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iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It Paperback – October 17, 2007
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“Budding computer-science majors, Apple aficionados and electronics buffs will find plenty to ingest here, as Wozniak recounts the inspirations and thought processes for his designs.”
- J.D. Biersdorfer, New York Times Book Review
“Sincerity and enthusiasm are the hallmarks of this irrepressible memoir, and Wozniak's optimism offers an example to us all.”
- Chris Hartman, Christian Science Monitor
“This memoir truly reflects its author, both in its subject matter and its happy-go-lucky tone…A welcome, fresh perspective for an industry that seems so far removed from its original ideas.”
- Peter Burrows, BusinessWeek
“iWoz is the story about a man filled with curiosity and drive. It's about growing up in Silicon Valley at a watershed time for electronics and computing. And it's about never forgetting what makes a person happy in life and never forgetting one's dreams.”
- Russ Juskalian, USA Today
“At last, Mr. Wozniak gets the stage all to himself [in a] chatty memoir full of surprises.... He reveals a technology pioneer more charming―and whose life is more poignant―than we expected.”
- George Anders, Wall Street Journal
“The mastermind behind Apple tells his story for the first time, from the invention of the first personal computer to the rise of Apple as an industry giant.”
- Book Passage
About the Author
Steve Wozniak has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Technology and the Heinz Award. He lives in California.
Top customer reviews
Steve tells how his father explained engineering principles to him in such a way that he understood them completely and absorbed the information. This became the foundation of his passion and interest in engineering.
"The Woz" explains every step in his quest to design a personal computer, since he couldn't afford to buy one. He always kept redesigning this computer on paper, trying to utilize as few chips as possible. In between, we hear about his beloved job at Hewlett-Packard, building a "blue box" (device that makes free long distance phone calls), creating a dial-a-joke service, designing a game for Atari, and inventing the first universal remote. This man is brilliant, and Steve Jobs knew it.
Wozniak discusses the working atmosphere at Apple, his marriages, owning a movie theater, funding the US Music Festival, his love of being a father and becoming a computer teacher at his kids' school.
This is an excellent book told in an honest and informative fashion. In addition, it is the perfect companion to reading the Steve Jobs book.
I'm not a fan of the VERY informal writing style--it's like he's having a conversation with you in person. I'm not sure it works.
In those days, Jobs and Wozniak were household names. Everyone was amazed at what they had done. I took an early Apple II running UCSD Pascal into work at Control Data (fast dinosaurs), and the editor impressed people so much that CDC introduced its own "full-screen editor" very quickly. When I was assigned to explain the internal workings of our Sort / Merge product, it was extremely easy to look up the relevant algorithms in Knuth and translate them to Pascal --- and print out traces which enabled everyone to grasp the inner details of a tournament sort. It is no exaggeration to say that an Apple II was, in many respects, quicker and easier to use than a CDC computer which cost millions of dollars.
Clearly, the world of computing was in for a total tranformation.
Steve Wozniak's book explains just how he did it. I was surprised to learn that his IQ measured over 200, and then I sort of kicked myself: "Well, what did you expect?" This is the man who designed the Apple I singlehandedly, and then surpassed himself by designing the completely different Apple II a few months later. He had the vision of a computer with a keyboard and a screen --- very new concepts when the hobbyist world was still dealing with punched cards and "blinken lights." Wozniak, acting alone, defined the new world of the personal computer simply by inventing it. He was a true American genius who is simply stating the truth about his amazing accomplishments --- including writing the original Integer Basic interpreter for the Apple machines.
A lot of people may wonder what Woz has to say about Steve Jobs, and I will report that Woz admired Jobs terrifically, especially when Jobs played the comeback kid and returned to an Apple that seemed to be losing direction.
There may be an underlying story in this book, which Woz does not clearly bring out, and it has to do with what may have been a classic case of burnout. This occurred after his stunning successes, and after he was worth $100 million, when he went to Hawaii and simply stopped working on engineering. He decided that there were plenty of engineers in the world, but his kids had just the one father, and he decided to devote much more time to his family. In fact, he became a teacher and really devoted the rest of his life to educating the next generation.
In fact, leaving aside his very short life of crime (selling illegal Blue Boxes) this seems to be the tale of a model citizen, and someone you might have enjoyed knowing --- if you could follow his thoughts.
A very enjoyable read, and a definite contribution to history.
Despite his - one has to say - towering intellect, he comes across as a wonderful human being; happy to share his faults as well as the many highlights. I'd thoroughly recommend this book to anyone - not just those interested in computers and the like.
Most recent customer reviews
I hated the conversational style of writing.Read more