Before cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand and slim laptops that fit snugly into briefcases, computers were like strange, alien vending machines. They had cryptic switches, punch cards, and pages of encoded output. But in 1975, a young engineering wizard named Steve Wozniak had an idea: what if you combined computer circuitry with a regular typewriter keyboard and a video screen? The result was the first true personal computer, the Apple I, a widely affordable machine that anyone could understand and figure out how to use.
Wozniak's life before and after Apple is a "home-brew" mix of brilliant discovery and adventure, as an engineer, a concert promoter, a fifth-grade teacher, a philanthropist, and an irrepressible prankster. From the invention of the first personal computer to the rise of Apple as an industry giant, iWoz presents a no-holds-barred, rollicking, firsthand account of the humanist inventor who ignited the computer revolution.
©2006 Steve Wozniak; (P)2006 Tantor Media, Inc.
Woz seems very modest about his accomplishments. While he says many times that he did created something completely by himself, he says it as a matter of fact, not as a boast. He relates a lot of technical details in a clear, understandable manner. He always sought to remain an engineer; never aspired to be a manager. When he thought some Apple co-workers were not getting the IPO shares they deserved, he distributed his own shares to them. He is a prankster and has a good sense of humor.
The book sounds as if it was transcribed directly from conversation, with the verbal tics that are usually edited from written work, but that makes the reading very enjoyable because you get a sense of sitting across from Woz while he relates his story.
When you read this book, you will understand why you would want Steve Wozniak as your very best friend -- and why you would wouldn't want to be friends with Steve Jobs at all. Steve Wozniak has got to be one of the most transparent and benevolent geniuses of our day.
Steve Wozniack's story is one of a genius that luckily ends up at exactly the right place and time to change the world. He does tend to repeat himself at times and goes into extreme detail regarding the technical aspects of designing things like the floppy disk controller for the apple II, sometimes times way, way too much technical detail. I mean I love Apple products and Steve seems like a swell guy, one you could really relate to, and I'm sure that he is rightly proud of the technical details of these things but they sometimes get in the way of the human side of the story. Still a very enjoyable story.
The book is boring. The author deals with technical minutiae like creating hardware for an 8-inch floppy drive or programming MOS 6502 processor. Half of the book describes his youth years, family, and so on. I would not buy this again.
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