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iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It

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"iWoz traces the life and times of a brilliant, gifted... individual whose contributions to the scientific, business and cultural realms are extensive."—Bookpage Before slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange, alien vending machines. But in "the most staggering burst of technical invention by a single person in high-tech history" (BusinessWeek) "iWoz traces the life and times of a brilliant, gifted... individual whose contributions to the scientific, business and cultural realms are extensive."—Bookpage Before slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange, alien vending machines. But in "the most staggering burst of technical invention by a single person in high-tech history" (BusinessWeek​) Steve Wozniak invented the first true personal computer. Wozniak teamed up with Steve Jobs, and Apple Computer was born, igniting the computer revolution and transforming the world. Here, thirty years later, the mischievous genius with the low profile treats readers to a rollicking, no-holds-barred account of his life—for once, in the voice of the wizard himself.


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"iWoz traces the life and times of a brilliant, gifted... individual whose contributions to the scientific, business and cultural realms are extensive."—Bookpage Before slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange, alien vending machines. But in "the most staggering burst of technical invention by a single person in high-tech history" (BusinessWeek) "iWoz traces the life and times of a brilliant, gifted... individual whose contributions to the scientific, business and cultural realms are extensive."—Bookpage Before slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange, alien vending machines. But in "the most staggering burst of technical invention by a single person in high-tech history" (BusinessWeek​) Steve Wozniak invented the first true personal computer. Wozniak teamed up with Steve Jobs, and Apple Computer was born, igniting the computer revolution and transforming the world. Here, thirty years later, the mischievous genius with the low profile treats readers to a rollicking, no-holds-barred account of his life—for once, in the voice of the wizard himself.

30 review for iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    I gave up. Edit: To give this a bit more depth, let me explain. Steve Wozniak is a brilliant man, a kind man, a wonderful man. I'd love to have him as a friend, family member, coworker (I said the opposite of Jobs when reading his biography). He just simply cannot write. Every page reads like an excited little boy who just came home from school (And then I built this project. And then I pushed the "on" button. And the lights didn't work. But I learned a lot. And I tried a new project for the scie I gave up. Edit: To give this a bit more depth, let me explain. Steve Wozniak is a brilliant man, a kind man, a wonderful man. I'd love to have him as a friend, family member, coworker (I said the opposite of Jobs when reading his biography). He just simply cannot write. Every page reads like an excited little boy who just came home from school (And then I built this project. And then I pushed the "on" button. And the lights didn't work. But I learned a lot. And I tried a new project for the science fair.), which I believe Woz still is, at heart. That's fantastic. That's lovely. But it doesn't make for good writing. There is something to possibly be said about the fact that maybe Woz's life is a bit dull for this sort of thing. He had no issues with his childhood. He loved his parents. He's unblemished by his past. I'm telling you, he's an absolutely excellent guy, but such good-naturedness doesn't leave a lot of room for conflict. Then again, I also think there's tons that's interesting about Woz. But it would have been better left to an autobiographer to tell, someone who could emphasize the important parts, locate them in the spirit of the times, or at the very least draw out broader thoughts from his subject. This leads me to my second problem: although this book was published earlier, I read the Jobs autobiography first. That means that any of the exciting little stories embedded here (the early days of phone phreaking, the Home Brew Club, Apple's early days) I had already heard--and frequently in much more fascinating detail. So, no matter how many times I tried, I just couldn't finish this book. Sorry Woz! Let's be friends?

  2. 3 out of 5

    Joel

    Steve Wozniak = Crazy Technical Genius. I'm glad I ignored most reviews about this book. Anyone starting to read this book expecting to be wowed by a literary genius or amazing elaborate stories need to a reality check. What I love about this book is that you totally get that Steve Wozniak is a pure bred engineer and anyone who has spent any significant amount of time with engineers would understand that his commentary is not about boasting or arrogance, it's simply the way engineers think! He e Steve Wozniak = Crazy Technical Genius. I'm glad I ignored most reviews about this book. Anyone starting to read this book expecting to be wowed by a literary genius or amazing elaborate stories need to a reality check. What I love about this book is that you totally get that Steve Wozniak is a pure bred engineer and anyone who has spent any significant amount of time with engineers would understand that his commentary is not about boasting or arrogance, it's simply the way engineers think! He explicitly lays out why he wrote the book and I'm glad he did. After reading it I felt like doing two things, designing something to create and also pulling some pranks of my own!! In fact ... I will!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gale Jake

    Woz...One hell of a big ego, almost too mich to bear. Although this book is an interesting glimpse at the early Apple days and the Apple I and II, many of Woz's claims did not ring true for me. I was with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) from 1973 to 1983 (2nd largest computer company at the time) and many of the "1sts. or breaktgroughs" claimed by Woz had been already done by DEC and others. In my opinion, Apple' s world game-changer was the Lisa. Its graphics windows user interface and its s Woz...One hell of a big ego, almost too mich to bear. Although this book is an interesting glimpse at the early Apple days and the Apple I and II, many of Woz's claims did not ring true for me. I was with Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) from 1973 to 1983 (2nd largest computer company at the time) and many of the "1sts. or breaktgroughs" claimed by Woz had been already done by DEC and others. In my opinion, Apple' s world game-changer was the Lisa. Its graphics windows user interface and its subsequent use on the Mac completely changed how humans interact with computers. I was working at DEC's home office in the early 80's as we were struggling with creating a common user interface. When I saw the Lisa announced and demoed at a Philadelphia computer conference I reported.back to DEC that I had seen the future and its name was Lisa. I stated that when the price could be reduced from $10,000 to the $3k level that it would sell in volume, and it did with the GUI implemented on the Macintosh. Microsoft Windows 95 lagged way behind when launched at a later date, never to catch up with the elegance of the Mac. (I bought the first model) It was my 2nd PC, DEC's Robin being the first. And, of course there was DEC's PDP 8, having most of the features in the late 60s that Woz claims to have invented. Remember that one? This (mp3 in my case) book is an interesting story of Apple and its early computers, but is primarily an inside look at Apple co-founder Steve Wozniack's significant technical and prank talents, personality and view of life by his not so humble self. There are many bright engineers and many good ideas. Those who happen to succeed the first time around forget that with all the other ingredients equal, what makes 90% of the difference in becoming rich and successful is timing and luck. Woz is smart not smarter, but his main component of success was that he was lucky at the right time. And had the $ and ego to prove it. OK for a speed-read and then toss it. Yuk.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James Williams

    Steve Wozniak is one of my heros. He's a brilliant engineer who changed the world just by doing what he loved to do and doing it well. His sense of humor is legendary and wonderful. I love me some Woz. So I pre-ordered iWoz as soon as I heard about it and couldn't wait for the Amazon box to arrive at my door. Boy was I disappointed. The writing for this book is atrocious. It uses small words and basic, repetitive sentence structure. It's boring to read. The stories are interesting but definitely Steve Wozniak is one of my heros. He's a brilliant engineer who changed the world just by doing what he loved to do and doing it well. His sense of humor is legendary and wonderful. I love me some Woz. So I pre-ordered iWoz as soon as I heard about it and couldn't wait for the Amazon box to arrive at my door. Boy was I disappointed. The writing for this book is atrocious. It uses small words and basic, repetitive sentence structure. It's boring to read. The stories are interesting but definitely needed the skills of a professional writer. iWoz actually has a "with Gina Smith" writing credit, so I don't know what happened. I didn't even finish the book. Every sentence is mind-numbing and I just couldn't do it anymore. Ah well. In the end, Woz has a little bit of my money which he can use to buy another Segway. I'm okay with that. I'm just a little disappointed.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Gil Bradshaw

    This book is a very difficult read. I have tremendous respect for Woz, but this book was so poorly written and had such a conceited narrative that I struggled big time. I can't believe he had a co-author. This book grates on my nerves because of the writing style. I've tried to read it twice now unsuccessfully. iWoz is pretty arrogant and annoying.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Amir Tesla

    Delicate, wonderful, inspiring biography. Review tonight ...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    One of my favorite literary genres is the origin story. How did a great thing get invented, how did a great person become great. This one is the story of how Steve Wozniak invented the personal computer at a very young age, and helped found Apple Computer. This is a very breezy read, pretty obviously dictated and barely edited. It’s like sitting in a room with Steve Wozniak as he tells you his life story, with some diversions and some humorous anecdotes thrown in. I finished it in a weekend, and One of my favorite literary genres is the origin story. How did a great thing get invented, how did a great person become great. This one is the story of how Steve Wozniak invented the personal computer at a very young age, and helped found Apple Computer. This is a very breezy read, pretty obviously dictated and barely edited. It’s like sitting in a room with Steve Wozniak as he tells you his life story, with some diversions and some humorous anecdotes thrown in. I finished it in a weekend, and I’m a slow reader. The primary purpose of the book appears to be Woz claiming his place in history as the inventor of the personal computer. It’s a major achievement, an amazing piece of engineering history, and Woz puts it into an understandable context. His father was a very high-end engineer, and brought home equipment that few people had access to. By the time Woz was 11, he was building rudimentary electronic counting machines for the school science fair, at a time when few people had seen an electronic calculator. His Apple I computer was a hobbyist’s dream, but the amazing achievement is the Apple ][, which was years ahead of anybody else. And Woz put it all together himself, a one-man show. Woz makes it clear that he had very little interest in forming a company, and he left Apple (for the most part) right after computers got too complicated for one individual to build them. The story doesn’t get much deeper than that, but you do come away from it with a sense that you’ve met Woz and he’s told you his best stories, and you could do worse than that. Postscript: It's not a great book, in itself, not impressive at all. But it is filled with interesting tidbits about the history of computer technology, I find myself (a few months later) quite glad I read it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    Ok, I do have to admit that I haven't finished the book (nor do I want to at this point - but someday I may pick up where I left off.) I was first interested in reading this because I thought that the guy who invented Apple "must" be a pretty interesting guy. Maybe he is...but it doesn't come across in this book. He comes across as the most arrogant, self-centered, self-important person EVER! I know that autobiographies are about one's life - but I guess I am more drawn to people who can give an Ok, I do have to admit that I haven't finished the book (nor do I want to at this point - but someday I may pick up where I left off.) I was first interested in reading this because I thought that the guy who invented Apple "must" be a pretty interesting guy. Maybe he is...but it doesn't come across in this book. He comes across as the most arrogant, self-centered, self-important person EVER! I know that autobiographies are about one's life - but I guess I am more drawn to people who can give and share credit, who approach life with a team-oriented mindset, and who aren't self-absorbed. I think in the first 10 pages of this book I read the words, "I am the smartest," or "I am the best," or "I am the greatest," more than I can even count! Don't get me wrong - I am thankful that there are those as smart as Mr. Wozniak, but I guess I am not intersted in them as people afterall. He should stick to inventing computers, and stay away from writing about his life. Just my opinion...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    iWoz was a good autobiography of an interesting man. Many comments in other reviews mention the self-centered and/or patronizing sound, but it may not be his intention, and for those who know him, it may not be seen that way. Maybe the editors should have told him how it was coming off to strangers, but I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. It may be that he possesses genius of a level that crowds out some social conventions, so he doesn't know that explaining things that are very techni iWoz was a good autobiography of an interesting man. Many comments in other reviews mention the self-centered and/or patronizing sound, but it may not be his intention, and for those who know him, it may not be seen that way. Maybe the editors should have told him how it was coming off to strangers, but I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. It may be that he possesses genius of a level that crowds out some social conventions, so he doesn't know that explaining things that are very technical, on an elementary level can be off-putting to some who have a little knowledge of computers. It could be worse. Some talk over the heads and readers get lost, when the subject could be quite entertaining. I enjoyed hearing about the inside of the initial success of Apple. I enjoyed hearing about Steve's (Woz's) life and his passions including, but aside from engineering computers. He WAS a totally different man that the other Steve, and he acknowledges that it took the combination of the two to make Apple what it was, when it started. I enjoy hearing the story from the source, and Woz set the story straight on a few things. It is worth listening to, even if your education level is high school and above. Most of the information is worth knowing, even if you have to work at not being offended by the delivery.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gayle

    A personal memoir, and a important counterpart to all the Svengali-like portrayals of Steve Jobs as the evil genius behind Apple. Because in the beginning there were the Two Steves, each a necessary part of the original Apple, and in this book, Steve Wozniak steps out from behind Jobs' shadow with a grin and a wave. Woz is a study in stereotypes--a brilliant engineer who thinks in electrons, and a socially-inept geek who can't talk to girls. A guy who wants to change the world for the better, and A personal memoir, and a important counterpart to all the Svengali-like portrayals of Steve Jobs as the evil genius behind Apple. Because in the beginning there were the Two Steves, each a necessary part of the original Apple, and in this book, Steve Wozniak steps out from behind Jobs' shadow with a grin and a wave. Woz is a study in stereotypes--a brilliant engineer who thinks in electrons, and a socially-inept geek who can't talk to girls. A guy who wants to change the world for the better, and a gleeful early-adopter of cutting-edge technologies just because they are so COOL! He forgives chicanery and donates stock, he blows a bundle on a neo-Woodstock that he recalls with great fondness, he crashes an airplane, he teaches school and invents the universal remote and devotes massive amounts of time, money, and attention to the arts and to his beloved children. He's Thomas Edison, Santa Claus, and Gandhi all rolled into one. Bad things: the voice is difficult for me to read. Probably it sounds just like him, and in real life that would be doable, but on paper it comes across as juvenile and simplistic. Also, the flights of engineering enthusiasm are eye-glazing. Probably not for engineers, though. But I'm not one, and chances are, you aren't either. Eventually, I just skipped over the parts where he describes schematics, and that helped a lot. So, for it me it was a one-timer. But I'm glad I looked in.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hriday

    I am not an Apple fan boy. I liked this book. I agree with most other reviewers who claim that this book does sound a bit braggy, i know it all types but hey, it is Steve Woz! I also agree that the writing style is not very literary but again, the co author has left it the way Woz would probably talk. This book doesnt claim to be a literary masterpiece nor is it lining up for the Booker/Pulitzer. Try Orhan Pamuk or Salman Rushdie if all you want is literariness. This is a book for Engineers/Techn I am not an Apple fan boy. I liked this book. I agree with most other reviewers who claim that this book does sound a bit braggy, i know it all types but hey, it is Steve Woz! I also agree that the writing style is not very literary but again, the co author has left it the way Woz would probably talk. This book doesnt claim to be a literary masterpiece nor is it lining up for the Booker/Pulitzer. Try Orhan Pamuk or Salman Rushdie if all you want is literariness. This is a book for Engineers/Technologist/Inventors. If you are looking for anything else in this book, you can as well read the reviews of others and forget this book - those reviews will just do. If you are interested in technology, there is no way you will find this book unimpressive. Steve Woz's love for technology, innovation and electronics/computers is really contagious! He has been very frank about most things he has described - now if he is a super achiever, let's not blame him for that! All in all, i loved this book because i got to know some insights about Apple and the REAL guy behind it all.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tieryas

    I actually heard Wozniak speak at Berkeley more than a decade ago and had always been curious to learn more about him. And while I've read a ton of material about Steve Jobs, this was a fascinating portrayal of Wozniak by Wozniak. I wrote some of my thoughts over on my blog and it was less of a review and more me just quoting some of the things I loved from the book: "You know, it’s strange, but right around the time I started working on what later became the Apple I board, this idea popped into I actually heard Wozniak speak at Berkeley more than a decade ago and had always been curious to learn more about him. And while I've read a ton of material about Steve Jobs, this was a fascinating portrayal of Wozniak by Wozniak. I wrote some of my thoughts over on my blog and it was less of a review and more me just quoting some of the things I loved from the book: "You know, it’s strange, but right around the time I started working on what later became the Apple I board, this idea popped into my mind about two guys who die on the same day. One guy is really successful, and he’s spending all his time running companies, managing them, making sure they are profitable, and making sales goals all the time. And the other guy, all he does is lounge around, doesn’t have much money, really likes to tell jokes and follow gadgets and technology and other things he finds interesting in the world, and he just spends his life laughing. In my head, the guy who’d rather laugh than control things is going to be the one who has the happier life.” That pretty much sums up the feel and attitude of the book as he is a man who has lived and still lives his philosophy by one simple word: laughter. http://tieryas.wordpress.com/2013/10/...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gypsy

    iWoz is a MUCH easier book to read than the Steve Jobs biography. I picked up this book because I was so irritated with Steve Jobs through the things I read in his biography, that I really needed to hear from another voice from the people that created the Apple computers. This book came out in 2006, 5 years before Job's authorized biography was published. It was written in the first person so it feels like you're having a cup of coffee with Woz himself & just listening to him tell you his st iWoz is a MUCH easier book to read than the Steve Jobs biography. I picked up this book because I was so irritated with Steve Jobs through the things I read in his biography, that I really needed to hear from another voice from the people that created the Apple computers. This book came out in 2006, 5 years before Job's authorized biography was published. It was written in the first person so it feels like you're having a cup of coffee with Woz himself & just listening to him tell you his stories. The tone of the book is very casual & light-hearted. Parts of it did sound like Woz was repeating himself because he was desperately hoping the reader would understand his side of the story & clear up the misconceptions about him & Apple. It seems to me, after reading both biographies, that while Steve Jobs was concerned about taking credit, gaining attention & leaving a legacy, often threw tantrums to get what he wanted. Woz was in it for the fun of it, he is definitely more even tempered, personable & kind to people that he worked with. From the Steve Jobs biography & other books, I got the impression that Jobs used Woz to get what he wanted & then just tossed Woz aside. Yet Woz spoke fondly of Jobs when he mentioned him in his book. Woz credited many people's influence on him in his book, Steve Jobs is just one many. I have to admit that I didn't expect Woz to speak so kindly of Jobs at the times where Jobs treated him unfairly, Woz just sounded puzzled & a bit hurt, but no sign of bitterness or resentment. Definitely a 'happy go lucky' guy, & likable like a 'teddy bear'. It's a fun read, of course all about Woz and his life, only a little about Apple (the company) and even less about Steve Jobs.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rohan

    I do not think this book does justice to what Steve Woznaik and Steve Jobs accomplished. In fact, reader must know that this book is about Woznaik as a person and not about Apple or Steve Jobs. From an engineers point of view, this book is interesting in parts. You get a good understanding of what goes on within an engineer's head. You get a good personal account of interesting stories involving Woznaik. One story really bothered me: Woznaik's investments with the concerts which ended up with hi I do not think this book does justice to what Steve Woznaik and Steve Jobs accomplished. In fact, reader must know that this book is about Woznaik as a person and not about Apple or Steve Jobs. From an engineers point of view, this book is interesting in parts. You get a good understanding of what goes on within an engineer's head. You get a good personal account of interesting stories involving Woznaik. One story really bothered me: Woznaik's investments with the concerts which ended up with him losing 20 million, Only an engineer with no sense of economics would be able to achieve that kind of a feat. But that's more or less all the good that you can get out of this book because the rest of things are really ordinary to say the least. This book is a good example of why not many engineers become great writers. Woznaik might be a great engineer but he is a terrible writer. I tried very hard to let go some of the flaws in his writing in the initial chapters but it kept getting worse. Moreover, Woz comes across as a person who is full of himself throughout and I credit the editors and publishers of this book for achieving this feat. I can go on and on about the serious flaws and unpolished material in the book, but the fact is that I still finished this book within couple of days. This might be either because of the amount of respect I have for him or may be because I just wanted to hear all the stories whether good or bad. Read it to know the man but don't have any high expectations.

  15. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    I began reading this book as a follow-up to the excellent Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. What a great book this was! Steve Wozniak was the sole engineer who designed/invented the Apple computer, the first personal computer that worked with a keyboard and TV monitor. If you know anything about Steve Wozniak, you know that he is a down-to-earth and very honest regular guy. The wonderful thing about this book is that this is way the book reads and flows. Therefore, it's a very enjoyable a I began reading this book as a follow-up to the excellent Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson. What a great book this was! Steve Wozniak was the sole engineer who designed/invented the Apple computer, the first personal computer that worked with a keyboard and TV monitor. If you know anything about Steve Wozniak, you know that he is a down-to-earth and very honest regular guy. The wonderful thing about this book is that this is way the book reads and flows. Therefore, it's a very enjoyable and quick read. Steve tells how his father explained engineering principles to him in such a way that he understood them completely and absorbed the information. This became the foundation of his passion and interest in engineering. "The Woz" explains every step in his quest to design a personal computer, since he couldn't afford to buy one. He always kept redesigning this computer on paper, trying to utilize as few chips as possible. In between, we hear about his beloved job at Hewlett-Packard, building a "blue box" (device that makes free long distance phone calls), creating a dial-a-joke service, designing a game for Atari, and inventing the first universal remote. This man is brilliant, and Steve Jobs knew it. Wozniak discusses the working atmosphere at Apple, his marriages, owning a movie theater, funding the US Music Festival, his love of being a father and becoming a computer teacher at his kids' school. This is an excellent book told in an honest and informative fashion. In addition, it is the perfect companion to reading the Steve Jobs book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brooks

    What a goody-two shoes. I was not very impressed – a little light on the insights. The only areas he went into detail was on some discoveries – like when he built a middle school science project that used logic circuits, the original Apple II board, his work with Attari, and his design for a universal remote. He went through two divorces and raised two kids and we have a total a few paragraphs on these events. The one area I wanted to know more about was the start up of Apple. He goes into some What a goody-two shoes. I was not very impressed – a little light on the insights. The only areas he went into detail was on some discoveries – like when he built a middle school science project that used logic circuits, the original Apple II board, his work with Attari, and his design for a universal remote. He went through two divorces and raised two kids and we have a total a few paragraphs on these events. The one area I wanted to know more about was the start up of Apple. He goes into some detail on the Homebrew club, but very little on Apple from Apple II release to the IPO. He basically uses the book to give his high level life strategy – be a good engineer, correct a few errors (Steve Jobs screwed him, but at different times than the press had right), and wax on about the beauty of good electrical circuit design. The one area I like was his description of growing up. He was very out there – youngest Ham Radio operator – his parents bought him a ham radio kit when he was 12 because he wanted to do it and spent three months getting licensed. Then his dad spent about $2K worth of equipment and how he and his dad built the kit over the next three months. He also designed computers on paper (circuit diagrams) since electrical chips were too expensive too buy – he did this for fun in high school – like doodling.

  17. 3 out of 5

    David Natiuk

    I really enjoyed Steve's book. It made me want to be an engineer so much that I actually opened up and played with my son's SNAPCircuits set! I think I missed my calling. But seriously, Woz is a fascinating character... a mix of brilliant engineer, and positive free-spirit, change-the-world man. I was growing up at the time of the computer revolution and I'm now curious about the computers behind all those video games I used to play. The story of Wozniak's original creations and advancements tie I really enjoyed Steve's book. It made me want to be an engineer so much that I actually opened up and played with my son's SNAPCircuits set! I think I missed my calling. But seriously, Woz is a fascinating character... a mix of brilliant engineer, and positive free-spirit, change-the-world man. I was growing up at the time of the computer revolution and I'm now curious about the computers behind all those video games I used to play. The story of Wozniak's original creations and advancements ties directly into an industry that has greatly shaped my life (computers). As for the writing... I just realized this was probably mostly transcribed from open interviews with structure added, but not a lot of rewriting. And it worked for me. The writing is NOT atrocious, it's just written like somebody talking about his memories. I learned a lot, was inspired, and I'm glad Wozniak finally was able to tell HIS side of the story and set the record straight on a few things. His childhood, the pranks he pulled, his boyish excitement about discovery all through his life... I loved it. The serious engineer might poke some holes in his recollections, but they miss the overall point of the book: Build, invent, enjoy, live.

  18. 3 out of 5

    Jack Treml

    I was a little shocked with Woz' casual arrogance throughout his narrative. Several instances of this attitude shine through from his recollections of his childhood and the founding of Apple in the mid 70s, clear up to more recent work with the US festivals. Overall, this autobiography is written from a very personal perspective and in a conversational tone that was easy to read, but didn't suggest that much thought went into his past. On the positive side, it does a great job of providing a win I was a little shocked with Woz' casual arrogance throughout his narrative. Several instances of this attitude shine through from his recollections of his childhood and the founding of Apple in the mid 70s, clear up to more recent work with the US festivals. Overall, this autobiography is written from a very personal perspective and in a conversational tone that was easy to read, but didn't suggest that much thought went into his past. On the positive side, it does a great job of providing a window into the early days/years of Apple's existence that does not specifically focus on the "Cult of Jobs" as a central feature. The 'other Steve' is only brought up from time to time and only when it is relevant to the narrative. I appreciated this because so much of apple is bound up in the iconic CEO that it's easy to lose sight of what else contributed to the company's success. Overall, I gave this three stars because it was interesting and informative, but without being highly engaging. I'd only recommend reading this to someone who already cares to hear about the background and life of one of the two founders of Apple Computers. If you don't care already, this book won't change your mine.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bob Oliver

    I really enjoyed the majority of this book. But what I enjoyed was the part a lot of the reviewers complained about. I was fascinated with Steve's childhood and the forces and events that led him to co-found Apple. I couldn't get enough of the technical details and descriptions of the state of technology in the early days of computing. The quirky style of writing gives you insight into the way Wozniak thinks and was very valuable in understanding him. If it sounded more polished, it wouldn't be I really enjoyed the majority of this book. But what I enjoyed was the part a lot of the reviewers complained about. I was fascinated with Steve's childhood and the forces and events that led him to co-found Apple. I couldn't get enough of the technical details and descriptions of the state of technology in the early days of computing. The quirky style of writing gives you insight into the way Wozniak thinks and was very valuable in understanding him. If it sounded more polished, it wouldn't be him and there wouldn't be any story to tell. Where he lost me was the stuff that he did after Apple. For some reason, it just didn't resonate with me. I guess it tells where my interests lie. I just like the first person account from someone who was in the middle of the technology revolution. I didn't get the impression that he was arrogant. I think he is just putting down exactly what he is thinking, sometimes he is downright self-depreciating. I recommend this book despite it's imperfections. But it definitely has a specific audience. If you want a more polished version of events, there are plenty of writers who watched from outside that can give you an accounting without the personal insights.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike Ogilvie

    This is a great book for anybody at least mildly interested in techno-geek stuff, the history of our information age, or if you just like a good autobiography. I knew previously that Steve Wozniak was part of the force behind building the original Apple PC products. But I actually had no clue that he is all but single-handedly responsible for inventing the world's first Personal Computer. As an I.T. aficionado myself, that story line was inspiring. It's very uplifting for anyone who's got great i This is a great book for anybody at least mildly interested in techno-geek stuff, the history of our information age, or if you just like a good autobiography. I knew previously that Steve Wozniak was part of the force behind building the original Apple PC products. But I actually had no clue that he is all but single-handedly responsible for inventing the world's first Personal Computer. As an I.T. aficionado myself, that story line was inspiring. It's very uplifting for anyone who's got great ideas and wonders whether you're alone swimming upstream. One of the things I liked a lot was that he went into engineering details about some of the interesting techie stuff he's done. Some of it I could understand (e.g., why network cable is twisted) and some if it was over my head (e.g., the intricacies of laying out a circuit board for the first PC). It was enjoyable either way. This isn't a high-level novel by any stretch. Simply an accurate account of Steve's fascinating life written in his own words.

  21. 3 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I am surprised at how much I did not enjoy this book. I admit to being quite biased in favor of Jobs, Wozniak, and all their fruit-flavored technology. So imagine my surprise when I found myself struggling to finish this book. It was quite the let down. My first complaint is that it is poorly written. The tone is very conversational, and while sometimes that works well in a book, here it does not. Apparently, the author had conversations/interviews with Woz and those were made into the book. It I am surprised at how much I did not enjoy this book. I admit to being quite biased in favor of Jobs, Wozniak, and all their fruit-flavored technology. So imagine my surprise when I found myself struggling to finish this book. It was quite the let down. My first complaint is that it is poorly written. The tone is very conversational, and while sometimes that works well in a book, here it does not. Apparently, the author had conversations/interviews with Woz and those were made into the book. It was not successful, in my opinion. It also is not really as much of a biography as I had expected. For example, while Steve admits to having two failed marriages, we don't really learn much about his wives or any other relationships he had. The book was even light on his relationship with Jobs, which is surprising, given the history of Apple computer. The book was heavy on technology talk and that made the narrative slow down considerably. It wasn't until the last chapter when Woz seems to come alive through the written words and was really speaking from his heart. Too bad he couldn't have managed that throughout the entire book.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Dan Brock

    I quit! On page 52 I finally became so tired of the "I am the best, the smartest, the most athletic, the most wonderful . . ." that I give up. The biography of Steve Jobs made Wozniak sound like a brilliant, shy, introspective and under appreciated genius, but Wozniak's own autobiography disproved that. I'm also tired of the insulting parenthetical notes that insult the readers intelligence, explaining basic math and computer concepts that a 6th grader should know by now. But he does say severa I quit! On page 52 I finally became so tired of the "I am the best, the smartest, the most athletic, the most wonderful . . ." that I give up. The biography of Steve Jobs made Wozniak sound like a brilliant, shy, introspective and under appreciated genius, but Wozniak's own autobiography disproved that. I'm also tired of the insulting parenthetical notes that insult the readers intelligence, explaining basic math and computer concepts that a 6th grader should know by now. But he does say several times that his IQ is much higher than everyone else's, so we really are too stupid to be reading his book anyway. If you want to read a book with a sickening amount of self-ass kissing, read iWoz. If you want a book that explains the revolution in computers, Silicon Valley and the instrumental people who set forth that revolution, read something else.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Neilson

    Wozniak is one of my favorite people, so I'm biased. Yes, the book sounds as if it has been transcribed directly from Steve talking in a slightly rambling way (I've heard him speak and it sounds just like this.) However, he has such an infectious enthusiasm, one can't help but be charmed. I wish I had some elements of his personality. He'd have been just as happy if he'd never left HP. He goes into some technical detail, because he's so interested, but I wish it had been a little more, and I wis Wozniak is one of my favorite people, so I'm biased. Yes, the book sounds as if it has been transcribed directly from Steve talking in a slightly rambling way (I've heard him speak and it sounds just like this.) However, he has such an infectious enthusiasm, one can't help but be charmed. I wish I had some elements of his personality. He'd have been just as happy if he'd never left HP. He goes into some technical detail, because he's so interested, but I wish it had been a little more, and I wish he'd put in some technical diagrams to accompany the text. The prose isn't highly polished, but the story and enthusiasm are great.

  24. 3 out of 5

    Kim

    For anyone thinking about reading this book, I would highly recommend doing the audio version. While Woz is a engineering genius, he is not an English major. If you are a person who requires perfect grammar, then this book is probably not for you. But, if you like history of technology and are curious about a huge icon in the tech world, then give the book a try. Sure, like most autobiographies and memoirs, it is pretty self congratulatory and a little over the top in some parts. Autobiographies For anyone thinking about reading this book, I would highly recommend doing the audio version. While Woz is a engineering genius, he is not an English major. If you are a person who requires perfect grammar, then this book is probably not for you. But, if you like history of technology and are curious about a huge icon in the tech world, then give the book a try. Sure, like most autobiographies and memoirs, it is pretty self congratulatory and a little over the top in some parts. Autobiographies are like that. I think sometimes people want them to be these humble experiences but would you be humble in the retelling of your story. Probably not.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Matt

    Steve Wozniak is a fascinating personality and the father of the modern personal computer. His story deserves to be told in a manner befitting the impact he and his inventions have had on the world. However, Woz, despite his genius with electronics, is not a writer. Nor, apparently, is his co-author. This book's writing is amateurish and unengaging. In the hands of a qualified biographer, this could have been one of the most arresting biographies of the last 30 years. Instead, it reads like a ver Steve Wozniak is a fascinating personality and the father of the modern personal computer. His story deserves to be told in a manner befitting the impact he and his inventions have had on the world. However, Woz, despite his genius with electronics, is not a writer. Nor, apparently, is his co-author. This book's writing is amateurish and unengaging. In the hands of a qualified biographer, this could have been one of the most arresting biographies of the last 30 years. Instead, it reads like a very long, very simple blog post. Skip this book, and just read "Fire in the Valley" instead.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Satyajeet

    It tells how #SteveWozniak wrote #BASIC for the Original #Apple from scratch ! nuff said.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Khairusy Syakirin

    very inspiring!!! got the true view of Apple revolution and its history

  28. 3 out of 5

    Josh

    It is one of the oddest feelings to read a book-- by a complete genius, nerd, geek, mastermind, who is experienced and aged in life, and who changed the face of technology forever and always-- written in seemingly a 6th Grade reading level. I had a lot of trouble reading this for the content, and history, and occasionally even science, when in every other sentence Woz used a filler word, or finished a sentence with "You know?" or started a sentence with "Anyways", "So", "I always believed", "I r It is one of the oddest feelings to read a book-- by a complete genius, nerd, geek, mastermind, who is experienced and aged in life, and who changed the face of technology forever and always-- written in seemingly a 6th Grade reading level. I had a lot of trouble reading this for the content, and history, and occasionally even science, when in every other sentence Woz used a filler word, or finished a sentence with "You know?" or started a sentence with "Anyways", "So", "I always believed", "I remember thinking/feeling/seeing". It was incredibly annoying. The vocabulary in the entire book seemed to be limited to the top 2000 English words. Woz didn't write much about other people, what was happening in the world, or really anything other than what he "felt" or "believed". He is all about his convictions and moral high-ground. That said, if he is who he portrays himself to be, he is a genuinely good person. A loving person. A teddy bear really. For this reason, the portrayal felt insincere. Fake. I can't see this guy at a cocktail party. I can hardly see him in his room being a mastermind. All I can see is him on the Kids Table- talking about the months and months of his life that he spent thousands of dollars on ridiculous pranks. Talking about living life for the moment, and never lying, and being a good, a happy person. Talking about rigging phones, his obsession with numbers, not doing drugs, and he'll talk your ear off about his dad who he introduces in the first page, saying he didn't even know what his dad did, and then continued to talk about all his dad did for the rest of the book. Alas it seems that Wozniak was the worst person to write about Wozniak. He said he wanted to set the record straight about some things that weren't well documented in the media, but he could have done that in an op-ed or interview. The memoir filled in few gaps. Woz shouldn't have had to write about himself. He deserves a well-sourced biography by a credible author. Thanks for all you did Steve. Sorry your book sucks.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Raman

    An awe-inspiring and a witty account. The book is written quite honestly and is filled with humorous anecdotes. While reading, sometimes it feels you're listening to a 12 year old talk . It may seem verbose to some as he digs deep into the intricacies of all the astonishing work he did. A must read for all budding engineers. It's not only about his love for computers , personal life or apple, it's about essential life lessons, rules to live by.

  30. 3 out of 5

    Dennis

    This was a pretty good book. Woz's (or his ghost writers') style is a bit odd. He brags quite a bit, but he realizes how it sounds. I liked hearing the inside story on some of the important advances that were spurred by things he did. If you're a geek, you might enjoy reading it. For non-geeks, it might not be worth it, though he does try to explain some things for non-technical readers.

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