Yesterday I went to the ninth annual Vintage Computer Festival at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I have to say I had a blast and met quite few really, uhh, ‘neat’ people. The high point of the day was the very distinguished panel discussing the early days of Apple, and truth be told, it was this Apple 30-year anniversary event that brought me to the festival in the first place (I hate to say it, but I’m a bit young to be running with the vintage crowd; indeed, I was one of the youngest people there).
The panel consisted of Steve Wozniak (whom I’ve met before), Daniel Kottke, Randy Wigginton, and Chris Espinosa. The discussion was more or less open, but centered mainly around Apple’s somewhat inauspicious beginnings; the members of the panel spoke up where appropriate and took turns relaying to us anecdotal nuggets (as one would expect, Woz’s stories were the best). Sadly, a lot of what I heard I already knew, both from Woz’s new autobiography, iWoz, and Andy Hertzfeld’s Revolution in the Valley, which I’ve mentioned before. Speaking of Andy, he was actually there and was sitting next to Woz in the front row before the panel discussion began. I was very eager to meet him, but he put on his ninja costume and snuck out of the room as soon as the main event ended.
I should mention that John Captain Crunch Draper was in attendance and told some stories to the audience once the floor was opened up for comments and questions.
Before I end this somewhat pointless post, I’d like to note that Woz — the man utterly revered for his hardware prowess — uses the Dolce and Gabana Motorola Razr. Never mind the fact that it’s gold (why anyone would want a gold phone is beyond me), but as we all know (certainly he more than anyone), the Razr sucks. Moreover, it’s just not the type of phone you’d expect from someone who wears neon display tubes on his wrist to tell the time.