Prank

Graduation prank

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Comment from E-mail

I couldn't love a machine as much as the passion that was put into building it. I bet you had more fun building that middle finger than you ever did making calculators. Or at least I would like to think you did. That is all I wanted to communicate to you. from one designer to another, or from one human being to another. Passion is a good thing.

Woz

You're right. Steve Jobs and Allen Baum and myself made it. The graduation was Steve Jobs' and it was at our high school. We spent 4 nights in a row working out a scheme that wound up with two ramps guiding 2 skates over the edge of a 2-story building right where half of the graduates exited after graduating. The skates pulled the sheet over. Tennis shoes and other things kept the sheet from blowing away. The skates were weighted down. Everything, including the tennis shoes, was tied together so that it couldn't hit anyone on the head below. 40 lb. Fishing line held the skates at the top of the 2 ramps and ran down the side of the building.

The next morning the sign was down. Steve and I determined that the line had been cut at about waist height. It hadn't torn. The next year, at Berkeley, I ran into one of the seniors working on another senior prank the last night that we got our sign working. He said that Steve Jobs had told them what we were doing up on the roof and had even shown them where the fishing line was. So they cut it themselves for fun. Too bad, it would have been funny.

We tried another very ambitious graduation prank there the next year but that's another story.

When you die, I think that your ration of laughs to frowns is the most important thing to judge.

Philosophy

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Comment from E-mail

Dear Woz, Your philosophy of life-as I have read it-seems to reflect a philosophy I had always been taught but never fully understood until I "experimented" with my mind in a "Grateful Dead" kind of way during my college and post college years.I found it a very profound and moving experience that for the first time in my life had the absolute ring of truth. In other words I discovered a philosophy of brotherhood, kindness and the oneness of all things that was not just a mere belief for me - but more of actually "knowing" as truth" deep in my heart. I debate with people constantly about the importance of the Psychedelic experience in America's past-as a major influence in the social changes that have occurred as well as creative development of many things important to the human saga-one of them being the computer. It is not anything I have read but more of something that I have felt though I have no factual basis to back this up. So I wanted to ask you if those type of mind expanding experiences influenced you, not just in your personal philosophies but also as a creative spark in your invention of the Apple computer ? My girlfriend thinks anyone who has "been on the bus" is a loser. I tell her that it is the complete opposite,that it is these types of people who led the way for many of the advancements-both social and technical-in our society today,and that the world is a better place because of it. Am I correct in my thinking or do I need to eat my words ? I look forward to your answer and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing a good Karma computer like the Apple into existence and for being the person you are.Once again, the world is a better place because of it.

Woz

My philosophy of life is deeply internal but it also includes being able to tell close ones, including parents, about anything you do, even if they might consider it wrong. It's one thing that kept me away from drugs. I would only do things that I was willing to say I believed were right. As long as I believe it internally strong enough to tell even my parents, I had a very good internal feeling for why my behavior was right. In the case of blue boxes, I broke the law (I was absolutely an 'ethical' phone phreak here) but I told my parents. They didn't like it but somehow didn't turn on me. Probably that was because I was honest and they could see my side and could accept this stuff as being interesting enough to attract me and they understood me better. I was very bright and didn't want to risk a good future with drugs. I found that I didn't need to. I could be among others smoking pot and taking LSD and was accepted by them anyway. Partly that was due to my youth and hippie look; partly it was due to my acceptance of others' behavior without preaching an absolute view of behavior for all. I only had to say "I'll pass" and I was still included in parties. Only a couple of times was I excluded and feared as a possible narc. I think that it's possible to have an incredibly open mind with or without drugs. You just have to believe in that and believe in yourself.