I was not terribly happy with the very inaccurate ending of "Pirates." If I remember correctly, Microsoft helped Apple in order to not be sued by Apple for infringing on Apple's patents. Microsoft agreed to work on Office for the Mac and they also agreed to buy non-voting stock (which could be converted) in order to keep Apple from suing them... What is your spin!
You see what many miss, exactly. Plus, the stock is essentially from the shareholders, paid for with dilution, and is worth as much as it costs, on the average. So Microsoft lost nothing, Apple gained $125M, and it's shareholders lost $125M. But that loss was really a necessary and proper investment which was recovered (by the shareholders) once it helped the company become more healthy.
Just a note to say thanks for all you have done for Apple. Your contributions go a lot farther than you think. I grew up in a very inappropriate atmosphere... exposed to drugs and violence at a young age. My family life was the pits and I ended up on my own at the age of 15. I think one of the things that helped me keep my head on straight was the Apple computer. My elementary school principal was the first person in our town to own a computer (Apple II) and he had it in his office. One day, during a counseling session (family problems) he noticed I had an extreme interest in it and offered to let me use it for an hour a day. Little did I know that over the next few years my addiction to computers would make me see the world more clearly... make me realize I wanted more from life. Today I'm a photographer for the U.S. Air Force and use high end Macs at work all the time. I am currently working on my degree in computer science and hope to get it within a couple years. I'm happily married with four beautiful daughters that have no worries other than being children... just the way it should be. Apple is now a part of my children's lives as they use our iMac at home.
I know you are well known for your contributions as an engineer... but your contributions to Apple changed my life.
I never imagined how many extremely touching emails like this one would arrive. There should be a book of all these stories where computers basically saved people's lives and gave them direction and purpose. I'm glad that someone with your values has some children to share computers with. We feature famous people in our ads but we should be featuring people like yourself instead.
The fact that your children have an iMac at home to use lends credibility to your comment about Apple changing your life.
I also see in the same book, (Infinate Loop) that you lost your drive and your edge, and that some say you got caught up being the WOZ..... I think that you just got tired.
It's possible that I lost my drive and edge. But did I lose my drive and then go in other directions because of it, or did I go in other directions and find great satisfaction and let some things, like engineering, slip away? The truth is closer to the latter. My kind of intense, best in the world, engineering was very very hard and I knew that no human could keep it up for long. When I departed Apple a second time it was to start a company and make a small programmable remote control. I did engineering and wrote the code for one of the internal microprocessors myself. I used a Mac, an Apple ][c, and an Apple ][e throughout this development, those were my main tools (the Mac for non-engineering things). The code for the second, and main, microprocessor wasn't coming easily so I flew to Hawaii to work on it for a week without phone calls and interruptions. Every day for a month I loved looking out to the sea. I came back and decided right then to hire other engineers for this task. I looked more at my young children. Other personal changes ensued. I've remained pretty comfortable ever since, although I never have a minute without something to do. But what do you expect with lots of kids still in school.
I do feel more tired today than back 'then' and I do want to take life easy. But I remember while designing the Apple I and Apple ][ explaining to people that I was actually lazy, and designed things with very few chips so I'd have less construction to do and less to debug. I used this 'laziness' excuse with my software being tight also. Maybe I believed in laziness even back then, even while I designed 2 computers and peripherals and wrote BASIC and much more code, all in a year, all while working days at Hewlett Packard.
My question is, would you personally have any hesitancy at this point in time to make a fairly large investment in a Macintosh computer? I want to go with Mac, but I keep getting hit with "PC's are just as good and less expensive" and "Mac OS isn't going to be around much longer." Since I am NOT an engineer who understands the details of operating systems, a lot of the explanations of why PC's have or have not caught up are lost on me. But I do know that my computers have been a dream to work on.
My time is pretty short and these are just my opinions:
The answer is possibly in what you need to do with the computer. Different platforms might have an advantage for certain tasks. Assuming that the PC and Mac both qualify here, the answer is in your own psychology. Do you want to be a part of the Mac struggle. We are a closely knit group that tries to help each other a lot and find solutions when they are needed. Because it's more important to us, we are extremely passionate about our platform. You might prefer the safety of the most (not best) software selections or the most friends to help you fix things. It's no fun to fix any computer problem, but from what I hear, PC's are much much worse here.
I hope that this helps you. It's strange, asking ME to advise you for or against the Mac.