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iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way | [Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith]

iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way

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?
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Publisher's Summary

The mastermind behind Apple Computer sheds his low profile and steps forward to tell his story for the first time.

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.

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Dave 10-07-11
    Dave 10-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow! I'll say it again: Wow. For a third time: Wow"

    Want to get into the not-so-literary head of the epitome of geekness. This is certainly a fun way to do it. Woz tells his story the way a fairly articulate 30-somethng might -- often repeating the obvious innumerable times for emphasis. The narrator does a great job of bringing the "Hey, Wow" to life though inflection. We are listening to a guy tell his story his way, which is good.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginger 10-05-11
    Ginger 10-05-11
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    "Enjoyed very much"

    Fascinating story: I enjoyed learning about Woz's upbringing, his development and interest in computers/technology, his college days, the creation of Apple, his relationship with Steve Jobs, and his personal life. My only disappointment was when the book ended! I wanted to hear more.

    His pure interest and love of technology very much comes through. Was fascinating to hear how it all started and kept building throughout the years. He truly is the one that revolutionized our computer technology, but is able to explain how he did this, in simple easy to understand terms.

    As he says in his book, Steve is not a writer by profession - His story is conversational, and written as he speaks. Those qualities only added to the story and didn't take anything away from how interesting I found it.

    My only slight issue was with the narration. The narrator's voice/volume would diminish at times with a rhythm. I could almost imagine (hear) that his head was moving from left to right while reading/narrating into a stationary microphone. Also, the narration was with an almost forced enthusiasm, as if reading a children's story to a toddler. I suppose this extreme is preferred over what it's opposite could be - a dull, droning voice.

    The book held my interest all the way through. I might listen to a second time. :)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Decatur, TX, United States 09-29-11
    Matthew Decatur, TX, United States 09-29-11
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    "Great listen"

    If you are a fan of technology this is a must listen. You get to see the personal computer revolution through the eyes of one of its major figures.

    Wozniak's personality shines in this book. I laughed out loud more than once. The story of the TV jammer was hilarious.

    My only real complaint is that the last portion of the book drifts a little. It just didn't seem to have the same energy.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TechGooch Dubuque, IA, United States 09-25-11
    TechGooch Dubuque, IA, United States 09-25-11
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    "Interesting perspective on the beginings of the PC"

    Whether or not you are a Mac or a "PC" user, you can't argue that they both stem from the same time period and are actually both PC's, or Personal Computers. Steve Wozniak gives us his side of the story and how he started in Electrical Engineering and eventually invented the PC. As a tech geek, I throughly enjoyed this book, and would have to recommend it to anyone with an interest in computers, engineering or those interested in the history of the personal computer.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Wisconsin Rapids, WI, United States 07-28-11
    William Wisconsin Rapids, WI, United States 07-28-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Terribly egocentric, but still a fun read"

    It was hard to tell how much of this was Steve Wozniak and how much was Gina Smith. Perhaps it doesn't matter. Mix in the boyish enthusiasm of the narrator Patrick Lawlor, and you have a narrative that probably pretty well captures Wozniak's persona.

    I liked this book in spite of the self-righteous egocentrism of its subject. I am always amazed at people who are so insecure that they must constantly tell us how great they are...and Steve does this with gusto!

    Still, there can be no doubt about his genius, and it was fun getting the inside story on so much of the early history of computing and the development of the Apple I and ][. The first computer with which I had any significant experience was an Apple ][, and the first computer I ever owned (after a failed affair with a Texas Instruments "toy" that was given to me) was an Apple ][c, so I enjoyed revisiting the "old days".

    All in all there is much to like in this book--especially if Woz' ego trip doesn't particularly bother you.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacel Miami, FL, United States 07-27-11
    Jacel Miami, FL, United States 07-27-11
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    "Very Techie"

    I'm suppose to be giving 5 star on this because, in the end, the whole book was great. However, Steve just used a lot of technical words in Engineering and did some explaining which made me more dizzy & felt I was taking a course...But again, this book is very inspiring and brilliantly written.

    If you are an APPLE fan, you have to read this...It's the story of the man who invented the APPLE computer...Steve Wozniak.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Chamblee, GA, United States 07-23-11
    John Chamblee, GA, United States 07-23-11 Member Since 2009

    I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty Good"

    This is a pretty entertaining and interesting book about a fascinating character. There is a lot of geek stuff here, but it's still pretty entertaining. The narrator gets a little breathless at times, but is pretty good at conveying the material.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas ATHENS, AL, United States 06-24-11
    Thomas ATHENS, AL, United States 06-24-11
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    "Memory lane for computer enthusiasts."

    I enjoyed listening to this book. It is interesting to get an inside perspective to the beginnings of the PC (as a general term). Sometimes the explanations were laborious. At other times it seemed that what may be termed as boasting got old. Of course, it was not without basis. The book also felt a little out of order at times, though this may add to the effect that the book is very personal. After you listen to the book you feel like you know Wozniak. Overall, I think it will have the most appeal and be appreciated by those who have more than a basic knowledge of computers.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Livermore, CA, United States 05-29-11
    Michael Livermore, CA, United States 05-29-11
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    "Amazing reader"

    Best...reader...ever!

    Thanks Mr. Lawlor!

    The book is pretty good, but it would never have worked as well without Mr. Lawlor reading.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth Worthington, OH, United States 05-12-11
    Seth Worthington, OH, United States 05-12-11 Member Since 2015
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    "You can tell the words were his own"

    The content in the book was interesting. You could really tell that the words were Wozniak's, and not just a ghostwriters, i like that a lot. The voice of the reader was annoying. His voice really bothered me, i much prefer the author to read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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