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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.

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  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 02-28-15
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 02-28-15 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "Interesting look at the early days of the p.c."

    This is the memoirs of a computer engineer so the book has a lot of technical information. The author tells about growing up in Sunnyvale, California and working on creating or should I say designing a personal computer. He tells about his group of computer nerds, belonging to a computer club and the founding of Apple Computer Company. It was great to hear from Woz how many of his teachers had a positive effect on him. Helping him push ahead of his class in math and giving him self-confidence in his abilities. He also went into detail about the positive effect his father had in teaching him about physics and electronics and engineering starting at age 4. Woz says his father was an engineer. His mother encouraged and helped him with math from the first grade on. Woz states he entered every science fair all during his schooling and felt he learned a great deal from the experience.

    Woz tells about his relationship with Steve Jobs and other people in his work group. Woz designed Apple I and the Apple II.

    Despite the help of a co-writer, journalist Gina Smith, the book is difficult to read and is poorly written. The repetitions were what got to me. Woz says so much written about him is wrong so he just wanted to set the record straight.

    The book provides an inside look at the building of Apple I and II and the founding of the Apple Company. The book is well worth the read if you are interested in the tech industry and the history of the personal computer. Patrick Lawler narrated the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Plano, TX, USA 08-09-07
    Anthony Plano, TX, USA 08-09-07 Member Since 2014
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    "Best of the Best"

    iWoz is one of my favorite audible books of all time (on par with "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"). Its very inspiring. I wish I could have listened to this 15 years ago while I was taking computer architecture and digital logic in college. Its nice to know about the people actually inventing and really doing the stuff you read about in textbooks.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Dennis Des Moines, IA United States 04-08-08
    Daniel Dennis Des Moines, IA United States 04-08-08
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    "Not Another Apple History!"

    If you are looking for a blow by blow history of Apple this is not it, which is refreshing. This book focuses on Steve Wozniak's life and what motivated him to design the first personal computer, the path that led him to that point and the path he took from that point. Steve Jobs is mentioned in the book but only sparingly where it contributes to Wozniak's narrative. Of course the book focuses on Steve's engineering life but also focuses on his relationships with his father, wives and children. Overall a very well rounded account of Steve's life and is a must read for any Apple fan, especially as a foil to the books on Steve Jobs.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 03-17-07
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 03-17-07 Member Since 2010
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    "quite a story"

    If everything I read in iWoz is true, the "other" Steve played a vital role in the development of personal computing. Clearly, the book gives Woz an opportunity to set the record straight on what he believes are inaccuracies told in other books about Apple. The story is also a great example of the value of team work, and the benefits of surrounding yourself with talented people.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Normal, IL, United States 12-28-06
    David Normal, IL, United States 12-28-06 Member Since 2011
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    "iWoz you to read this book!"

    If you love Apple, engineering, technology, history, or a wonderful story - you will love this book. It offers great insight into how the Apple I and II came about - including all the inventions, designs, and experiences that lead up to these moments.

    I enjoyed the book immensely and is a must for anyone who owned an Apple II and/or grew up during the early days of personal computers. It really brought back some memories.

    Woz should be looked at as one of the top inventor / engineers of the 20th century. He truly was brilliant when it came to implementing elegant designs. Hats off to a man who appears to have lived his life his way!

    This is a very entertaining book and found it well paced. Actually had a couple of parts that had me laughing or at least grinning. The couple of slow pieces are understandable given it is a true story.

    If you ever remember having problems with OS7/8 ? the book contains the answer? not surprising who?s product caused the issue (even when it was not running).

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chell Yee 07-19-12
    Chell Yee 07-19-12 Member Since 2014
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    "I'm not bragging"

    I watched Steve on Dancing with the Stars (don't tell my friends I watch this show) and thought he was a very likeable character. So when I saw his book on Aduible, I purchased it. I only made it about half way through the book. Even though there are a lot of interesting facts in it and even though Steve kept saying he wasn't bragging, I couldn't listen any more. As I said I enjoyed him on DWTS so I listened as long as I could. However, after he said "I" and "me" for the ten thousandth time I gave up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 09-24-11
    Grant NANTUCKET, MA, United States 09-24-11 Member Since 2009

    caffeinated

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    "Geek porn"

    This book with its seemingly endless descriptions of RAM, ROM, breadboards and soldering of circuitry appealed to my inner nerd. Woz seems like a very interesting guy. And while this book does not really tell the entire story of Apple, it does shed important light on the life of the lesser-known Steve, and provide some facts to counter some of the rumors surrounding the creation of the personal computer. I listened to this book at double speed, which made the experience extra frenetic and quirky.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Apex, NC, United States 06-12-07
    Karen Apex, NC, United States 06-12-07 Member Since 2001

    I write my reviews under my wife Karen's account. Retired USN Russian linguist/analyst; actor; director; producer. Biography & History focus

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    "iWOZ...apparently the best at everything!"

    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.

    15 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobby Somerville, MA, United States 07-15-11
    Bobby Somerville, MA, United States 07-15-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Just Awful"

    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.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Huntersville, NC, USA 07-28-07
    Robert Huntersville, NC, USA 07-28-07
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    "Very Disappointed"

    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.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
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