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Apple Co-founder Wozniak Replies to a Letter from a School Girl in Jeju, "I Had to Think Deeply to Achieve the Impossible"
By Kang Hong-gyun
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Recently news that the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak sent a message of hope via e-mail to a girl attending a high school in rural Jeju was made public. The story was released in the March edition of Jeju Education Monthly, published on March 5 by the Jejudo Office of Education.

The girl who exchanged e-mails with Wozniak was Yang Yeon-su (19), currently a senior at Jeju's Sehwa High School. Yang attended Steve Wozniak's lecture when she volunteered at the Jeju Forum, which was held last May in Jeju Island. Although she did not meet Wozniak face-to-face, the lecture left a deep impression on her.

Yang sent an e-mail to Wozniak telling him, "Our school is located in the countryside of Jeju Island. For this reason, we don't have many opportunities to talk with successful people. If you send a message of hope to the students at our school, I will share that message with my friends."

Yang said, "He's so famous, I didn't expect him to reply to a letter from a student at a rural high school in Korea. But I sent the e-mail because I wanted to let him know that there was someone who remembered him even at a high school in Jeju's countryside."

Wozniak sent a lengthy reply to Yang's e-mail. In his reply, Wozniak wrote, "The best things I did in my young years leading up to the early Apple computers were done because I had little money and had to think deeply to achieve the impossible... Being self-taught, figuring out how to design computers with pencil and paper, made me skilled at finding solutions that I had not been taught."

He continued, "Apps are like furniture. There are infinite variations until we have a few standards that change little. So this is a huge opportunity in the future." He wrote, "when you speak what you want. If you don't have to worry about having the right computer words, but just speak to it as you would to a human, then the computer has totally gotten out of your way. Finding ways to do this will be very important in the future."

Wozniak also advised Yang, "Do listen to elders. They are mentors who have been in this world working with other humans doing the important things that make life work a lot longer than you students. The world needs all kinds of human effort to work and to progress." Despite the advances in state-of-the-art technology, which is changing every aspect of our lives, Wozniak added, "The smartest approaches come from understanding normal people."

The March edition of Jeju Education Monthly published the unabridged e-mails between Yang and Wozniak. Wozniak co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and is known as a computer genius who first developed the mouse.

Copyright The Kyunghyang Shinmun. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution without permission absolutely prohibited.

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