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Woz speaks about his book, iPod, Jobs

updated 06:00 pm EDT, Tue May 23, 2006

BW interviews Woz

BusinessWeek has published an interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who later this fall plans on releasing his memoir I Woz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way, written along with a tech journalist. "I also describe how we'd work on projects for days at a time, going without sleep. But I found that I could come up with the clearest ideas in that sleepless state. For instance, I realized that color, if you could think of a way of doing it for no cost, might be good for computer games....The exact date and time when the world changed is in the book. That took place back when I was working on the Apple I. Every previous computer had a panel that looked like an airplane cockpit. Every computer afterwards had a keyboard. That was the change."

Woz also offered comments on the the success of the iPod: "Then there's the iPod. Its success is due to the fact that it's a satellite to a computer: The computer has become absolutely central to our lives," as well as Apple's other con-founder (and current CEO) Steve Jobs.

"Do you feel that Jobs ever ripped you off, perhaps in the case of the game Breakout that you invented and he claimed credit for with Atari? He was more concerned about money. In the case of Breakout, all he had to do was ask me. I had a job at [Hewlett-Packard] (HPQ) and didn't need the money. He was always into business, and I was into designing. And that's not a good vs. bad thing.... Steve turned down doing the foreword for the book. But there's nothing really bad about him in the book. He may have misinterpreted something."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Is it just me?

    Or is he coming across as a self-important, pretentious a**hole? I mean, sure, he's not stupid, but he's not a genius either. He's just a halfway decent engineer who happened to be in the right place at the right time, worked hard and had a tremendous amount of luck. He did not "invent" the idea of sticking a fricking keyboard on a computer, for crying out loud. A little humility would go a long way.

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    lordjonwhorfin

    your a dumbass, sir.

  1. kcmac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    ughhh

    "Maybe he misinterpreted something"

    Yeah, like maybe "How I invented the personal computer..."

  1. beeble

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Just an engineer???

    lordjohnwhorfin, please name for us all the other engineers in the world who can design the main circuit board of a computer all by themselves without a single trace needing to cross another. This guy wasn't just an electrical engineer, he was (and for all I know, still is) an electrical artist. Working reliably wasn't good enough for him. It had to be perfect since perfect didn't take him any longer to do.

    He invented the idea of a buffer for a floppy drive which made disk i/o affordable and practical for the first time. He invented heaps of great stuff and the grandchildren of his inventions have changed more areas of electronics (not just computers) than you can possibly imagine.

    Perhaps a little humility on your part is in order, since clearly you don't yet know everything. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    thanks, Beeble (n/m)

    n/m

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: is it just me

    He's just a halfway decent engineer who happened to be in the right place at the right time, worked hard and had a tremendous amount of luck.

    Wow, doesn't that pretty much sum up most everyone who 'invents' something. Hey, at least he's not someone who 'discovered' something. Like, wow, Columbus 'discovered' america, as if it were hiding (and if you look at it, it would take a whole lot of effort to miss any land in the freaking western hemisphere), or, worse yet, as if people weren't already there.

    But, then, none of them are anything compared to the guy who invented the pizza roll.

  1. The Evener

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Gotta sell books

    In any other interview or written account I've come across (and I've read my fair share), Wozniak comes across as a decent, level-headed guy who was not in it for the glory. Sure, the gobs of money he made from Apple didn't hurt, but at the end of the day this latest interview is about selling his book. And let's not forget he was a bit burned with IBM's recent party about "inventing the personal computer," and no, they weren't making the Mac/PC distinction since the Mac didn't exact back in 1981.

  1. benhur

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: is it just me

    I second that.

    lordjonwhorfin your a dumbass, sir.

  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ah, book tours...

    Agree with you Evener, Woz seems quite universally described as a fairly humble nice guy, that's why I was so surprised by the arrogant, self aggrandizing delusional harangue. He certainly was at the heart of the personal computer revolution, but "invented the personal computer"? I would expect that from Jobs, not from him.

  1. nitewing98

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Invention vs. Marketing

    Woz did, in fact, invent the personal computer as we know it. Not to take anything away from Jobs, but he was the one that realized it was marketable and set about selling them. It was a partnership, neither one would be where they are without the other.

    And give Woz a break. He's never quite been the same after the plane crash. I think it changed his priorities (or brought back to him his old priorities). He's never been a rock star, was always more comfortable cutting a joke and making people laugh than standing in front of a crowd or camera. So if he doesn't come off well in interviews, that's why.

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