Your story has changed me and I hope that this reaches you…
Comment from E-mail
Dear Mr Wozniak,
These letters provide an insight to who Woz is, however, if you are reading and see somebody ask, "What is your current favorite computer?" and he says something like, "The Powerbook G3", just try to place it in time. Keep in mind, these letters have been collected over time.
Dear Mr Wozniak,
I realize you’re swamped with emails, but I had to send this…
I was first introduced to computers (Apple //+ at the time) when I was 12 years old, and began programming in BASIC on the Apple at age 13 (this was back around 1982/83)… Since that time, I’ve been hooked on personal computers, from the Apple //e, the Mac, the Amiga, and of course, the PC. I’ve used them all.
However, if not for the Apple //, and the opportunities that it opened for me, I don’t know what job I would have today. The thought of not using computers, quite frankly, disturbs me…
Today, I too am a teacher. I teach a number of computer courses (computer graphics, design, video editing, etc), as well as media courses such as television production and broadcasting. It’s a great and satisfying feeling to be able to share my computer knowledge and experience with my students – I truly enjoy it.
I’d like to thank you for opening that door for me by designing and building a computer that was affordable enough for my parents to buy, with an elegant design that allowed seemingly limitless experimenting and tinkering.
And here’s a personal account for you. I still remember the first time that I ever saw an Apple //. The memory is still vivid, even from age 12. My father had brought me into a new college computer lab outfitted with Apples, and was typing in a BASIC program. When he backspaced over the text to type in a correction, I asked how he did it, and he showed me the backspace key. That was all it took – I was entering my own programs the next year.
I respect the fact that you’re teaching children now. I respect that very greatly… You’re opening doors for them in the same way that you opened a door for me some 18 years ago, and hopefully, many of them will find their own career path in the same way and return to thank you as well!
Your first Apple ][ memory is a good one. Those of us who were there can see what it means to have an outstanding memory from age 12. It’s a very life shaping thing to see a program correction made for the first time ever. I remember the time I ran a wire up the block to a friend’s house and we hooked up telegraph keys (we could both do Morse code, and I myself was a ham radio operator) and speakers. I heard my friend talking and was shocked. The speakers were also microphones. That took our neighborhood intercom to a new level and we got mikes and amplifiers from then on. Unexpected surprises are the best way to learn, because it means more.
It’s this exact sort of experience that I’ve wanted to bring to young kids my whole life, and which is a major part of the reason that I like teaching. It doesn’t happen every day but it’s wonderful to see when students unexpectedly ‘get’ something.
Keep up the good things that you do.
I had sent this to Laura back when PoSV had just aired, and everyone in the world was sending you tons of email. I can understand why you either never got it or never replied. However, in light of reading your interview on Slashdot, I figured I would reasoned it to you, since it is likely something you would appreciate seeing. The only thing I can think of which would sum up how I feel about you is “Thank you for being who you are.” You’re simply amazing. If the world were made up entirely of people like you, there would be no wars, no violence, and everyone would just be happier. Not to mention that technology would likely be superior to what it is today. You rock my world, Woz.
Here’s what may have happened. First, Laura and one other person failed to forward a ton of email to me promptly after the “Pirates” movie, and they hit me with far too many to answer. The unanswered batch grew to 1,000 and I still have it. I’ve since changed the main web site mailing to hit me directly so that doesn’t happen again. Laura is a very good person, it’s just that the email deluge from “Pirates” and my revamped web site (thanks to the webmaster, Al Luckow, who does it voluntarily to help me out) was unexpected.
But in your case something else is more likely. Someday, when the email is too heavy, I answer the short ones and print the long ones to get to later. Sometimes I have to pass them up altogether as they get outdated. I assure you that the ones that get missed are less than 5%, maybe as low as 1%.
Your original answer is in a separate email.
Ummm… I have no idea if you’ll even read this, but here goes.
Thankyou *so* much for putting time into woz.org, through which I’ve been wading for the last couple of hours, reading the comments and so on. I’ve read other things about you through other sources but few actually made me as happy as your own site.
That’s my prize comment of the day and it truly makes my day. My site was floundering and not kept up for years. All it had was the WozCam. I’ve sacrificed a lot to spend so much time answering so many questions. It’s kind of like the performer that actually takes the time to do that sort of thing. You remember it in a good way. A similar story was when I saw Barry Manilow, whose music I don’t even love or really care for. He was so respectful to the audience that it showed and he became sort of a hero of my own. At one point he brought a random stranger on-stage to sing a sing with him. He even wrapped his arms around her as they sang. At the end of the song, a helper ran out from the side and actually presented the audience member with a VHS tape of it. How thoughtful! I’ve seen many performers bring audience members on stage but never saw another hand them a tape.
It is so good to be able to hear what you have to say about things rather than having it painted by someone else’s brush (I remember hearing somewhere that you don’t read books on Apple because they have a tendency to stuff up some of the details), and the sheer amount of replies you’ve written practically answers all the questions I would have asked you anyway. Thankyou. And again: thankyou. A round of applause. I’m looking forward to your autobiography, if you ever get round to it.
Well, that relieves me of as much email, I hope. But if some big thing happens, like another “Pirates” movie, I’m sure that I’d have to miss answering most email due to lack of time.
Very little of the stuff on my website gets close to the heart of my autobiography, which has been postponed for years despite interest and contracts from publishers. It’s similar to “Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feinman.” Apple and things like that are only in the background of a very entertaining and interesting story. I know that I want to write it myself. Some tries with ghost writers failed because I didn’t want to contribute much time and I knew that I’d not likely be satisfied with the results anyway. Without putting in a lot of effort on my own, they never even got me samples of what they might write.
Hi, I watched the movie again today, and as everyone else, it brings back memories. I do not have any questions for you regarding the movie since you have answered most of them for me, but I do want to say thanks. I am the CEO and owner of a Microsoft Solution Provider company that develops custom applications. I am the proud owner of an Apple II+, IIE, and believe it or not, an Apple clone I bought in 83. I was 14 years old when my father bought my first computer. I quickly became submersed in the computer world. I lived on the BBs systems and ran one called “The Trading Post” in the south for years. We had over 100 calls a day and it was exciting. Obviously I have moved over to the Bill Gates world, but only because I felt that Apple did not have the business applications I needed to do what I was good at, which is developing business applications to solve business problems. Anyway, it was your computer that kept me going and made me what I am today. Thanks for everything.
Good people work for Microsoft, and Microsoft develops some good products too. It’s just not fair when they use their power to keep others from doing so. The important thing is that your important formative memories involved the Apple ][.
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.
I’m a teacher too. I work in Clovis California, for the Clovis Unified School District. Recently the technology direction of my school district has been under a former Silicon Valley “techno-it-all”. Under his regime we have no longer been able to purchase any Apple product at all because “the real world” uses PC’s and Apple is going out of business as everyone knows. My school is a lone member of the dwindling rebel alliance that still survives (barely) in this oppressive climate. It wouldn’t bother me if other schools chose on their own what they wanted to use. If they wanted IBM’s, well that’s fine! I would at least like some creative autonomy. What I want to know from you is would you work in a school district like this ? What would you do ? No one seems to be willing to stand up for the individuals. It’s all about conformity.
We’ve heard that abused children grow up to be abusers. If the technical staff of a school and the individual teachers are treated with a lack of respect their self esteem is lowered. This gets passed on to their students. Teachers that prefer Macintosh should be allocated Macintosh. The technical support group should not override this as long as the teacher is willing to provide the needed support, or knows that the technical staff may not be able to provide it. If your school district is large enough to justify even a single Apple technical support person, one should be added for this purpose. Macintosh/PC networks work a dozen ways.
We work that way in our own, primarily Macintosh, district. Basically, a single person and a few part time techs keep 600 Macintosh computers running, using a file management tool to keep the computer software maintained automatically. Macintosh NetBoot, available for newer Macintosh computers, helps minimize the maintenance for Macs as well.
Which Mac do you find yourself using most these days?
The PowerBook G3 series. Ever since the first PowerBook, which I could bring to the bedroom, I’ve never gone back.
I like the long battery life and DVD movie capability and built in 10/100 ethernet and modem and USB: it’s the professional model. I’m looking for the next one with FireWire.
I like the freedom of portability. I’ve got most of the Macs in my home running on Apple’s AirPort RF network, even though I don’t have to. I like having a highly networked home.
I disagree completely with you about Microsoft being a monopoly: while Microsoft was hardly improving Windows (3.0 3.11 95 98 NT 2000), Apple did not change anything (besides cosmetic changes) to improve its product and compete! Only with MacOS X will Apple have the same features Windows NT has had since 1994 ! It’s unfair to say it is a monopoly just because the competition did not have competence to see what was happening with their competitor and improve their products !!!
The gas station example is wrong. This is better: Imagine 5 car companies improving their cars for years. Four of them were just changing the colors of the car each year, while the other one were improving the engine, brakes, suspension and sound system. Ten years later the 4 companies claims the other one is a monopoly because the majority ofconsumersprefers to buy the other car ! Is this fair?
You should read the judge’s determination. Microsoft has an OS monopoly and had it all the way back to DOS days. They use this monopoly illegally to enter other markets like the Web browser market and to exclude other companies from these markets. All the innovation that can possibly occur in these cases has to be attributed to them, as they don’t allow others to do a better job. This is what my car example was. Your example is all wrong and has nothing to do with illegal monopoly power. In fact, there’s no way that Microsoft could have used their OS monopoly more illegally than they did in their effort to secure a browser market share that they couldn’t have come close to achieving on a level playing field.
At least Microsoft had the good sense to see what Apple had and copy it.
I still remember the ad Apple Computer ran showing an Apple ][ being used to monitor operations on an offshoree oil platform. I think we forget the *variety* of uses the first computers like the Apple ][ saw. In a day where computers get used for little more than games, surfing the Net, and word processing, it is interesting to note that early “home” computers like the Apple ][ were used for decoding satellite images, monitoring heartbeats for oscilloscopes, etc. Those computers brought out the imagination and skills of a generation of teens and college kids. It seems like almost every MIS person got their start with an Apple ][ or the likes.
That’s good of you to remember these things. We sure do tend to forget the Apple ][‘s importance in creating this company and industry.
When you call Apple to order stuff and you give them your name, do people recognize you and say “Hey, your that dude that created Apple!”
I order Apple stuff online. I doubt that any human ever sees the names. But once I ordered a gigabit ethernet option. Apple noticed two months later that only two of these had been ordered, both by me! I do get noticed every time I buy shareware, and that brings me a lot of T-shirts that I get good use out of.
Steve, Hey, I just found your web site! I have always wanted to be able to send a maser to you, but it took discovery of your site with its nice invitation to send letters to get me going.
I have been an Apple fan since in high school. Dad bought a very early apple II (before the plus) It was about serial number 3700. I got started in electronics tech school shortly afterward and the Apple was great for learning hardware/software development. Printers were very expensive back then, and as a near kid ended up getting a IBM Selectric IO terminal (upper case only) and designed, built and learned assembly from the built in monitor. Got it to print just fine!
I ended up with a genuine Apple I computer in college, and used it to learn more about digital h/w. Ended up banking some DRAM’s piggyback, added a Write protect jumper for the back to keep my buggy as code from trashing everything. Added Parallel ports, timers, and a DAC to do that sinusoidal waveform synthesis stuff. I remember reading that there were folks making touch tones with DAC’s…
Most of all I am to this day still telling folks how efficient Apple computer was at designing hardware. The Apple I was only the size of a terminal board, but was a full computer. The Apple II was miles better integrated than anything else, and even when IBM came out it was SO FULL OF CARDS to do the same work. The Mac was a again really excellent.
So I went from electronic tech, to engineer and was always thinking and talking apple – like the story of how you re-laid out the disk controller to get rid of a few feedthroughs. Everything was so good for the day – the Apple I disk controller, the II disk drive I/O card gee the little 256byte monitor for the Apple I was cool.
Steve – , and I really liked the back page Fine Home-building piece on the cave you built for your kids. That magazine went to work and we all sat around the lab talking about it.
P.S. I’ve got a basement of old stuff, the apple I, a few apple II’s, a few IIe’s a few IIc’s, an Apple III, an IMSAI and an Altair. And a bunch of Mac’s, Just can’t bear to part with them. However due to space reasons, gone are the KIM-1, AIM-64 and a whole bunch of other computers. I’m glad I saved what I did, just thinking about the KIM and AIM has got me a bit wistful.
Someday I’ve got to take a photo of the Apple I. It looks so cobbled up, I feel bad about the cuts and jumpers on it now, but it sure helped a me learn about computers – and besides it looks like a hobbyist who really did use the thing.
Your story is one just like my own life, learning by seeing and modifying and having technical skills. With a couple of years difference you could have started Apple, clearly. You are so lucky to have the old equipment. I can hardly believe that you actually have an Apple I. I got rid of a lot of my old stuff because it was taking up 4 storage lockers, and I’ve regretted it ever since. I had about every Apple ][ program and peripheral ever up until some point.
The cave that I built didn’t really work out. It wasn’t attractive enough for kids to use as a hangout. But some secret spaces through the walls and in hidden attics with peep holes and more, things that had no practical reason in a home, turned out great for the kids.
When Apple moved from the Apple ][ line to the Mac line, where and why was the decision to move to a closed architecture? I thought that Apple suitors were the hobbyist and as such would have more of a hardware/software development contribution… In reflection on programming graphics with peek and poke, I was wondering why an interpreted language rather than a compiled language was developed. Was this the Microsoft DEC BASIC vs. Woz HP BASIC approach we discussed previously?
The closed architecture was in line with attempts to bring computers down to less technical people. Does the phrase “for the rest of us” ring a bell. Although that phrase referred to the way the software worked, there was a strong feeling that some people were turned off by too much visible technology. There might have been personal reasons within Apple to minimize the technology aspect, since the technology emphasis came largely from me and not the other Apple execs. I don’t feel that it was a good or needed thing to restrict access like this. Even the designers wanted more access and at least a “test” port but Steve Jobs nixed that.
I’d never written a computer language or studied writing one. I’d also never used BASIC, only FORTRAN and ALGOL and a number of machine languages. But it was clear that BASIC was the best language for an early home computer because of the ease of learning and using it and the many games available in BASIC. So I pulled out an HP manual and wrote my syntax diagrams based on that. It was a little different, mainly with strings, than the DEC BASIC.
I always understood that FORTRAN could be compiled but BASIC was an interpreted language. It’s late and I’m not sure why BASIC has to be interpreted but an easy language for small programs is quicker to use when you can enter new lines and run them right away without compiling. It also takes less RAM. We didn’t even have a floppy disk then.
Wow! hey woz! Man you must be soooo smart designing the apple 1, I greatly admire you, I mean, selling a calculator and a van to make money for it (at least that’s what I heard)!! So cya l8ter!!!! A fan of yours,
Thanks for the note. As you can tell, we had no money and no business experience, just some good designs and good people and vision of a new look at computers. Plus our timing was quite good.
‘ve started this letter twice and can never seem to get it right, but here goes. I was saved from swearing off computers entirely and going to Iowa to be a potato farmer by a Mac. I was working at as a tech support agent for a large technology distributor and the constant frustration of supporting Windows and folks who just didn’t care, was draining all the fun out of computers. Then back in ’97 I bought my first Mac, a G3/233 minitower. It was the most incredible experience ever. Things just seem to work the way they are supposed to. One thing led to another and here I am going back to school for a degree in Computer Science, I’ve already got one in Business Administration, and have found that a computer is just a tool to get stuff done. It should not be an end unto itself.
Also, I seem to have accumulated four other Macs, a Plus, an SE, a IIcx and a Quadra 950. I’ll wrap up by saying thanks for starting Apple, they have really kept the personal in personal computer.
BTW, my first computer was not an Apple but a Timex Sinclair 1000 with a whopping 16K of RAM.
The way I see this tool vs. end-in-itself thing is that there are lots of different kinds of people. Some of us, like most of my students, will benefit from it as a tool. But a minority, those that are like me when I was young, really do get something from the computer itself, especially if they can build and add hardware. I’ll never forget the hobbyists, even if they are mostly Windows types today, because that was the center of my own life.
A TV was to watch shows, but for myself it was a thing to open up and connect wires to put in my own signals, from VCR’s (before Betamax, before channel 3 modulators) and from computers in the early days.
I remember once, in slightly later years, buying a Timex Sinclair computer. It was only $50 or $100 and had BASIC and actually worked very nicely by itself. Even today, a $50 computer on your own TV screen would be a hot item.
1.What kind of computer do you use daily?
2. Does apple give you free hardware, or do you have to pay for it?
I use the professional PowerBook G3 model. Apple probably would give me any free hardware that I wanted, but I prefer to buy it and be one of the regular people. It keeps me better informed as to what customers are really going through. I have several of every Macintosh model to keep me informed and my entire family up-to-date. I also use current ones for my class (also PowerBooks).
It keeps me real to have to buy things like everyone else.
I loved the movie-very interesting and well done! After all that happened in the film, one thing I wonder is how do things stand today between you and Steve Jobs (and Bill Gates)? Also, I am curious about how the actors prepared for their roles behind-the-scenes (if you know…), what kind of research they did to try to make things accurate? Thanks. Carmela
I’m glad that you enjoyed the movie. I did also.
I talk to Steve occassionally and try not to feed reports of any conflict between us (there is none).
I wish that Bill Gates had my sense of humor. Do you remember when he got hit with some pies in Europe? After that, I sent him a picture of myself being hit by a pie at the pizza party after my college graduation in 1986. It was fun and we all laughed and the picture is captioned cleverly “Computer pie-in-ear”. I suggested to Bill that he have a pie thrower ready in the wings whenever he has a boring stage appearance, just for laughs.
The personalities and personality conflicts were portrayed quite accurately in the movie, even though a lot of the scenes didn’t happen or had different parties present or happened in different cities than shown or in different years. The actors deliberately didn’t talk to any of the principle parties. I guess that we would have spoiled it telling how great we all are and threatening lawsuits if they didn’t show it the way we said. So some legal problems might be avoided by not talking to us.
Thank you for putting the personal into PC. As an engineer I appreciate your ethical and moral approach to technogy and your commitment to education.
I have to be honest. I’m into children being precocious and being somewhat problems. If too heavily protected they might have too boring a life. But when you play tricks on people or take other negative actions (copy software) then you should have some solid, logical, ethical thinking that convinces you that you believe in your reasons enough to tell other people what you do and why. That’s the ethical hacker approach.
My own keys to happiness include knowing that I’m good and that logical truth reigns and in knowing that I don’t have to convince other people to believe in that which I do. My life was successful when these keys came to me, before college even. Hey, a built-in religion with no church, and no group to agree with all the time, is the best for me. I just stayed very young in my beliefs all these years.
My commitment to education and to children in schools was with me all my life. In the movie they show the time Steve and I and his girl friend wore Alice in Wonderland costumes in a shopping mall. It was a joy of my life. I even took a week’s vacation from my job as an engineer at Hewlett Packard to take this minimum wage job. Steve doesn’t look back on it as a great thing in life but I do.
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.
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.
Thank you for the Apple. Regardless of where it started or where it has been I have it now and it does add to my enjoyment of life. I am somewhat puzzeled by your seemingly critical view of Steve Jobs. I know that you experienced it all first hand but the fact of the matter is that Mr Jobs has driven the car while you got off. I care not why but you seemingly respond in your answers to “Pirates” that you did it all and Mr. Jobs was basicilly a non-technical salesmen. Did he or did he not have anything to do with the Apple computer ? As I interput your reponses, he was just hanging around like a vulture. Thanks for your time. C. H.
I’m sorry. I probably misdirected others too. I made a lot of comment about having done a lot of hardware and software, including writing BASIC for the Apple I and Apple ][, in my “Pirates” replies because I did this design while Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and Paul Allen were not as great as engineers. As for the engineering, on the ‘dark’ side there was Ed Roberts with a computer (who designed it???) and Bill Gates and Paul Allen writing a BASIC. I did all of this and much more, singlehanded, while working a day job at Hewlett Packard too. Steve Jobs did not design the computer in hardware or software terms. He did what was needed to start a company. He found people and companies that could get us to a product (it was manufactured at a company in Santa Clara and we just put the final pieces together in the garage) and sell it and more. He also had product design contributions along the lines of the plastic case and low heat power supply. But almost every other unique ‘first ever’ feature was my own idea of what would make a good computer. In the spirit I had, of helping and not making money, I gave out schematics to anyone that wanted them in the Homebrew Computer Club. This is what led to the interest that led Steve to see a possibility of making a product for sale.
I’ve spoken many times in the past about the importance of Steve Jobs’ role in the Apple computers. But I was the inventor and engineer, solely. Remember, the Apple I was the first small computer ever with a keyboard standard, and the Apple II had the first color graphics, the first hi-res graphics, the first BASIC in ROM, the first sound and paddles for games, and a host of very clever approaches. Plus, it was so understandable and versatile and usable that it inspired tons of people. I hear from these people all the time, everywhere I go.
In my speeches I go out of my way to make Steve Jobs’ role, in non-engineering ways, seem more important. But in response to the movie, I’m trying to compare myself as the engineer to Gates and Allen as engineers and any perceived denigration of Steve Jobs is not intentional.
Thank you for the chance to explain.