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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
This book is the personal memoir of Steve Wozniak, one of the founders of Apple Computers.
Woz fascinates me, he is an engineer at heart but he is also a teacher, a humanitarian, and a jokester. In this book he recounts his childhood experiences at science fairs, his teenage years with neighborhood friends plying practical jokes and making cool electronics, on to college, the creation of Apple, creating the US festival, becoming a 5th grade teacher, having children, and everything in between.
I got this book from Audible and Patrick Lawlor does a great job inserting passion and excitement into the text narrates the book. My limited knowledge of Woz is that he is a very excitable guy with huge passions for what he does, and that really comes across in the book.
This book took about 3 days to make. It is simply a transcript of interviews and includes all the filler words and weird phrasing. Either just have Woz do the speaking, or actually write a real biography.
Excellent narration captures the "gee whiz" approach to life that seems to be the core of Woz. Clearly he was and is a kid at heart as well as the extremely intelligent engineer that created the original Apple 1 and 2. Without a doubt, his work helped to revolutionize how people live, work and play on a global scale. What came though for me was that Woz the engineer could neither communicate effectively with non-engineers nor could he envision how to market his products. I can see where some might think the story self-indulgent but it is, after all, an autobiography. Woz, ever the engineer, takes the logical approach of telling his story straight out, make of it what you will. What some find self-indulgent I took as Woz believing in himself and his accomplishments and wanting to get his side of the story on the record. The book was made more poignant for me as I was about halfway though when Apple announced that Steve Jobs had died. Woz was clearly a gifted engineer but without the marketing vision of Jobs, Woz might have remained just another engineer in the backroom. I was a high school student in 1970 and actually used most of the computers discussed in the book. It brought back some great memories. I found it to be a compelling, interesting story very well read by Patrick Lawlor.
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.
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