Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs became an egoist

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I read that Steve Jobs became an egoist but you stayed as you were...

Woz

I think that Steve is level headed. His reputation for being an egotist is probably not because he sees his own greatness. That probably helps him do the things that make him great with enough confidence that he succeeds a lot. It's probably more due to the way he has treated others as though they are worth very little and not as great as he. I had a very strong head, with good philosophies that I believed in deeply. I knew who I was and what I wanted from life and what I wanted to be. It sounds unbelievable but it's true and I'm very lucky for it. I don't do what others think I should, I stick to being who I want to be. That's the reason I seem that way...Woz

About Steve Jobs

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What's your opinion on how Steve Jobs ripped you off with the whole blockout game at Atari?

Woz

It's a small thing in most regards. It hurt me because we were like best friends and I would have done it for free to help him out anyway.

5 Questions to Woz

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I have some questions for you. If you could answer them that would be great.

1. When you think about your time at Apple, what did you enjoy the best? What made you want to come to work each day?

2. What unique skills did the management team have that helped make Apple a success?

3. When you were a kid my age were there any classes or hobbies that you liked that let you know that you would be good in technology?

4. I understand you work with students. What skills, hobbies, or classes do you tell them to focus on, to prepare for the future?

5. Do you know any good technology camps for me?

Woz

1. I was motivated by several things. I was very independent. I could look at a problem and come up with my solution from any of a number of angles. I could work on a problem in the order and with the method that I chose. I was my own boss. I knew that what I did was good and that it impressed people. I had goals that guaranteed that I'd only do an A+ job that was better than anyone else would do. I got lots of praise for what I did. Also, I was free enough to include plenty of fun and humor and pranks in the worktime. For example, in writing Pong in BASIC, I put in a mode where the game would play itself, but jiggle the paddle enough that a player didn't know it. I actually got a friend to play, and win, an entire game and he thought that he did it himself.

2. We had a very unusual situation. Steve Jobs and myself had no such experience. I was very good at what I did and could take a project near to completion on my own because I was the designer, constructor, tester, coder, modifier, and more. Steve Jobs never let up in the pursuit for excellence, to have the best company ever. Mike Markkula had a lot of prior business success and he ran marketing in a professional way, while lots of other startups were very unprofessional. Mike Scott was our president. He could be rough when it came to getting the needed things done, like Steve Jobs is, but he could also joke a lot. I really liked Mike Scott a lot. Rod Holt was an older engineer with engineering management thinking and expertise outside of my fields. Without him we wouldn't have had many totally completed projects that a company could actually build.

3. By the time I was in 5th grade I was well on my way to an electronics future. I didn't know that electronics would lead to computers even. My 5th grade science fair project had 92 switches and lights to display the electron orbits for every atom. While this wasn't a computer, it did involve the sort of reasoning and complexity of computer logic. The electron orbits don't go in order. At some point, a switch has to swap one group for another. Some diode logic circuits were required. Also, in 5th grade I read a story where a ham radio operator was a hero and the book said that anyone of any age could get a ham radio license. This is different than driving licenses. I went to school that morning. On "Safety Patrol" (holding stop signs while students crossed the street) I told a friend that I was going to get my ham license and he surprised me by telling me of a class for such on my own block. I did get my license by 6th grade. It involved learning a lot of electronics and circuits and I even built my own transmitter and receiver.

I really advanced in computer logic circuits in 6th and 8th grades, and got the real concept of what a full computer was by 9th grade. We didn't have computers in our schools back in the 60's.

4. Teaching is getting harder and harder for me, with my tremendous email load. I prefer answering everyone individually (although one of my lists has hundreds of unanswered ones that came in after the "Pirates" movie) rather than have staff do it, or to publish it all. But I'm still human and can only do so much.

The primary focus of my classes for 5th through 8th graders is to show them ways to make their homework look exceptional, to impress teachers. The positive reactions of the teachers will lead to students thinking better of themselves and actually doing better work. At least that's the theory that I subscribe to. Also, just doing interesting, different, things helps motivate students and give them a good reason to spend more time on schoolwork than they might otherwise have spent.

I also focused on how networks work, including the types of data packets on the network and where they go and how they are handled. This helps the students debug network problems. This part of the class involves setting up servers with privileges as well as just accessing servers. It always included AOL accounts for my entire class, and I put heavy pressure on the parents to buy extra phone lines for the kids' computers. My real goal was to get the kids their own phones at an early age so that they could be independent but don't tell the parents I said that.

Nowdays, the online part of my class includes the internet.

The main time consuming part of my class was on how computers work, and on how to keep them maintained. I almost always had students take apart PowerBooks to exchange RAM and hard disks and modems. They had to have a good understanding of how the Operating System worked so that they could [sometimes] understand computer messages and take the right action. This part of the class is about having the skills to own and take care of your own computer.

My advanced students went into music recording, video editing, 3D graphics design and lots more..

5. Sorry, but I don't at this time. They change a bit, but I've seen or heard of them in recent times so you might do an internet search.

Money

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My name is Matt S., I had come to your web site after searching for information on a unix file format. I have no idea how. Anyway, I have a few questions about you if you have a moment or two. I have seen pirates of silicon valley a few times and enjoyed it, I am glad to see that the movie has accurately reflected you (I'm not sure our worlds richest man is quite that stupid however). I want to know how you can work so much? Do you just view working with computers as a game or is it just extremely interesting to you? I am a programmer in a few different languages however I don't care much about money. That is unfortunate in that everyone today cares about getting rich and it becomes disheartening to enjoy computers with everyone caring about starting the next IPO and making millions. I would love to know what motivates you. How many hours can you code in a day and how do you keep going like that. I hope that I have not inconvenienced you and I understand if you cannot reply. I thank you for your time.

Woz

Working with computers was a lifetime passion for me.

At one point it came time to accept a lot of money and start a real company. But I had to leave my 'real' job designing calculator chips at Hewlett Packard. I thought deeply inside to what I was meant for and what I wanted to do with my life and I concluded that I wanted to design computers and other things, and to write software. I could easily do that with no company, and keep my job with the company that I loved. So I told Steve Jobs and Mike Markkula that I wouldn't start Apple.

I changed my mind upon being relieved of the stress of thinking that I had to run the company. I could still do the things that I loved to do within it, and make money too.

About Jobs and Gates

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Hello, My name is Jason S, I would like to say that I really do admire you and your work, and if you wouldn't mine, I would like to ask you a few quesitons about Jobs and Gates:

First, how did you feel at the 1997 MacWorld Expo when Jobs announced a semi-merger with Microsoft? Next, What do you think of the Anti-trust case against Microsoft? Do you think its a monopoly or just an extremenly competitive company? Also, what do you think of Jobs being appointed interim CEO of Apple? Do you tink that the new iMac is the answer to the companies decline?

Woz

The1997 MacWorld Expo: In the sense which it is intended it's good. I'm non-confrontational for sure. But it was portrayed as Bill Gates cheering for Apple and that wasn't true

Regarding Microsoft: It's a monopoly. Microsoft has used it's monopoly powers in very bad ways. What if all the gas stations were owned by one company and they announced that they were modifying the nozzles to only fit their own brand of car? We'd have no choice and all the car companies would be out of business. If you're rich and don't like somebody who has a shoe store, you don't have the right to open a big shoe store across the street and price the shoes at half price just to put him out of business (and then be left with the rewards of a 'monopoly')

Jobs as CEO: At first I didn't like the fact that he would revive his own Next stuff within Apple, because some good Apple stuff would be shelved. But the products are great and leading the world to the future...Woz

A&E's top 100

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I just wanted to write this to tell how grateful I am that Apple Computer was developed. Mainly because there would be no such as the personal computer and many advances never would've happened if it wasn't for Apple. I also wanted to write because recently I was watching A&E's top 100 hundred and was disappointed to see that you where not named and Bill Gates was. I sat there and said to myself what did he do to deserve that besides make a lot of money nothing. I would've at least to of like to of seen at least Steve Jobs or at least a mention of Apple but when they rounded out the top five I knew it wouldn't happen and was deeply disappointed that the two people or even the person who changed the daily lives of everyone was not even mentioned at all during that.

Well, I just wanted to thank you for helping change my life and the way I live it everyday. If it was not for the Apple Macintosh computer I would not have a job or hobby anymore and am grateful for having it around. I am always exited about the new developments coming out of Apple and just have one question for you. As an original developer of the MacOs and with the new version of it coming out next year MacOs X I was just wondering what your comments on it and how it will change it from where it started and how you feel about it? Thanks again, Spencer Parker

Woz

I'm glad that you see things this way. It is fair to say that Bill and Microsoft did a bit of engineering (writing BASIC for the Altair computer) at the start and did take risks in setting up and running a business. But we at Apple did much more to bring computing to people and we took much greater risks and we did our own designs and used our own money and time a lot more. We worked to create the hardware and the software that would do new things. We didn't merely buy others' programs and find a way to sell them at a profit. Apple even popularized (and largely created) the technology that Microsoft makes it's money off of.

I think that MacOS X will be very very great but will, at first, only reach loyal Macintosh owners. I think that it will be well accepted by the Macintosh users by the time it comes out and that the grumbling about differences will be short lived. I think that differences like fast graphics and more game software will be even more important than a more stable OS though.

Your relationship with Steve today

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Hello Mr. Woz. I am a 14 year old fan of yours. I admire you and Steve Jobs and I was wondering about your relationship with Steve today.

Woz

I've always considered Steve a good, if not close friend. We have quite different lives and goals in some ways but we share many great memories of the times when our lives were forming, even before Apple. I enjoy chatting with Steve once in a while. He is always polite and respectful. He doesn't ever offend or intrude on my space. I try not to intrude on his. Many times I wish that we were close. Steve can relax and enjoy my many stories, whereas a lot of business driven people can't. He is more trapped to his job responsibilities and partly wishes that he could be like myself, with freedom and time for experiences with students and family. I don't long for his success and daily notoriety and running of companies, but I'm glad that Apple is in his unusual hands and hopes that it continues in that fashion even when he's gone.

I don't like Mac programing

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Well i've been interested in computers since my dad first bought a 386 and at the time it was the most up to date thing available. I never knew much of the history of computers (well not the time of the movie was based). I mastered the BASIC language (seems like ages ago) and have moved on to much more advanced languages.I'm sorry i do tend to drag on. But i just want to say i don't like mac programing but i love the hardware and from what i understand your the man behind it and i just want to say that I can't express in words what i think you've done for the world and inderectly for me. So thank you for your genius. I just want to ask you if you've had an active part in the designing of the new macs. and if you ever had any idea that computers, software, and the internet would ever amount to what it is now.Thank you on behalf of me and everyone at www.archaic.net (still getting out the kinks) :)

Woz

I'm glad that you appreciate the Macintosh hardware, but you're wrong to credit me in any way for it. My hardware design talents were applied to the Apple I and Apple ][ computers and related peripherals. This occured long ago. It was the basis for Apple's start and fame. The Apple ][ kicked off the personal computer recognition, and legitimazed the market. Although I was the sole logic designer and programmer and 'inventor' in this sense, the contributions of others, primarily Steve Jobs, were critical to how this computer struck the world. Without a nicely packaged product in an attractive, acceptable plastic case that said "I'm OK in your home" this product would have died like the other hobby computers for Nerds. Apple was successful not just because of a great piece of hardware but because of the right communications and the complete product (including manuals and ads and our employees and priorities) the world got the message that it was time to change a lot of things in our lives. Steve Jobs truly deserves the visionary credit here. The Macintosh came about in later years and it was truly Steve's project. There were actual hardware and software engineers that did the equivalent of what I'd done on the Apple ][ but I was not among them. At that time I'd returned to college and sponsored some huge rock concerts. (Just to set the record straight for you)

Young computer users

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I am 16 years old and I am running a small web business out of my house. Do have any good advice on starting a business I heard many stories about you such as creating the first usable computer for home use? All I can say is that you and Steve Jobs have change the world and I thank you. My company is called http://www.angelfire.com design its nothing much I am still not used to creating sites. Before my business I was doing web graphics which I am still offering to people. Well I hope you get a laugh out of my site it is still experimental. The graphics still have problems they may be unveiwable. Send a response on what can do to make it better. Your friend Andrew P

Woz

More and more I encounter young computer users like yourself trying to start a company and put their talents to good use, most often in web site design and maintenance. For many close to me I've been able to provide facilities (my office) and internet access and servers and workstations. Even if I can't see the likelihood of success, the right ones don't need brick walls.

In the days of our first computer, the Apple I, Steve Jobs and I attended PC-76 in Atlantic City. We were so young that it was my first time out of California, except for a year of college in Colorado. We met many other young people like ourselves, all trying to make something out of computers, which were their interests. I remember talking with an older, white-haired, gentleman. He was helping out some kids that were trying to start something. He had helped them use some machine tools to make cases and had helped them get a business plan and had helped them with things like tax filings, as I recall. He was retired, he just did this to help out youngsters.

I thought that he was the most amazing person, to give to some young people for no obvious or visible reason.

Is it true that Bill Gates worked for Apple?

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this is a dispute that a friend of mine is having did or did not Bill Gates work for Apple at one time. Was he an employee, my friend said that that was inaccurate in the movie and I am under the impresssion, why would the film want to stretch something that far out to say that he worked for Apple, if only to foreshadow that one day, indirectly Bill Gates would own a piece of Apple and subsequently, Jobs would be working for him?

Woz

I find this interpretation humorous. Bill Gates did not work directly for Apple. But we did work deals and commission software to be delivered by Microsoft for our computers. In that sense he worked for us, but not as a programmer, i assure you. It's funny to hear you say that Jobs now works for Bill. I'll have to remember that one!...Steve