Macintosh

Microsoft apps for the Macintosh

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I knew that you guys (Apple) got the GUI from Xerox... But why on earth would Jobs let Xerox and Co. even get a look at the Mac before it hit the streets? I mean, jeez... I understand why Xerox let you guys see the technology.... The Xerox 'Brass' had no vision, but Jobs did.

Woz

Steve wanted Microsoft to write some apps for the Macintosh.

Kewl

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Charlie Daniels Jr is my best friend. He and Big Charlie both are big Macintosh fanatics! I sent the link to your site to Charlie yesterday when I found it. He is vacationing in Colorado and has his Powerbook with him. He was going to pay you a visit.

Woz

Kewl

Apple in movies

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I have a question which I have been pondering for a while and I think you might be a man that can answer it. I have seen a lot of movies in my time and when a computer is involved in a movie say an actor is actually using it or it's just in the background it alwyas seems to be a Macintosh computer never a PC. You don't see Windows 95/98 running on these computers in the movies for example in American Pie that kid is using a Mac for transmitting video using a netcam. What gives? Is it Apple's marketing? or is it that Macintosh screens have better refresh rates? I'd appreciate an answer

Woz

There are lots of reasons like Apple actually lobbying to have it's computers in movies. But the most likely reason to me is that the sorts of people that make movies use Macintoshes. Most of the real interesting people like that whom I meet seem to use Macs.

Mac

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I know that the Mac isn't really "your" computer (like the II) but you still seem pretty fond of it so I wonder what's your take on Apple's "plans" for the Mac. It seems that Steve Jobs is going to kill off the Mac and replace it with a "super NeXTcomputer". The Mac of today doesn't really remind me of the early Mac (from a hardware perspective). Perhaps it's the big screen (mine's 21", not quite like the "SE" sat to my right), perhaps it's the shape (a blue tower?!) perhaps it's just the PowerPC. All I know is; "It's Mac Jim but not as we knew it!". With the ripping out of the MacOS early this year (if all goes well) surly the Mac is dead in all but name. It's simply not the same beast.

What do you think of this? Would it be more accurate to call today's Mac the NeXTcomputer][? And what about OpenStep (oh MacOS X excuse me!) what do you think? Is this OS from the late 80's (or the 60's if you really trace it back) is this a good replacement to MacOS? I mean being crude; will you want one on your desk? What about the UI, how much Mac should they keep - what about "Finder" vs "Workspace Manager"?

I'd really like to hear your take on this. I have may happy memories from childhood of "playing" with my friend's Apple II (I actually wrote a program that did his billing for him - it was a scruffy little program but saved him a lot of time!) and knowing the a guy like you designed it makes those memories all the more special (we played a lot of games too!) Thanks in advance.

Woz

Your comments represent a lot of fears that loyal Macintosh owners have. To a large extent you are correct. But let's say that we took the Mac and tried to improve and fix it one step at a time. We'd likely wind up with something closer to OpenStep anyway. I'm sure that a great effort is being spent to make it feel right to Macintosh owners.

Then again, Steve Jobs comes from not using the Macintosh closely for some time. This can be an advantage in terms of moving on to a good machine for the future and leaving the past behind. We were too stagnated for too long. A lot of new Apple products are marketed to computer novitiates. The iMac and iBook are in this category. The effort is to reach new buyers, not former Macintosh users. To do this you have to have an exceptional machine and the past look and feel, and the past connectors, don't belong.

100% Mac hardware

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Long story short
Throughout the years, I've stuck with Apple, and am glad I have. My father and I now own a small "web solutions" firm near Akron, OH. Were run 100% Mac hardware (about 26 now), and are always proud of that fact. I love being a die-hard Apple guy, and am especially glad to see that you are doing well.

Woz

Good for you. I had to hope and struggle and fight to keep my own operation all Macintosh as the internet came in (finally succeeding in getting rid of a Sun) and I even saw a lot of my Macintosh friends give in a lot more. They were right in their own ways, but a lot of us have too much loyalties.

Questions

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A bunch of my friends are now Macintosh fans. Do you use a Mac? What kind? Do you like it? Why do you use Outlook Express??? Have you met Bill Gates? I hear he isn't the nicest of people is there any truth to that? Do you read the magazine Mac Addict? Do you know anything internet based that I can do to earn a little cash? Do you like RPG games like Dungeons and Dragons Visit the best web sites in the world?

Woz

I use Macintosh computers exclusively. I mainly use a PowerBook (G3/400) but also have a G4 minitower. My family uses lots of other models, including iMacs and iBooks and even the incredible 20th anniversary Macintosh.

I do use Outlook Express. It doesn't have a lot of things that I want (like dragging email addresses into the address book) but it's clean for what it does have.

I've never met Bill Gates.

I occasionally read MacAddict. I have so little free time, that's my problem.

Sorry, I don't have any specific internet based ideas for you.

I don't have time for RPG games (beyond a bare minimum) but my boys and their friends have always gone for RPG games in particular. That's the sort of game I would get into if I had the time and was younger.

The Macintosh

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Keeping this short. I love the Macintosh, I love Apple. Thank you for making Apple a great company. I have recently studied your role at Apple and I am in awe.

Woz

The best people love the Macintosh. But, to be fair, I helped start the great company with my Apple ][, which turned the world around, and I helped start a great company with a spotted history, but I didn't have as much personally to do with the Macintosh design as you might think.

One mouse button

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Question from E-mail

Just a few questions regarding your opinion of various technical differences between MacOS and Windows:

What do you think of Macs having only one mouse button?

Also, do you prefer the Macintosh re-usable menu bar, or do you think a separate menu bar per window (like MS Windows) is a better design?

As you will be aware, with Macintosh, when a dialog box is displayed the user cannot switch applications - the dialog box must be dealt with first; but with Windows the dialog box still allows the user to switch and use other applications, they just cannot do anything with the application to which the dialog box belongs to until it is dealt with. Which do you see as a better design?

Woz

We only have one brain, and for many that are new, or just not computer savvy, or old, or slow, the single button is much more comfortable. But when you look at the cortex of the brain, the amount of space allocated to your fingers outweighs almost any other part of your body. Fingers are very efficient and controllable. It's a shame to restrict this incredible operating plus. After all, we use all 10 fingers just fine to type. I love a 2 or 3 button mouse and find it as easy to use as going for command keys. I also love the scrolling wheels.

I don't always have only one answer on the menu bar question. I think that the MS way is the more logically correct way, but I find myself getting lost much less on the Macintosh. You don't have the desired menu per app or menu per window, but you always know where to go. Your fingers often learn to just instantly go somewhere, like on a video game, without having to partner with your eyes to see exactly where they are supposed to go this time.

Everyone hates modal dialog boxes, but a lot of them can be skipped. Often the application menu is not grayed out, and even if it is, command-tab might work.

I don't like Mac programing

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Well i've been interested in computers since my dad first bought a 386 and at the time it was the most up to date thing available. I never knew much of the history of computers (well not the time of the movie was based). I mastered the BASIC language (seems like ages ago) and have moved on to much more advanced languages.I'm sorry i do tend to drag on. But i just want to say i don't like mac programing but i love the hardware and from what i understand your the man behind it and i just want to say that I can't express in words what i think you've done for the world and inderectly for me. So thank you for your genius. I just want to ask you if you've had an active part in the designing of the new macs. and if you ever had any idea that computers, software, and the internet would ever amount to what it is now.Thank you on behalf of me and everyone at www.archaic.net (still getting out the kinks) :)

Woz

I'm glad that you appreciate the Macintosh hardware, but you're wrong to credit me in any way for it. My hardware design talents were applied to the Apple I and Apple ][ computers and related peripherals. This occured long ago. It was the basis for Apple's start and fame. The Apple ][ kicked off the personal computer recognition, and legitimazed the market. Although I was the sole logic designer and programmer and 'inventor' in this sense, the contributions of others, primarily Steve Jobs, were critical to how this computer struck the world. Without a nicely packaged product in an attractive, acceptable plastic case that said "I'm OK in your home" this product would have died like the other hobby computers for Nerds. Apple was successful not just because of a great piece of hardware but because of the right communications and the complete product (including manuals and ads and our employees and priorities) the world got the message that it was time to change a lot of things in our lives. Steve Jobs truly deserves the visionary credit here. The Macintosh came about in later years and it was truly Steve's project. There were actual hardware and software engineers that did the equivalent of what I'd done on the Apple ][ but I was not among them. At that time I'd returned to college and sponsored some huge rock concerts. (Just to set the record straight for you)

Your signature on the Mac

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In the comments I just read that you didn't work on the Macintosh. Why did my school's first Mac have your Woz signature on it? Just wondering.

Woz

After college and putting on some large rock concerts, I returned to Apple. John Sculley was just arriving and right away took resources off the losing Apple /// computer and revived the Apple ][. I was part of an engineering team trying to design a new and faster Apple ][. That project, the Apple ][x, got cancelled. By then, I was consumed with speeches and interviews and the like and couldn't design so I had my salary reduced below the real engineers. They soon thereafter went to the drawing boards again and came up with the workable approach of the Apple ][ GS, with a correct and plausable way of doing the graphics in particular.

The Apple ][GS team recognized me as a symbol of and some of the inspiration for this project. I was asked to supply a signature for a limited edition model. I gave a signature, figuring it was for 100 or 200 computers. But one day I was told that they made 50,000 of these. I was quite blown away.