2 in HS. I'm not so fast anymore, because I switched to Dvorak and use a tiny PowerBook keyboard, but...Anyway, at one point in my life, my third year of college, the most important thing I owned was an IBM Selectric Typewriter. Steve Jobs and I got a couple for a blue box, The next year, my most important possession would be my HP-35 calculator. But when I got to designing what became the early Apple computers I had to have the circuitry complete and in front of me and usable like a typewriter. Being around HP calculators was a boon to seeing computers this way too. So I always liked computers that sat right in front of you, like a typewriter. I use only PowerBooks these days. The Apple ][c was truly my favorite Apple ][. It had to be plugged in, but with an LCD screen it was incredibly small in it's day. I'm always glad to be reminded of it by people like you.
Your web site is VERY cool and really grabbed me instantly. Instantly it seems a lot more negotiable than almost any others, even if you're a Windows user. If mine gets done in this style you won't sue me for violating your look and feel, will you? (kidding)
Good luck, and don't get fooled as to what is good and what is junk.
Woz, (I hope this gets to you)
Thanks for helping start the thing that has defined my life.
Computers have given me my life and living. I thank you you for making it possible. I think computers aren't as fun an cool as they used to be in the "old days".
I started out with a TRS-80 Model I, but drooled over Apple ]['s, and planned to buy one and upgrade it with stuff from Applied Engineering. By the time I got the money together to do that, The Apple ][ and AE were history. I am a proud owner of a PowerComputing PowerCenter 132, a Performa 6116 and an Apple ][c.
I also helped author the Apple ][ version of FACTS+ (www.programsteppe.com). It's educational software for autistic children. Charlie would love to hear from you, and would gladly send you a copy for your review. FACTS+ is a lot like your designs. Not flashy, but solid and works well.
I also used to work for the NE Distributor of Corvus Hard Drives (Lawrence S. Epstein Assoc.). Those were fun times. Did you ever get to see The "Corvus Concept" computer. It was a Mac before the Mac.
It was a 68000 computer with a Ball monitor, I think it used CPM-68k, but was based on the Apple ][ design. I know it used Apple ][ Cards (Serial, Floppy, Corvus). It was a great system.
I used to sell these drives to Microsoft in their Albuquerque days. But I doubt Bill would remember me now.
I know there were too few to make this real, but I'd love to get a hold of a working Apple I or a replica just to play with. I did see one of the originals in the Smithsonian. Not too sure if it was an Apple I or an Apple ][.
I'm on the lookout for a 20th Anniversary Mac. One day I'll spot one I can afford.
I appreciate the direction you've chosen in life. I am doing something similar in mine. I just wanted to say hi to you. Thanks for all you do. Al H.
Thanks for the note. You do bring back memories, including the Corvus Concept. I can look back and see how important the Apple I was now. Good luck getting or seeing one!
I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with you.
In 1984 I bought a Apple //c, and to this date I view it as one of the best computers I ever had. It was so easy to use, and it just has a look of quality!
While I am now using a 'PC' I still think that the //c was an awesome machine! I think you guys had a wonderful machine in the // series, and I was sad to see it go.
Also while I never had a //GS, I did get a chance to see one and I was amazed with it's beautiful graphics, and it amazing sound abilities!
I also liked the way you were shown in the movie. I thought you were shown as a kind and gentle person, someone whom I would like to meet someday.
I wish you the best in all that you do, and I hope that you are still creating new machines. Some day I would like to see you create the next Apple //!
Thanks for your generous remarks.
I'm glad that you liked the way that I was portrayed in the movie. I'm exactly like that. I can't understand how so many get so rich and forget about the few that were around joking with them and helping debug things from the start.
I especially liked my ][c, with an LCD panel to boot. It was so great and transportable.