(continued from previous page)
the source code; I can't modify it. Whereas when it's open, any kid can come in there, do their thing. Making money is a different story--it's complicated and very dependent on the details. But I believe you can have a much healthier environment.
What do you see for the future of intellectual property on this stuff?
That's one of the great questions, I think, for the next 10 to 20 years. Not just code but the entertainment bits, music and video. I think eventually it will work itself out like all technological changes in the past. Essentially the record companies will be happy (that) people are file sharing 10 years from now because it means people are listening to their music. Of course, what a record company is, is going to undergo a redefinition.
My values are simple, the greatest value for the greatest number. Free music flowing--it's like a boon for mankind; it makes everyone's lives better. I don't think it necessarily has to undermine people's businesses. It's certainly better for the artists--I think you maybe get better music on a system where the artists rather than the executives are getting the lion's share of compensation.
I'm a big BitTorrent user and chagrined that they shut down SuprNova two days ago--where the SuprNova guys decided to punt because of various legal pressures. Clearly a mistake on behalf of the music companies, because here you have this site that could help them get a handle on it. By putting it out of business
What's the next business or process to be disrupted by technology the way the music and movie industries have been?
Politics, and we've seen the stirrings of that in the last election cycle. Eventually the fact that everyone can be connected to each other through this open system with all the information at their fingertips should have a profound effect on our political system, hopefully repairing it. I look at the last election result and I think, "Something's broken." The Net is going to impact every single business you can think of--it already has to some degree. It's sort of at a midpoint, maybe. It's ready for its bar mitzvah, not for its marriage.
Blogging is changing the way people communicate. Are you a blogger?
No. I think people overrate blogging. I think the overall phenomenon to me is Web pages. Blogs are just Web pages, a certain stylized form of Web page. Much of the blogging is driven by egotism.
I'm down on podcasts. I think that's ridiculous. Suddenly you're taking the information and making it completely inaccessible. You can't read it, and besides a podcast is nothing. It's streaming MP3s that's good, but no one can take credit for inventing a new term because streaming MP3s is simple and has been around for a while. Doing it through RSS enclosures is basically bad--to automatically download big files before hearing them. The whole thing about audio is that it has small enough bandwidth that you can stream. You just can't stream from an iPod because it doesn't have a network connection, yet. I'm excited about getting an iPod with 802.11 so I can stream to my AirPort Express without carrying my Mac around.
I'd say my wire-wrap prototype. I have the third wire-wrap board. If you've ever seen a wire-wrap you know why I'd say it's fascinating. It's got thousands of wires wrapped around pins in the back. It was the third Mac prototype ever made. I had two of them and one of them I donated to the Computer Museum. Burrell has one; there's two others.
I have this great letter from Bill Gates that's on my Folklore site but they wouldn't let me put it in the book...about my Switcher program. The story in the book is how I had a negotiation with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at separate times for selling them the same program. I tried to write it in such a way that really contrasted their world views. Bill Gates--to try to get me to sell him Switcher at a low price--used an extremely logical and analytical approach. Steve Jobs used an extremely intuitive approach--no reasoning behind his number at all. But just, "I'm right!"
What's next for you?
If the book does really well, I'd like to do a sequel-prequel type thing of all the early Apple stories, mainly starring Steve Wozniak. I have a great set of stories that have never been written up in that time frame.
Give us an example of a Steve Wozniak story.
Here's a really quick one that follows off a story that is in the book, about Steve Jobs parking in the handicapped spaces--he always parked in the handicapped spaces. One day in October 1983 I got a phone call at my desk at Apple from the Cupertino police saying something like, "You reported that car parked in the handicapped space. Well, we can't really tow it away because the handicapped space is not properly marked." I said, "What?"
Well, it turned out that Woz called up the Cupertino police reporting Steve Jobs' car illegally parked in a handicapped space and told them the person reporting it was Andy Hertzfeld and gave them my phone number. So that was a prank on both me and Steve Jobs; it just didn't quite come off, thank God. I could have just imagined Steve having to go check out his car and finding out that Andy Hertzfeld had reported it.
6 commentsJoin the conversation! Add your comment