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.
I write my reviews under my wife Karen's account. Retired USN Russian linguist/analyst; actor; director; producer. Biography & History focus
I am an admirer of Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak...well, iWOZ an admirer or Wozniak. Everything I had known of him was 3rd person. Maybe Jobs was wise enough to keep Woz from talking when Apple was starting out, because Woz would have alienated anyone in earshot if he was anything like this book, and since it's his autobiography, one has to believe that this is, indeed, his personality. I never knew that Woz was the smartest elementary school student in the U.S., smartest High School student, smartest College student, smartest engineer in computer history, did you? Did you also know that his logic outshines anyone else in history? The ego here is truly breathtaking. I would agree that he is a genius (or was, anyway) but I don't need to hear that everything he ever attempted was groundbreaking, brilliant and successful. Oh, yes, he NEVER failed at anything. Also, he states that he NEVER lies about anything, or ever lied...but then he recounts instances where he lied, often. He even states that he was euphoric at lying to the police and pulling the wool over their eyes. He admires his sense of humor and practical jokes, but had I been around him, I would have beaten the crap out of him for some of his "pranks". I guess some people can't handle success. I purchased this title because I love the whole Apple story and it's soft counterculture beginnings. I did learn some interesting things about the evolution of Apple. I still love Apple and admire Steve Jobs, but Wozniak is no longer in my list of people that I admire. He is, basically, an egocentric, juvenile, self-centered jerk. Technically this audiobook has a number of flaws. The most egregious is the "hiss" (did someone forget to record with the Dolby filter on?) and the audible time-code track which adds a sound like a Vespa in the background. This narrator, no matter the title he has done, sounds like everything is a joke to him and that he is, like Woz, very interesting to listen to. Barely worth it.
As an engineering type, I really appreciated the theme/story and the life observation/commentary presented. All of the technical discussions are very well presented so readers of all backgrounds can enjoy the story behind this very facsinating indivdual; the type of individual who would be great to meet and know. I was glued to every minute of this book.
This book is written to aspiring engineers and has a great deal of detail about circuits created by Mr. Wozniak. The book goes into great detail about how he designed circuits for the Apple and other things. I did not know he invented SuperBreakout for Atari. I wish I had a little more education on basic electronics so I could have enjoyed the technical parts of the book. The early years at HP take up a good part of the book. Mr. Jobs is treated generally well in the book except for a time where he cheated Mr. Wozniak out of some money from Atari. Mr. Wozniak makes some references at the end to Apples Rebirth but did not seem to be involved. If you like very tech stuff then you will like this book. The book is written in naive style that lets the reader draw their own conclusion about the characters described. His former spouses are described in such a way that the reader can infer their character flaws. I would think that Mr. Wozniak would not be happy with me taking some of the stories at more than face value. Remember to read or listen between the lines.
My disappointed is directed mostly toward the author for doing a poor job in developing anything of real substance from interviews with Wozniak.
It is almost as if she let Steve ramble on about anything that came to mind and then transcribed it , word for word, into a book.
Very little structure, very little probing into what must have been a very complex relationship with Steve Jobs.
In some places it felt as if she must be getting paid by the word. It was maddening to hear Steve recount something by repeating the same thought four or five times.
Based on what impression of "The Woz" comes through, that of an egocentric genius, with many childish qualities, I don't doubt for a minute that these ramblings came straight from his mouth.
However, I would have preferred that the author use some skill in editing, or simply recorded the discussion and published it in Q and A form.
This is the first negative review I have ever posted. I really wanted to like this book....just didn't happen.
I thought at first I had downloaded a young adult or younger book. Lawlor sounded like he was reading to children. His tone was patronizing at best, ineffective at least. Perhaps he was trying to set the pitch to his estimation of author's own voice. Made it hard to stick with the book.
For the most part.
I agree with other reviewers - Woz has an ego the size of Alaska, and some of the extended/protracted descriptions of technology were out of my field of interest. His penchant for pranks and particularly the lengthy description of the remote control prank wore thin. But there was still enough I liked learning to justify the credit. Would have been much easier with a different narrator, though.
Always Learning though I'm not sure it changes much of your life to be honest.
this book is a fine way to pass some time. it is both entertaining and informative. the author creates every opportunity to point out how smart he is and how others are not, but it works because ther are other things to balance it all out. steve jobs is the cheating no class man we thought he was. i was surprised to find that "WOZ" is a man with a great heart and a teriffic human being. not what i had guessed prior to the read. good book, left me feeling upbeat and wishing more people were like him.
Anyone with an ego the size of a small planet? I dunno, Nero, Hitler, Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump perhaps.
Anything to take the taste of this out of my ears.
No one could have made this self-lovefeat sound palatable.
None I could I hear.
I thought the meek were supposed to inherit the earth. Not in this guy's case. I couldn't stomach the chest-beating arrogance past the sixth chapter. Do yourself a favour and read the new Steve Jobs bio instead. He seems to have been a bit of a jerk too. But I'll wager even he had more humility than Wozniak. Yikes.
Pee Wee Herman
Read the book figuring this would be the less egotistical more down to earth of the Apple Pair, but he comes off as so full of himself and so obnoxious, must have congratulated himself on his intelligence three dozen times already. Apparently both Jobs and Woz are total jerks.
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