Comment from E-mail

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.

Woz

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.

Comment from E-mail

What you said in one of your comments, "I often wonder why I remained the person I always wanted to be, from late high school on. I wanted to be an engineer and then a 5th grade teacher and I wanted a computer someday and I wanted to be nice to people and I wanted to tell and make jokes and I wanted a family and home. It couldn't have come truer for me." Most people could dismiss this as power, I see it as the true road to power. Most revisit "wealth and power", aren't they roots to all evil? Your POWER is clean and fresh.

Woz

Thank you for your kind comment. My own comment is just plain out and out the truth. I had my happiness for life long before Apple, I assure you. Mostly it's in how a person thinks and acts and what's important and how true they can stay to what they say they really want when they are young

Comment from E-mail

I just wanted to say thanks for your contributions to the world of computers. I reminded of the spoof Macaddict I think it was, did with "It's a Wonderful Mac" based on It's a Wonderful Life.

What a different world it would be had you not developed the Apple Computer. Well, that's just too scary to think about so I will just say good job, thank you bringing me my beloved Mac. ..DV

Woz

While teaching, I often wished I was 10 years old again so that this time I could grow up with the computers that I always loved and wanted. But then it occurred to me that I'm lucky to have seen the 'before' and the 'during' in order to see how great a change to life has happened. In earlier years, I never could have dreamed of such rapid advancements, well, changes anyway.

Comment from E-mail

Woz, (I hope this gets to you)
Thanks for helping start the thing that has defined my life.

Computers have given me my life and living. I thank you you for making it possible. I think computers aren't as fun an cool as they used to be in the "old days".

I started out with a TRS-80 Model I, but drooled over Apple ]['s, and planned to buy one and upgrade it with stuff from Applied Engineering. By the time I got the money together to do that, The Apple ][ and AE were history. I am a proud owner of a PowerComputing PowerCenter 132, a Performa 6116 and an Apple ][c.

I also helped author the Apple ][ version of FACTS+ (www.programsteppe.com). It's educational software for autistic children. Charlie would love to hear from you, and would gladly send you a copy for your review. FACTS+ is a lot like your designs. Not flashy, but solid and works well.

I also used to work for the NE Distributor of Corvus Hard Drives (Lawrence S. Epstein Assoc.). Those were fun times. Did you ever get to see The "Corvus Concept" computer. It was a Mac before the Mac.

It was a 68000 computer with a Ball monitor, I think it used CPM-68k, but was based on the Apple ][ design. I know it used Apple ][ Cards (Serial, Floppy, Corvus). It was a great system.

I used to sell these drives to Microsoft in their Albuquerque days. But I doubt Bill would remember me now.

I know there were too few to make this real, but I'd love to get a hold of a working Apple I or a replica just to play with. I did see one of the originals in the Smithsonian. Not too sure if it was an Apple I or an Apple ][.

I'm on the lookout for a 20th Anniversary Mac. One day I'll spot one I can afford.

I appreciate the direction you've chosen in life. I am doing something similar in mine. I just wanted to say hi to you. Thanks for all you do. Al H.

Woz

Thanks for the note. You do bring back memories, including the Corvus Concept. I can look back and see how important the Apple I was now. Good luck getting or seeing one!

Comment from E-mail

Hi Mr. Woz, I just wanted to know if you and Steve Jobs are still friends? I've read a few things most of the Apple history that I know I read in the Mac Bathroom Reader, and in that it seems like Mr. Jobs was a bit on the "dark side of the force" where as you always have been VERY Luke like (he he sorry for the geeky cliché but it does kind of fit). Do you think he's changed, and if so is it for the better? I only ask because I feel that my Mac has really turned my life in a good direction and although Apple is doing really great right now it still doesn't have a "official" CEO (or what ever strange three letter thingamajig title the top dogs give them selves) and were as it would take an act of GOD to get me off my Mac I'd really hate to see things at Apple go south yet again.

Woz

It's very scary when Apple has serious problems every few years or so. It might take a bit of the dark side to get companies straightened out once in a while. We didn't have much problem in our early years. There is a bit of Apple that means 'goodness to people' but I think the attitude is more 'get rid of the problems' when things are bad.

Comment from E-mail

I've gone from a Commodore 64, my first computer, to my iMac RevB, my second computer. With a 12yr absence from computers. Needless to say, there's some catching up to do. All this conflict between Wintel and Mac's is beyond my understanding, nor do I care why it exists. I want a reliable, user friendly home computer, period. I have no predefined prejudices for or against either macintosh or the other machines. But the history of all this is what I missed in the past 12-15 years and that's very interesting to me now. especially your side of things.

First-off thanks for getting the ball rolling all that time back. And please keep your comments coming, most interesting to hear your side of it. I did not watch the "Pirates" movie for many reasons, most of all because Hollywood made it. Now if PBS had done it I may have watched... I really like my Mac. I do hope in the long run as I learn more, that I will come to admire my macintosh as much as my guru friends do. Talk about rambling.....I'ld send money, but I know you don't need it, so please accept my gratitude for doing what you've done. Regards

Woz

Thanks for having a clear head and not caring about what everyone else might have. That's to your benefit and it's a benefit to you also. My part of the history is very unusual as major business success stories throughout time go. Someday it may be told in a book. But Apple may only be in the background!

Comment from E-mail

Hi Steve,I'm a big fan of yours. Not just for being co-founder of Apple, but for your attitude and way of thinking. My question is: i'm looking to purchase a Mac and i would like to know which Apple computer(s) you would recommend? I'm a computer science major, therefore, i like tweaking with programs and stuff like that. Thanks for your time. Hope to hear from you soon....Mark

Woz

It's hard to recommend a computer to anyone without knowing a lot about that person and what they need to do. The only computer that is general enough and good enough to be recommendable to almost everyone is the iMac.

All terms: iMac
Comment from E-mail

I just wanted to say that I just saw Pirates of Silicon Valley and was amazed at what went on way back when. I commend you for remaining the same person you've always been rather than turning into a money hungry, stuck up person like so many others do. It's so interesting to me that you made the computer that made Apple even possible, but it was Steve Job's that seemed to take all the credit. Was the scene with the man being interviewed really true? Did Steve Job's actually demean a potential employee?? I have to say, that they portrayed him as a real jerk who was very demeaning to his employees if they did not perform to his liking. And actually, Bill Gates was no better. They were and maybe still are hungry for the power. The other thing that I found interesting and didn't realize was that Microsoft now owns part of Apple. Steve Jobs is definitely a brilliant business man but after seeing what Bill Gates has done I'd have to say that he's even more savvy! Anyway, those were just a few thoughts I had. I was just really impressed with your character and how you've remained the same person that you were when you created that first computer. I hope you don't mind my two cents. : - )...Heather A.

Woz

I think that I already gave you some insights. We have such clear insights as to what we want to be like when we're young and idealistic, but few remain true to these ideals. I'm just simple enough not to play games and bend and twist my early idealistic views. I do need recognition for having been a great engineer, I don't need credit for the company, or power

Comment from E-mail

I just wanted to say that I've been using Apple products @ school...@ work...@ home since the Apple ][.

Serious BASIC programming was on an Apple ][... (my first programming experience was on a BALLY Astrocade with the BASIC cartridge...I still have both...circa 1981.)

My term papers were written on Mac 128k & 512k computers...

I was one of the first in my design class @ college to use a Mac...a Mac II, I think...before they became an industry standard...

I currently own a PPC 7500 that's paid for itself 3 or 4 times (original value).

I just wanted to say...thank you for starting a wonderful computer company and being one hell of a nice guy. Anybody that gives away co. stock to employees that have none...well, my hat is off to you sir. This email is loooong overdue...rest assured I will always be a Apple-man...so will my kids...and anyone else I can influence.

Woz

It was a big deal to give the stock to people that were along for the incredible ride the first couple years of our company. It was rare and brave and right. I don't know why the definition of right and wrong change once you 'get there'.

Comment from E-mail

I saw the movie last evening on tape, and to tell the truth I was quite disappointed. I thought that Bill Gates was portrayed as "kinder" than he really is, and I thought that they should have given you more credit and perhaps shed more light on your contributions. I also have one question; did Apple "steal" the GUI from Xerox (at PARC), or did they develop it themselves? And a personal question; how do you think the MacOS is better than Windows? What about MacOS X (any future?)? Sorry to be intrusive, but I am naturally inquisitive, and I figure if anyone would know the answers to these questions, it would be you. Thanks for your time. John

Woz

Apple worked with Xerox openly to bring their developments to a mass audience. That's what Steve portrayed Apple as being good at. Xerox got a lot of Apple stock for it too, it was an agreement.

Microsoft just took it from Xerox or Apple or whomever. It took them a long time to get it halfway right.

MacOS has been more constant since it's beginning 15 years ago. Look how many times DOS and Windows have changed. That doesn't lead to stardards that feel good. MacOS always feels better to those of us who use both. It's been built in from the ground up, from the atoms of the OS up. It's also part of our culture to put a high priority on how easy it is to use.