Windows

The copies weren't as good

in
Comment from E-mail

I am just commenting on what I have read about the comments made about the "Pirates of Silicon Valley". My ex husband had been using Apple computers then the Mac since 1985, he was a systems design engineer.

When the "clones" started appearing, I had always stated that their OS reminded me of the Apple/Mac OS only to be told that I was the one that did not know what I was talking about. (That was by computer instructors) It was very reassuring to me to see it pointed out that the operating system for the clones was pirated from Apple. Something that I had always realized and no one believed.

To have been around in the era of when home computing was born, I find it to be an privilege and yet a burden at the same time. There are many out there that did not and still may not realize what went on in the early days of home computing...Deb L.

Woz

For years, we Mac users knew how much better a computer system we had. Then the PC clones appeared running the Windows OS from Microsoft. It was so sad to see the copiers win out, particularly since the copies weren't as good.

Linux

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Comment from E-mail

I am better than everyone I know at computers. That's why I choose Linux because it was more advanced. Windows sucks and there aren't enough non-desktop publishing apps ported to the Mac. But I would choose a Mac over windows, because Windows is always crashing and its slow and looks awful. But it has the most apps. You cant win all the time.

Woz

For different people, different platforms are the best. It's closely integrated with how we view ourselves too. Windows is too closely associated with corporations excluding the Macintosh platform as a form of corporate bigotry, that I find it too offensive to use as a person. Linux does suffer from a lack of apps for some kinds of people, notably Macintosh users. But I have yet to hear that Linux is as bad as any other platform in it's possibilities.

About the IIGS

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Question from E-mail

My question to you is: Do you regret the demise of the II line in the same way that many of its enthusiasts did (and do)? Was the IIGS a promise of more great things to come, with built in command line interface, backwards compatibility, ease of use and a great OS, or simply a compromise "bridge" that was made in a half hearted attempt to appease the large number of II users? I still remember the bitter disappointment when the IIGSx (10mhz, 640x480 video - yohoo!) never came out.

Woz

Your question has more than a single answer. I don't regret the fact that the Apple ][ was demised. Even I switched for good reasons. I do regret the fact that because there was superior technology, Apple gave up on the Apple ][ support too fast and drastically. It's strong sales should have been supported and gradually switched to products like the Apple ///, the LISA, and the Macintosh. For the last 3 years that the Apple ][ was the best selling personal computer in the world, Apple had almost totally withdrawn from it.

I think that this might have been personally motivated. Everyone wants to claim credit for this marvelous invention and the most notable company formation of recent times. The best way is to invent another marvelous computer that overshadows the first. None of the people running Apple had really conceived or invented or designed the Apple ][. Naturally, they needed another good one to demonstrate their own prowess. In the case of the Apple /// and the Macintosh, those in charge didn't want to support the Apple ][ much because it was strong competition with their own products. The LISA team really didn't bring much conflict to bear, at least not that I perceived directly.

A lot of the problem in Apple bringing such satisfying products to market is that the personal computer market exploded, and products have to be rushed to market without the psychological research and product corrections to make them really nice and easy, the way it was supposed to be. I still believe in the LISA dreams of the software being so obvious to use that it was hard to make a mistake and that mistakes were clearly explained. These dreams, of a computer being so helpful to people, were carried over to the Macintosh. But time has proven that we didn't do a very good job of appeasing the users. In my opinion, Windows did much worse, but to be fair it might be because there are so many more companies and companies making products for PC's, with correspondingly more conflicts and artifacts that are impossible to handle properly. The Macintosh has the advantage of fewer options and therefore fewer conflicts. In these terms, you can see why the Apple ][ was so satisfying, it had very little that could mess you up.

Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, etc...

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Question from E-mail

First I want to say thank you, not just for your contributions as an engineer but for serving as a valuable role model as well. My personal experiences with computers evolved from the C64's to Apple IIe's, Windows then UNIX (several varieties) and now I feel as though I found the perfect OS with Linux. With all the discussion of Mac vs. Windows it seems like other good options don't get the recognition they deserve. I would like to know your opinions on these alternative OSes (Linux, FreeBSD, BeOS, etc...) as well as the open source movement. Have you ever played around with any of the other systems and if so do you think it possible that you might switch to something other than a Mac?

Woz

It's only been Apple ][ and Mac for me. I used a little UNIX in the far past, and have to touch on it for some of the network equipment that I administer.

Over the years I met so many people doing things with Atari computers, particularly the Amiga, that were not easily doable with Macs or any other PC, that I was very impressed. Many of the best people ('best' meaning those that want things other than normal and that can't stop moving and all) are into Linux so I admire it. But with all my time consumed with a large family and many computers to maintain and a network too, and mail and magazines and updates and all, I won't have time for things like Linux for quite a while. I actually look forward to my children being gone.

Mac vs Windows?

in
Question from E-mail

How do you feel about the Mac vs. Windows war that some computer users
engage in?

Woz

I'm surprised at the extent of the bigotry. But it really plays out
when companies or schools take a side and prohibit the other platform
at all. We Mac users should be good even when the other side is bad. We
should do what we can to accept the other platforms. All the best people
in life seem to like LINUX.

A comment from a school

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Comment from E-mail

Hello My name is Phil Grace, I am the tech cooridinator at Heber Springs public schools in Heber Springs, AR. For years our school has been a windows only school that's how it was when I came here 2 yrs ago. I was also a windows only user for years as well until we had virus problems in our business labs that shut them down for about 2 weeks. During that time I was just fed up with windows so I started to look and investigate alternitive os options mainly Linux. I really enjoyed Linux it is a very good system but the desktop isn't there yet. It's not that user friendly and the mainstream software isn't available. So I moved on in my quest and while doing some research I found out that there hasn't been a virus created for OS X. This really intriged me and I wanted to find out more about Apple. So after seeing the machines that Apple is building, and getting a chance to try one it was love at first sight. I had seen the light of the tech world, this wasn't just a temporary fix like anti-virus software, or windows patches, this was the solution. As soon as I got the chance I started moving in the Apple direction for our district. We do have a ways to go but so far about half of the library now has Mac Minis, one of our business labs that specializes in multimedia is all mac, the new server that serves our whole district is now an xserve, we have a mobile lab with iBooks, and I am typing this on an iMac G5 right now. The students are really getting into Macs and iLife, teachers are really enjoying it to. Woz thank you for the contribution that you made to the world of technology, the world needs a company and computer like Apple. Phil Grace Technology Cooridnator Heber Springs School District