Comment from E-mail

 

So I am 13 and headed real far into computers!!! So you invented the first computer! What year did you come up with that great idea , I mean I'm using one now , and pretty much the world! Well hey if you get this e-mail , e-mail me back! I jus wanted to say you are a great person for changing our future and etc. etc..

Woz

 

Hey, I'm reminded of things my father said when I was your age. He was a great engineer. But he told me how important we young people were. He said that the adults had a lot of things not working well in the world and that we kids were going to school in order to make the world much better. I was shocked to learn that my elementary school teacher made less than junior high school and high school teachers and even engineers after hearing this speech.

Well, it's your turn to decide that you want to achieve and change the future. You have to work hard to do better at things than almost anyone else. You have to put off some partying until later, after your success is assured. I wish you well in this.

All terms: future, Thank You
Question from E-mail

 

I would like to thank you for touching my life and the life of my children. My father bought me an Apple II when I was a kid. I remember him filling out the credit application and actually having an Apple credit card or something of that nature. Looking back I don't think he could have afforded it but he bought it for me. My 3 girls currently use a 266 iMac which is the main focus of our household. If it wasn't for Macs my 4 year old would not be as advanced as she is with computers. I'm sure your initial response will be something like "It took a lot of people to build those products" and I thank all of them. But my family thanks you for being a doer and a thinker and I hope I teach my kids to do the same with their lives.

 

Woz

This is a great story to hear. Sometimes, the Apple ][ is forgotten or deliberately left out but it inspired this whole industry in my opinion.

All terms: Apple II, iMac 266
Question from E-mail

Hi, Woz. My dad got me an Apple ][ back in 1979, and I found it so clean and crisp and cool that within days I did a CALL -151, and I've been writing Woz-influenced code ever since. Thanks for Wozifying the world!

Ok, I've just got to know. Which HP calc was it that most influenced the Apple 1 and ][, the HP 9830 (1972) or the HP 9825 (1976)? The Apple ][ looks a lot like the 9825, but given your tenure at HP, I'd have to guess it was the very cool 9830 with built-in BASIC that had the most influence on you.

Woz

I'm glad to find so many people that still remembering being inspired in the CALL -151 days!

All the small HP Calculators, the HP 35, 45, 55, 65, and 67 influenced the Apple II. They did it in the sense that each key had a worthwhile function meaningful to humans. Each key merely activated it's own program. A calculator was complete. It didn't need accessories and peripherals and programs just to have a keyboard you could use.

Question from E-mail

I can truly say you've been an inspiration to me. I've had the honor of hearing you speak in person once or twice and was inspired each time. Thank you so much for the past 26 years of home computing. Your simple actions have made quite a difference in my life. Let NO one ever say "one man cannot make a difference" for you have proven that axiom wrong.

Woz

This comment makes my day. I read your note and was glad to hear from someone who encountered and liked and bought Apple products from the start. I'm glad to get credited for making a difference.

All terms: Thank You
Question from E-mail

I am writing this on a 20th Anniversary Mac (one of the "fire sale models" from the Apple Store) and it is a wonderful machine. I also have an iMac in my other farm office. But the IIe was still the most fun I ever had xomputing, and it kept the books just as good as these two machines do.

Woz

I love that 20th Anniversary Mac. I think of it as a perfect college machine, with the computer, TV, radio, CD player and more (AV even) all in one sleek machine. I don't know why, exactly, the ][e was so good to so many. I hear what you are saying all the time. I think that for a while, software was simple and we were kings of our machines. After the market was recognized as being very large, programs became immense. It became more of a contest to remember which menu something was in, than to do it yourself or make what program you had do the job you needed. It feels like the software is so good and immense now that it's often more important than we, the people, are. I didn't feel this way back in the early days. I can still feel that good now, but it's less often, like when I'm writing a program for fun.

 

Comment from E-mail

 

Jim, My name is Brian R. I spoke with you last night around 6pm and you asked me to send you this note. Several years ago, Steve visited Fort Lauderdale at my request for what was the local Apple user's group. Steve actually made 2 visits down including bringing 2 of the key developers for the Mac, Andy and another gentleman. On both occasions, Steve came over to my house where I showed him what I was doing at the time with a bulletin board system. After Steve's last visit, about 2 or 3 days later a 5MB hard drive showed up on my doorstep with a "Good luck" note attached.

The success I have experienced since then has everything to do with the Woz spending the time with me that he did in Fort Lauderdale and even on a trip I made with my family out to California shortly after his South Florida visit. As I told you on the phone last night, I am in town with my wife and 21-month old son and would like to stop by to say hello if at all possible. We are leaving Saturday morning to start driving back to Florida. I will call your office around 9-10am on Friday morning. Sincerely, Brian

Woz

 

Brian, this is Steve. I hope that I can get to see you, but if not, best wishes anyway. I do remember your name when I see this and I remember the two Fort Lauderdale visits as great ones. The parts that I recall might differ from your own. I remember your BBS and was very impressed. The second trip was the week that the Macintosh was introduced and I brought Andy, Burrell, and Bill Atkinson along as a special gift to your club and the one in Washington D.C. (if I remember correctly) where the projector almost didn't arrive in time. I remember crying on the plane coming into Fort Lauderdale but I won't say why here.

I get to hear back very often from people that I apparently made a positive difference in their lives, with special gifts or sponsorship. Many of them turn out very successful and I hope that they've been influenced positively. I've mostly forgotten these incidents. There are many many of them. Plus, they are part of my 'way' and not individually special. I am so glad that you remember this good thing.

Comment from E-mail

I just saw the "Pirates of Silicon Valley" on cable the other day. It made me feel very nostalgic.

 

My Dad bought an Apple //e (with 128K of RAM *AND* an 80-column card) in 1984. I fell in love with it (having only used a Commodore PET before that). I was 13 at the time and devoted countless hours to figuring out how it worked. I taught myself BASIC, machine language, and assembly language. "CALL -151" still makes me grin.

 

I eventually bought a ][gs in 1987 and used that until I made the switch to PC's in 1994. Nothing, however, will ever compare with the all-around completeness and stability of my Apple //e.

 

I still fire up my Apple //e emulator from time to time to play an old Infocom game.

 

Anyway, just wanted to let you know your computer had a huge influence on my life, my career, and my ongoing fascination and interest with computers.

Woz

I'm glad that you were well inspired. So many remember how good the //e was. Today's computers are just too frustrating. They don't need to be. Some people even realize that when you added a printer to the //e, with it's mini-OS, the driver was in ROM on the printer interface card. True plug and play. Today we find plug and install and reconfigure and fix conflicts and update versions more than plug and play.

 

All terms: Apple IIe
Question from Colin T.

Hello, I'm Colin T. I have always been interested in Operating Systems, and like the Mac OS. However, I also like free stuff, mostly because the people who make it are considerate enough to realize that what they are giving is really nothing more than virtual words. Therefore, I absolutely love the Linux Operating System. Now, I have started my own, called FluxOS. It will be giving away freely and is going to be open source. I am writing it in Assembly for the MIPS class processor (a nice little RISC chip). But, since I have little experience in Operating System programming, I can't do much. I need to know how the Kernel works, and other such essential elements. Could you point me in the right direction or show me what could be done?

Woz

Nice note. I'm glad that you're into some good things and that you really want to be. I'm glad that you are starting, as I did, with the mentality of helping and giving. It wasn't shown, but I passed out schematics of what became the Apple I computer (after Steve Jobs saw $$$) freely at the HomeBrew Computer Club. Who ever heard of such an important product and the start of an industry being given away?

I can't help point you in the direction you want to go. You'll have to find that on your own. I can only do a certain number of things and I've had a family for the last 16 years.

Comment from E-mail

I just have to ask you about the Pirate Flag that was in the movie. Was the flag real or was that something they added in the movie? If it was true, who's idea was it? While watching the movie, my only guess was that Apple raised the flag when Bill Gates met with Steve Jobs for a business meeting. On another note, you're a great man. Not too many people in the world as caring as you. If the part of your charactor was real in the movie (i.e. telling Steve Jobs to do the right thing, or you will give away some of your stock), I can only say that you DID THE RIGHT THING!! Right on! -Andy

 

Woz

Couldn't be the real flag. It did fly all the time. I gave away a lot of my stock to do the right thing, very rare but true. I didn't go into all this for the money.

Comment from E-mail

Can you discuss the nature of the "memory loss" that you suffered?

Woz

This may be simplified but here it goes. When you see or hear or othewise sense something, it's held in your shortterm memory to be perceived. If you hold it in short term memory for a while (5 seconds? 10 seconds? 15 seconds?) it can somehow (unknown) make it to a long term, permanent, memory. The processing path for this formation is well suspected to be through the hippocampus because people who can't form long term memories, like myself for 5 weeks, often have identifiable lesions in this area of the brain. This is called atereor grada amnesio or some such thing ('forward' amnesia). It is quite common after car crashes and plane crashes and the like. Mine wasn't diagnosed by doctors, friends, family, psychologists, etc. After all, with all my old memories, I could go places and ride my motorcycle, etc. People just thought that I was weird because I said weird things. I couldn't tell you that I'd seen someone 10 minutes before (I'm presuming) but I had no way to know that this amnesia existed or that I had it during the 5 weeks. I couldn't have told Steve that I had memory problems, as in the movie.

It was real. I never got any memories from this period. I would never have gone 5 weeks with my dogs in a shelter, nor left a missing tooth be untreated for this period.

The 'backwards' amnesia with which we are most familiar is called retrograda amnesia, or something like that.