Wednesday, October 18, 2006


How I invented the personal computer, co-founded Apple, and had fun doing it.

A personal memoir, and a necessary 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.


Blogger Steve O'Hear said...

I thought you might be interested in hearing about my debut documentary on Silicon Valley, called In Search of the Valley.

- Steve

1:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home