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DaveNet: Tuesday, February 18, 1997; by Dave Winer.

blue ribbon Lunch With Woz

Good morning!

I had lunch on Sunday with Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple Computer. I had never met him. The lunch lasted five and a half hours. We talked about lots of things.

I was surprised to find out how Apple-involved he is. He has a user's understanding of the Macintosh, experience using all the major apps on the platform. Steve has time to actually use the stuff. As we talked about software, we were talking about how real stuff actually works. No theories. He asks piercing to-the-point questions. No fear here.

Steve drives a Hummer, which is a military vehicle. He buys lots of toys. He's got Macs and Macs and more Macs. A great rack of servers. And boxes full of computers that he doesn't use. I salivated! I want some of that...

He's an insider at Apple now and he's been reading my stuff for a long time, as have many of the insiders at Apple. He points out that the publishing market is a good Mac market, as I have said, but he emphasizes the importance of the education market. That market is entering its buying season right now, so Apple must get an offering together quickly, or 1997 is going to be out of reach.

One thing I learned is that he doesn't trust the press. He says that the major pubs are just out to sell papers. I don't disagree. Tis a shame, I think, because Woz would make a great spokesperson for the Mac now. There's a lot of truth to be told, and he isn't scared of the truth. We had, as they say, a frank discussion.

Back at the dawn of the Macintosh Jobs talked about computers for the rest of us. Now it seems that unless something incredible happens, we know who the rest of us are. Steve Wozniak is one of them. A good man, with a big heart who like to have fun. Not bad. I'd definitely like to be friends with him! I don't make that statement lightly...

Floating an idea

There's a lot of freeware or shareware for the Macintosh. Wouldn't it be great to concentrate that stuff around a server with a high bandwidth net connection and a consistent look for the pages, with searchable archives, and a recognizable face endorsing the collection?

I asked Steve if he liked the idea, and he offered use of his server. Take a look.

http://www.woz.org/

Seems pretty zippy to me. If you're producing excellent Mac shareware stuff, send me email. Let's see if there's an interest.

A reminder

I've been posting email received in response to DaveNet pieces on the new Mail Website.

http://www.scripting.com/mail/

To those who send me email, be aware that unless you explicitly state otherwise, all responses are on the record and for attribution. Even so, I will delete messages if people object within a reasonable period of time.

There are some interesting messages on the site. It's a good read!

TCP scripting

A few weeks ago Chuck Shotton, the lead developer of WebSTAR, and I got together to build a solid TCP foundation for Mac script writers and app developers.

The goal was to provide a connection between TCP, the standard transport method for the Internet, and Apple Events, the standard way of connecting Macintosh applications and system software. Simply put, we connect the Apple Event Manager to TCP, providing reliable stream-oriented TCP connections for apps and scripts running on Macintoshes.

We support script writers working in either AppleScript or Frontier, or mixed environments. The Apple Event interface is designed to be easily accessed from C or other machine languages. The Frontier scripting interface will be cross-platform.

The package includes a small application called NetEvents that provides the stream management code. The code was cribbed from the source code of Chuck's Pounder app. It's been well tested, is leak-free, is threaded. There have been some new features added that may have leaks or may not perform reliably.

We both decided that we've waited long enough for the big companies to move. They may not understand what we want. We have a nice playground here -- let's explore some, and learn what it can do. That's the basic idea.

We shared this work with several members of the Mac scripting community over the last couple of weeks, and the software seems to work, and we know how we want to proceed. So it's time to share it with a wider group of people.

Pointers to the TCP scripting stuff is at:

http://www.scripting.com/frontier/netScripting/tcp/

Dave Winer


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