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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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  •  
    Anthony Plano, TX, USA 08-09-07
    Anthony Plano, TX, USA 08-09-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel State Center, IA, USA 04-08-08
    Daniel State Center, IA, USA 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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 03-17-07
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 03-17-07 Member Since 2002
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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
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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 2011
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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 2008

    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
  •  
    Shukhrat Martinez, GA, United States 01-17-11
    Shukhrat Martinez, GA, United States 01-17-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Amazing"

    I enjoyed listening this wonderful autobiography. I always thought about Steve Wozniak as an icon. Here he is coming as an alive person with his own good habits and bad habits, his own prejudiced and amazing insights. I do not believe that he is braggind. I do not understand his love for pranks and it is probably something on the verge of being ethical. But in general I feel symptathy towards this "larger than life" personality.

    Nattator is superb, it was almost flawless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy L. Cole North Platte, NE United States 12-08-11
    Cathy L. Cole North Platte, NE United States 12-08-11 Member Since 2002
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    "Narrator not up to par"
    What didn???t you like about Patrick Lawlor???s performance?

    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.


    Was iWoz worth the listening time?

    For the most part.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek Tucson, AZ, USA 10-17-08
    Derek Tucson, AZ, USA 10-17-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Somewhat Technical."

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Saint Paul, MN, USA 07-17-08
    Erik Saint Paul, MN, USA 07-17-08 Member Since 2005
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    "Simple Genius"

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
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