a spoof which they had been planning – BAZIC

This cracked me up. And I’m not even gong to try to explain how I came across it and i can’t even verify if it is true. From: http://akghona.webs.com/documents/Return_to_the_Little_Kingdom_-_Michael_Moritz.pdf

Wozniak, staggered to learn that the booth cost $5,000, was preoccupied with a more entertaining diversion. Along with Wigginton he was putting the finishing touches to a spoof which they had been planning for several weeks. Wozniak had composed an advert promoting a new computer called the Zaltair: a hybrid play on a new microprocessor, the Z- 80, and the Altair computer.

Imagine the computer surprise of the century here today. Imagine Z-80 performance plus. Imagine BAZIC in ROM, the most complete and powerful language ever developed. Imagine raw video, plenty of it. Imagine auto-scroll text, a full 16 lines of 64 characters. Imagine eye- dazzling color graphics. Imagine a blitz-fast 1200- baud cassette port. Imagine an unparalleled I/O system with full Altair-100 and Zaltair-150 bus compatibility. Imagine an exquisitely designed cabinet that will add to the decor of any living room. Imagine the fun you’ll have. Imagine Zaltair, available now from MITS, the company where microcomputer technology was born.

Wozniak described the computer’s software BAZIC: “Without software a computer is no more than a racing car without wheels, a turntable without records, or a banjo without strings. The best thing of all about BAZIC is the ability to define your ownlanguage. . . a feature we call perZonality. TM.“

With its corporate logo on the spoof and a coupon offering prospective customers trade-in allowances on their Altairs, the MITS management was not amused. It frantically stamped FRAUD and NOT REAL on all the brochures it could find. Finally, despite the $400 he had sunk into the prank, Wozniak began to get nervous, and worried that thousands of computers would be returned to MITS, he and his accomplices dumped cartons of dummy ads down stairwells.

Jobs picked up one of the advertisements and started to examine the details of the surprising new competitor””which Wozniak had plotted in a chart against machines like the Sol, IMSAI, and Apple beneath the line: “The mark of a microcomputer champ is performance.“ Wozniak and Wigginton, who couldn’t smother their giggles, slid out through a side door, leaving Jobs inside gasping, “Oh, my God! This thing sounds great.“ Jobs looked at the detailed rankings given in a performance chart on the back, discovered that the Apple II ranked third behind the Zaltair and the Altair 8800-b, and with an air of intense relief, sighed, “Hey, look! We didn’t come out too bad.“

representation of millennials versus the reality

When you encounter a millennial job applicant who is right out of school looking for the “perfect job“, as an older person, you think thoughts like “Hey kid, I was just served a $3 coffee by a 50 year old working a split shift of 5AM to 9AM and then 3PM to 7PM at Starbucks! There is no perfect job, so get over it.“

There are two issues with this. The first is that the young person has been taught by our school systems that if they follow the rules, get a degree, they are entitled to a “perfect job.“ Nobody ever mentions that there is no such thing. That they will 99% quit their first job within two years (or so it seems to me) regardless of how “perfect“ it is because they assume the grass is greener. And in fact it IS greener when they talk to their friends because people only talk about the good stuff. Talk to someone working for big oil and it’s all about the salary and benefits. Talk to someone in entertainment and it’s all about hanging out with rock stars at the House of Blues.

The second issue with the example in the first paragraph is the subtle judgment by ME that the job at Starbucks is necessarily a sacrifice on the part of the 50 year old. That presumption that they aren’t enjoying their work, that it might be perfect for their lifestyle and benefit needs, is flat out wrong on my part. It hints at the subtle prejudice in our society against non-college-prep types of jobs. If you are managing a restaurant it must be because you couldn’t get a job in a cube at the local insurance branch. Baroo? I’d MUCH rather run a hoping restaurant than work in a cube. Yet I too fall into this trap of incorrectly judging other people’s jobs.

Further Reading:

this profound disconnect

millennials redefining