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 am an avid eclectic reader.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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