Comment from E-mail

Hey Woz, my names Brian Dressel I'm from Minneapolis Minnesota I just wanted to thank you so much for the kick ass computer you people designed called the Apple 2, In so many ways I still enjoy that better than any IBM game out there.

I fell in love with games like Sherlock Holmes Another Bow, Wings of Fury etc etc :)

Thanks for all the fun you provided with that great computer :)
Brian D

Woz

Good to hear from you. I think that all interesting people fell in love with computer games. Just my 2...

All terms: Apple 2
Comment from E-mail

Woz, I read the book West of Eden. My son has been a ardent follower of your cause for a long time. I'm 53, disabled, and looking for a midlife career change. The only friends I have is my wife, my dog, Georgia Tech, and my Computer. Would you chat with me about exploring different avenues open to people in this situation? Maybe we could start a Old Fart's School. Any help and counciling that you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Woz

I wish that I had the least bit to contribute to your suggestion, but I'm barely able to keep up with just my heavy email load. It does seem to me that community colleges have done a good job over our lifetimes of making education available to us older folks...although I've only taken advantage of it for leisure, like learning other languages.

All terms: Woz
Comment from E-mail

Good morning!
I have been trying to reach someone to secure an interview with Mr. Wozniak. Would you be able to forward this email to the appropriate person?

Woz

I'm the appropriate person, but I'm warning you in advance that I'm a real busy person with this sort of thing and much more...

All terms: Interview
Comment from E-mail

Dear Woz,
Wow! I stumbled onto your site when doing a search about Apple things, but am I glad I did! I've done a LOT of studying about the history of Apple (I read the book "On The Firing Line" by Gil Amelio, watched "Pirates of Silicon Valley" and even saw a few documentaries about Apple) And YOU are the man that made it happen.

Anyway, I take it from your "comments" section that you're a Hypercard fan. Well, hey, so am I! I think it's a wonderful tool to work with... except for one lil nagging thing. Color. The Color Tools stack simply doesn't work well with manipulating buttons and icons and things..

I assume that you've got your own solution to that since you're a genius..

Woz

I have no solution. Apple does have a color kit that can do a little but it's hard to use. I've had my own students use it for games.

Bill Atkinson developed hypercard for Apple, and they didn't even know that he's color blind.

Comment from E-mail

Knowing your time is at a premium, any feedback you might supply to the following questions will be greatly appreciated.

I'm writing a story about the rise of the computer industry for our millennium series ( http://www.usatoday.com/2000/2000.htm ), and was hoping you could answer two questions.

1) Is there any other field that would've allowed a company as imaginative as Apple to thrive? Why or why not?

2) Did you experience a David vs. Goliath-type triumph over some of the larger computer companies when your Apple computers began to take off?

Thank you for your time, and great site by the way. (We check out the WozCam a few times a week.)

Woz

I think that a company as imaginative as Apple, coming from youngsters and not established companies, could only be started in a very rapidly and unexpectedly growing field. Of course this happens once in a while, maybe once in a decade. Surely early times of the steel industry and railroads must have been like this. Not to mention the gold rushes, and in more recent times, the internet and it's many facets.

When we started Apple, the Goliaths didn't think that the industry was worth much or going far. So there was really no triumph. Our first competition was with Radio Shack and Commodore, and we did feel a great triumph over them because their products were so much less than ours. But IBM was a bit tougher, even after we had the majority of the market.

All terms: Commodore, IBM, Radio Shack
Comment from E-mail

Hi
My name is Lisa L. I am interestd in setting up a computer program in West Virginia like the one Mr. Wozniak has set up for the Los Gatos schools. I have the funding to buy the computers, but I was wondering if it would be possible to sit in on some of the classes so I can see how it's being done here.

I am a tech support engineer for Calico Commerce, and have recently graduated from Cornell University.

Woz

It is possible to sit in on some classes. My current class is on hold until January due to one son's wrestling schedule. I'm doing less of the teaching than ever before this year because I'm so busy. But I direct the program content and teach some subjects.

The current class is not my starter class, which I think relates more to other schools. This is an advanced class. We touch on semi-professional uses of the computer and much greater skill than in just a 1-year (200 hour) course.

All terms: Class
Comment from E-mail

Do you think they [Apple] are on the right track?

Woz

I can't think of a better track. My biggest concern is the road to MacOS X. It's much easier to do than to make it Mac-like enough to please our biased users. We all want UNIX underneath a usable and simple GUI shell.

All terms: GUI, Mac OSX, UNIX
Comment from E-mail

Are you still involved with Apple in any way? (one of the rumors sites claimed Apple registered Woz.com)

Woz

I'm a low paid employee. I'm loyal to the company. I like Steve Jobs and support him. I could not do what he does: I'm a techie who likes to do techie things all the time and there's not time left over to stay up on the latest technologies and the big picture. I would be too soft with other people, regarless of what's called for. I appear at various places around the world and like being an Apple employee. In these cases I sort of represent Apple. At least I always remind people of the company. I'm not officially or directly involved in Apple at this time.

All terms: Apple
Comment from E-mail

I hope I'm not exploiting access to your e-mail (it may be readily available, I don't know), but I'm the sole Mac user in a company of hundreds of PC users, and I'm very encouraged by Apple's last two years. I'm wondering if you can give me some encouragement for the future.

Woz

I can't add to what you can deduce for yourself. At least we Macintosh owners aren't experiencing the level of fear now that we did before..

All terms: Apple, Pc
Question from E-mail

Thanks so much for talking to me during my recent phone call. Trying to contact [you] via the website is virtually impossible! As I explained, I am on the board of a new Museum of Computing which is going to be built in Lubbock, Texas. I have been asked to take charge of the Apple displays to include Apple 1, Apple ][, Apple III and Lisa and Mac. We would like to recreate the famous garage where the Apple 1 systems were assembled. We are convinced this would be very interesting to all of the visitors, especially the young ones! But there is a problem...I have no idea what the layout of the garage was! If we recreate this famous scene, we would like it to be fairly accurate. Can you help me? Here is my home address and home phone and e-mail address. Thanks in advance and waiting to hear from you!

Woz

First, the Apple I (and Apple ][) computers were entirely designed and tested and debugged in my Cupertino apartment (not the garage) and in my cubicle at Hewlett Packard in Cupertino (that 'calculator' division is now in Corvallis, Oregon). The PC boards of the Apple I were made in Santa Clara. As soon as they came off the production line (only 200 total were manufactured) components and chip sockets were inserted by workers and the board were wave soldered there. This was the major manufacturing step. We'd drive down and pick up a batch of boards and then drive them to the garage. We'd pay Patti Jobs and other friends $1 per board to insert all the chips from boxes of chips that we had. The garage had a single engineering workbench with a mylar top and a shelf. A monitor and transformers and keyboard, the other 3 pieces of an Apple I, were on it, as well as an oscilloscope of mine and maybe a soldering iron. I'd hook up a PC board and try it out. If it seemed to work, it would go in the 'good' stack. If it was bad I'd look at the microprocessor data and address pins with the oscilloscope. If I saw a missing signal it meant that a chip had a pin out of a socket. If a signal seemed like two fighting signals (halfway between high and low) it meant that two traces were shorted on the PC board. About half of the boards had such problems.

The workbench (lab table) was mounted right up to the garage door. So if you were seated at the workbench and someone opened the garage door you'd be looking straight out. We also had a small container of spare parts, like chips, in small pullout drawers. It sat on some table behind the workbench. There were no manuals or drafting tables or other design aids here. I can't tell you much more.