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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Steve Wozniak isn't a complicated man, as he'll tell you in this book. But through his genius, a ton of things we take for granted were his ideas. This is a great listen if you want to take yourself back to a time before the internet, the proliferation of personal computers and technology.
The Plus's: He really does a good job of re-creating a sense of wonder he felt as he designed the first modern personal computer. His positive attitude permeates the entire recording.
The Minus's: Lot's of engineer-speak. He does ramble on about the counter-culture of the sixties & the anti-governmental ideas. And there isn't very much about Apple Computers or Steve Jobbs here. You have to get half-way through it before he even gets to Apple.
All in all, a good read, but I would have liked a little more information about the early Apple years.
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.
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