Former Marine 4321, former State Department public diplomacy officer. Current USAF Public Affairs Specialist
I love the way Woz takes us through his childhood pranks, breaking minor telecommunications laws and worrying about whether the police were going to arrest him for his techy long distance phone cheating tool. He gives a no holds barred look at himself and its so hilarious that I laughed until my stomach hurt and tears leaked from my eyes. Since I was driving, I'm lucky this audiobook didn't cause an accident.
At one point, he details how he scrambled the TV broadcast during the old days of TV antennas on top of the set and only let it display correctly when someone's hand was placed in the middle of the screen. He let his fellow collegiates watch the end of the big sports game while one of them was holding his hand in the middle of the TV. If they've known, they'd have thrashed him. Woz was a bonefide bad kid, but he was as brilliant as he was bad. This story is a blast. I don't know that I learned much about technology, but I learned to really love Steve.
I have been reading since before I started school. If I am not sitting in front of a book, someone is reading it to me!
This was a fun read. I laughed out loud so many times. Interesting story and nice history of computers. Nice to see the personal side of growing up as a computer engineer.
The performance was good. The story was good. I was always interested in the back story that never made it to the mainstream.
"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind" - Winston Churchill
Wozniak's upbeat, non judgmental, and positive tone.
There are to many books about Apple's History, most of which are crappy and littered with falsehoods. The real story comes with a combination of Walter Isaccson's Steve Jobs Biography and iWoz. The two childhood friends are as different as night and day, but both were essential to the founding of Apple and the development to the first practical personal computer. Woz, was the engineering brains, and Jobs was the business brains, and both are required reading for the complete picture of the PC revolution.
Sent from my iPad :)
Wozniak has such a matter-of-fact way of talking about his life. Woz sees a problem, finds a solution, makes - or loses - a few million dollars with his project, and moves on to the next thing that interests him. Repeat.
One aspect that really surprised me is that the whole Apple thing seems like such a blip in the life of Woz. In fact, Woz thinks his creating the first dial-a-joke service in his area is a much more notable accomplishment than building the Apple I or Apple II. Woz also invented the universal remote control. Who knew?
Interspersed with technical descriptions and hilarious pranks, iWoz is both insightful and genuinely funny. There is very little emotion in the book (except passion), at least on the surface, yet Wozniak still manages to come across as a proud teddy bear.
It was great getting to hear his side of the story for the development of Apple.
Hearing the history of Apple from Woz's side of things.
Okay, this book is not for everyone. I am in IT, what can I say? I gave it 3 stars not because I did not enjoy it, but because this is a book written from the perspective of a geek to people who can relate to geeks -- nothing wrong with that! It is the story of a particular quest for perfection by searching for simplicity. This is not unique to technology since, for example, particle physicists spend their lives striving to deliver to their peers a description of reality via an "elegant formula," writers through thoroughly, yet succinctly, explain an intangible idea, and artists by engaging the viewer/listener's sense of awe to communicate a state of mind. Wozniak did this through his pursuit of turning the complexity of a technical problem into a succinct and elegant piece of technology -- gee, sounds a bit like Apple doesn't it? Jobs was the left brain of Apple as Wozniak was the right-brain: it was this that gave Apple is birth. This book is an insight not only into the mind of a great engineer but into the core 1/2 of what made Apple tick and continues to color its approach to its products. Apple did not invent most of the technology that made it a top company, it strove to break technology's complexity and ugliness by delivering elegant products in the vision people like the two Steves that were its founders.
Does not disappoint. Not Jobs - it's not supposed to be. I read this and then the Jobs book and I was very pleased. This was a much better story, any kid that can learn like he did has a spot in my heart.
As you listen to this book, you can really here the voice of Woz coming through. Not only because the reader sounds a lot like him, but because it is written the way he talks.
The wizard rocks!
No, I really enjoyed splitting it up.
I really loved the technical detail. As a programmer I could really relate to his passion!
Though Steve Wozniak isn't a professional reader, I might have preferred for him to have read this. I listened to this right after "Born Standing Up" (by Steve Martin), and there is value to hearing the author's own voice. However, if you've been touched in any way by the computer revolution, and particularly if you're a tech person, you'll be fascinated by this insider's view to Silicon Valley and the genesis of one of the most successful companies in history.
Like most serious gearheads, Woz has a tendency to talk about his own accomplishments in matter-of-fact terms, which sounds arrogant to the general public. As someone who can fully appreciate the magnitude of his contributions to computer technology, I can assure you that none of this is ego-boosting. The things Woz accomplished in the late 70's and early 80's were truly groundbreaking and (to this day) virtually unmatched.
What most people won't expect is to learn of his fantastic sense of humor. The stories of his pranks may sound childish to some, but his sense of right and wrong always comes through. It's very easy to believe that he really is the charming, gracious, and imminently approachable person that you hear about waiting patiently along with "new friends" to buy the latest Apple gadget.
If you're not a techie, you might find some of his explanations tedious or difficult to follow, but it's well worth it if you do.