Dear Woz, How old are your boys? Maybe if they are around my age we can talk or something, you can give them my e-mail address? Why don't you have any spare time? Is there any assistant work you want me to do for you? I am very trust worthy and I have references; and for you I will work for free anytime. I have a Power Mac 6100; actually I am the only person I know with such an old computer. If I get a chance to sell my $1000-$1500 clarinet at a pawn shop or whatever I may be able to get an upgrade; but that is the most I can afford. As you can see my parents aren't very cooperative in my computing.
My boys are 12 and 17 but I'm careful not to ever have them bothered with all the things that come to me, like this. I have no spare time because I get about 100 emails a day like yours, and I get maybe 100 more of other types. This is after I cut down on some Macintosh email lists because it got to the point that I had no family life at all.
My style is to be as direct as possible. I had assistants for years but that often cost me time in getting what I wanted or getting said what I wanted said. I now have almost no such assistance.
Now, I look across Silicon Valley with it's traffic and pollution and super-speed pace. There must be a better way. Have you given any thought as how to reshape the business society so that people no longer have to drive to work? I'm talking about a virtual business with no central office location.
I am about to embark on a startup with this workplace in mind. And I would like to know what you think.
It's surely coming. It may take decades. What do we drive at all for? To take vacations, to shop, to get gas, to go to work. Once enough of these needs are gone, we may stop using cars and only have mass transportation to get to interesting places. Just in time, since we won't have that much choice someday, when gas runs out.
Over the last few years, I've noticed Sun Microsystems has been trying to get into the home computing market by introducing NC and the Sun Ray (thin client computers). Apple computers has been doing something similar. The iMac and iBook are not true thin client computers; but, the idea has been the same where they are trying to get their computers more Internet-oriented.
In my opinion, Sun should get out of the home computing market and stick to what they do best with their enterprise servers. However, I think apple has a better chance at introducing the thin client concept than sun does. What do you think? After all, apple is the 2nd or 3rd largest computer manufacturer in the world...
A lot of smart people are seeing the world go the same way, that's all.
By the way, I forgot to mention that I read an article on you about you being at the Macworld expo. Here is a piece of it:
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was spotted walking over to the exhibit hall after the speech. "I cried," said Wozniak, in reaction to Jobs' decision. "It felt just like the old days, with Steve making announcements that shook my world."
Come back to Apple computers Woz! It would help the company and give it some good publicity!
Well, I did actually cry at two places. The imovie with the kids was so good, and then when Steve announced his CEO plans it felt like yesterday's dreams had returned.
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.
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.
I never thought I've have the opportunity to say "thanks" for what you did. You made a remarkable contribution to the world. Now, watch what I'm going to do with what I learned because of you. Better yet..... join me and perhaps eclipse your previous accomplishment.
I believe that the persons that believe that they are going to make it are the ones that do. I will join you but only in my heart as I have no time at all beyond just barely keeping up with email (about 14 hours of it today, and still not caught up)
Hello. I was fooling around on my Apple ][e the other today and finally noticed it's monitor says "monitor///" on it. It's a bit wider than the ][e, so I guess it's an Apple /// monitor. I wanted to ask you: what was it you think about the Apple /// that just didn't work? I've heard it wasn't all that bad a machine, but I've seen pictures of it and sure looks big and bulky. The built-in 5.25in floppy drive idea wasn't seen again, as far as I know, until the Apple ][c Plus (which I used to own, w/ a built in 3.5in floppy on the side of the keyboard). I also heard there were some heating/cooling problems with it. Is what I have heard true?
The Apple /// had a lot of hardware problems, including heat problems and PC traces that were too thin for that time and which shorted out. Also, the clock chip had to initially be left out due to a chip problem. There was very little software at first. Of the 5 main programs that we'd planned, only one was ready, the one being written outside of Apple (Visicalc). It had an Apple ][ mode but we actually added chips to disable functions, like the 80 column display and extra RAM. This was done so that users wouldn't think that the Apple ][ was good for business. It was a marketing concept.
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
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.
What I'm interested in is how you learned all you did about electronics and such. I've always been interested in electronics but for some reason I just can't seem to quite understand how I would go from reading a schematic and building a cuircit to drawing my own diagrams and creating a device that actually does something. Every time I'm reminded of how you built a whole computer from scratch in your garage, I just sort of sit in awe for a few seconds. Granted, you are probably the most popular of the garage hackers, but others have done so as well. Where do you start on something like that? How do you know where to start?
Although I'm not current on this stuff I have some suggestions.
You could look for electronics industry magazines. They aren't on popular magazine shelves but you can find them in companies and libraries. Try to subscribe to some. Start filing interesting electronic component ads and articles and notes. Order any chip manuals or the like that you can. Get current with what's going on there.
If you get a manual for a microprocessor it will have lots of schematics of how to construct a working device. You can buy some microprocessors with pre-programmed languages and I/O built in, ones with pins that you can attach to.
You might start with simple chips like counters and registers and shift registers and gates and try designing some simple projects like frequency generators or frequency counters. You'll probably need to use an oscilloscope for this. You'll learn so much even if you don't build this. Then you'll be ready to look for better chips for the same thing.
You can probably buy chips that output graphics and video from a microprocessor to your TV for the next step. These projects will cost a little and take some time but the learning will never be forgotten, and the techniques by which you achieve your goal will remain forever.
I used to think that when I came up with an approach to a certain circuit, I couldn't really assign what was in my head to a company that I worked for. All the little pieces of computer circuit learning, and coding too, that was in me was all I had to go on for my future.
Currently I do not own a MAC. The main reason for that is because I am a hardcore gaming enthusiast. I think that that might change in the future and I am considering buying an iMac for my wife and daughter. I work as a Network Administrator, primarily with WindowsNT. Strangely enough, I do not advocate the use or purchase of Microsoft products. I make a living solving problems with these products. Needless to say, there is PLENTY of work to keep me busy. But on a personal level, (when I am not playing computer games), I am working with Linux. If I do purchase an iMac for my wife, I will dual boot it to Linux for my own use. I have also seen BeOS in action on an iMac and was very impressed.
I have a question for you if you have time:
One thing that I think could really help Apple right now, would be to go completely open source with its OS and possibly move its OS to one based on Linux or FreeBSD. Over the years I have heard only two complaints from ANYONE about the prospect of owning a Mac. The first is a lack of applications. While this is not wholly true, I think that the number of apps available could be dramatically increased if they moved their OS in the direction that I suggested above. The second complaint was the difficulty or inability of upgrading your Mac as opposed to a PC. Firstly, I don't know enough about Mac hardware to know if that is true or not, but my guess is that if it ever was true, its not so today. The reason being that most PC's (Mac's included) are at a point where they are so far over powered for today's applications that upgrading is totally unnecessary for at least 3 or 4 years which is the expected life of the machine anyway.
Apple prides itself on keeping greater compatibility by strictly controlling the hardware and OS and having less configurations to deal with. That might go against Open source. I would certainly favor Open Source though. I think that a lot of future OS 'improvers' would get educated this way. Examining code and trying to understand it is a better way to learn than from books. Associating the Macintosh with Linux would be the most positive thing Apple could do to be accepted everywhere. But Linux is UNIX and the underlying kernel of MacOS X will be MACH, which is also UNIX. It just may not be as popular as Linux.
While upgrading Macintosh hardware is often not easily accomplished, the basic elements (RAM, HD, Keyboard, peripherals, PCI cards) are easy to upgrade. It's just not so in the consumer models, the iMac and iBook. The audience for these products is better off not including upgrade in their vocabulary. Upgrading causes more problems than it fixes. Isn't that why you are working with WindowsNT and not willing to buy Microsoft for yourself?