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.
Too technical and at the same time too sophmoric to be enjoyed. Mr. W. contents himself with a reliving in detail his highschool and college pranks. Inexplicably he fails at one point to understand why he should be punished for a planting a fake bomb. I really expected more. What a disappointment.
This narrator as usual does a good job with the material he has been given.
This book is completely pathetic. It's almost unbelievable that the reading is as bad as the book itself. Wozniak comes off as a 10 year old, proclaiming over and over "I can't believe how smart and talented I am! And I'm not bragging - I really am! Not only that, I'm self-aware and I really care about other people too!" The technical parts are so pedantic and boring the details can't even save the book from itself. The reader sounds like the guy who plays Bill Gates on the Apple commercials, with pretentious enthusiasm and unaware of how clueless he is. I wanted to like the book but it just kept getting worse and worse, chapter after chapter, and I just couldn't take it anymore. I will probably go back to it a few more times, trying to finish it, giving up repeatedly as the pain returns. I gave it one star because the review process won't seem to allow me to submit this with no stars.
Seriously this book wouldn't be worth downloading if they gave you 3 credits just to download it.
While some of this book were interesting, it is clear that this gentleman is so full of himself that he can only put any and all experiences in a totally positive light. Much of the book felt like he was just bragging.
If you are a tech person, and especially if you used computers in the early days of PC's, this book will be great for you. If you are not into the details of the innards of long gone computers, then you may want to pass.
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.
To learn about Woz the book will give you great insight, yet because it is audible you will find it difficult to get through the 10+ minute explanation of practical jokes and details that Woz thought important (example a practical joke with a TV Jammer in college for the main TV Viewing room and all the different positions he got the students to hold while making the TV Signal work...10+ Minutes of this... too many things like this). Yet some stuff does give you insight for down the line. Seems like the last 2 chapters of the book probably had an editor involved as it picks up and really comes together and really gives you an insight to Woz nowdays (pre-Kathy Griffin meeting...now I would have liked to read that).
Maybe the book will really appeal to geeks. Maybe it is what it is like letting the Geek Personality really come through in the book. In either case I would have skipped this if I had only known about the long passages. But now I have insight on Woz.
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.
Despite negative reviews, I thought I would give this book a try and really enjoyed it. For people interested in what went on in the Silicon Valley during the late 70s to 80s, this book will give you a flavor of it from "Woz's" standpoint.
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