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iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It Hardcover – September 17, 2006
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Everyone should enjoy Woz's very personal and engaging story .What a wild ride! -- Ray Kurzweil, inventor and author of Singularity Is Near
Worth waiting for adds intriguing new information to the history of the origins of the personal computer revolution. -- Alan Deutschman, author of The Second Coming of Steve Jobs
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Which is why it's so disappointing that Woz spends so much time telling you what a genius he is. If you thought Jobs had an inflated ego, you might need to recalibrate. Practically every paragraph seems to be there purely to insist on Woz's brilliance. And this alleged genius clearly doesn't extend to writing. The story reads like the verbatim transcription of hyperactive eight year-old who has been slipped a strong coffee. Significant details and stories are drowned in a sea of banal anecdotes told in language a normal eight year-old would find drearily infantile.
I'm trying to finish this book because it's a subject that deeply interests me. But I find I can bear only a few pages at a time before I need to read something grown-up.
I found it appropriately technical but not too geeky. Also very honest and straight forward. In my opinion, an even better book than the biography of Steve Jobs by Walther Isaacson - which is also worth reading but a more definitive work.
Steve Wozniak focuses most of the book on his childhood, youth and early adult life & relationship with Steve Jobs up to the time when Apple Computers gets up and rolling. That story alone would have made the book worth reading.
After that he skips a lot of detail and talks more about his person life, marriages and things he did after his full time involvement with Apple. When you are all done you come away feeling like you know the person Steve Wozniak.
You also realize that without Steve Jobs, he would have just spent his life being a super-geek company man making a mid-six figure salary working for Hewlett Packard. And without Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs would have probably become a B-list, new age cult leader living somewhere in Santa Cruz.
Clearly, Gina Smith has no clue about technology, given the frequent errors and generalizations that entirely miss the point of what Woz is talking about, she just puts it into the book without understanding the content, or that it is wrong. But since she is supposedly an author and journalist, there is simply no excuse for the writing style, the typos, the technical mistakes, and the completely lack of editorial improvement over Woz's casual conversational story. I can only imagine that, much like the repeating saga of Woz's story of inability to say no when people pressured him, he simply gave this story to Gina Smith without proper diligence.
I am so disappointed. I am a huge fan of the story of Woz and early Apple and the significance of this story to not only the history of computer design, but to the American Way of innovation and capitalism itself. This even includes Steve Jobs--whatever you think of him--who was the yang to Woz's yin. Apple and perhaps the evolution of computers as we know them could not have happened without the contributions of both of these guys, they among are my heroes.
My conclusion is that--as with the horrific writing that destroyed our beloved Game of Thrones saga--we should all demand a redo of this book! Woz, your story--with greater depth of both narrative and your technical innovations--deserves, even must, be told properly. This includes the more detailed story of you and Steve Jobs, upon which you walked on eggshells in this book. I say give it another go, but this time take the time to find a writer to work with that can actually understand what you are saying, and can help you craft this into a real book that people will treasure for generations.
Top international reviews
I imagine the aim was for him to appear as just 'a regular guy' but he came across as a bit of a prat. I found the style irritating and frustrating. The content I found difficult as well. Just too much of 'the great I am.' He shows himself to be a rather unpleasant person with his 'pranks' which seemed to be there to show what a clever person he is but just shows him as unkind and thoughtless.
I did my best with this book but in the end I thought 'I've got better things to do.'
He should have employed a good editor.
Steve Jobs gets most of the attention but me being a programmer, I was always more interested in Woz's story.
Very interesting book.
It's artlessly written but that adds to its charm. Wozniak comes across as a rather guileless individual, contrasting with his description of Steve Jobs who fleeced Wozniak of money and attempted to disrupt his post-Apple remote control business.
Like Jony Ive's book and Walter Issacsons book squarely puts the success of Apple under the person of context.
However add this one to the other biographies and you get a clear view of what Apple did right.
Would have liked more about the 90's
Worth reading and enjoyable.
It does not reveal some of his qualities, as wanting to remain open, feeling as of 30 years ago already portable, small appliance importance.