iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon

iWoz, autobiography of Steve Wozniack, has a very long subtitle: “How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It”. It’s also quite a bold statement for someone as reserved as Woz.

The first half of the book looks at his childhood and college days. His dad was at the forefront of the transistors game and was a firm believer in science, which no doubt gave Woz an excellent start in life. When he says he knew more about chip design than anyone else in the world, it’s not arrogance, it’s probably true.

He is an unashamed geek. He talks about his quest to get the best phone number he can – we wanted all the digits to be the same. I read this wondering “is this really important? Is this something you want to devote so much of your book to?”

Apparently it is, as it was packed with details like this. Apple only gets mentioned in the second half, and it’s pretty brief.

It also gets quite technical at many points. Chances are they if you are reading the Great and Powerful Woz’s biography, you are in the computer game, so that probably makes sense, but some of it I struggled to follow so a non-technical person would be lost.

My favourite anecdote from the book was when he talked about confusion between his number and the airline Pan Am’s. He started taking bookings for them (he would eventually tell the customer he was joking). He tried to see what they would agree to – multiple stops, travelling in cargo, 36 hour flights. The surprise is that most people agreed to all of this if it would get the price down! No wonder budget airlines have boomed, consumers will put up with a lot to save some cash.




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This entry was posted on Monday, June 8th, 2015 at 10:44 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.