updated 11:15 am EST, Wed February 28, 2007
'Woz' reminisces in Tokyo
Apple co-founder Steve 'Woz' Wozniak recently recounted his love for computers at a forum in Tokyo, and expressed his desire for every child to explore and see encouragement to that end. "I decided I was going to love this stuff for life," said Wozniak, who designed the Apple II a few decades after discovering a journal for engineers in a hall closet in his home. "It became a game: How can I make a computer with the fewest number of parts?" Wozniak stopped working for Apple in the mid-1980's, according to Reuters, but he remains on the company's payroll and occasionally represents the iPod-maker at special events. Wozniak met Apple CEO Steve Jobs through an acquaintance early on, and the duo launched a business from Jobs' home and garage building Apple computers until they moved to a business building. "Every time I built something, Steve would say, 'Let's sell it,'" Wozniak said. "I was very shy. And Steve was always so good at talking."
Wozniak and his friends who were also electronically inclined used to connect their houses with wires and buzzers, using their knowledge to play pranks on the unsuspecting.
"In high-school, I designed a metronome for musicians that goes tick-tick-tick, and I put it in a friend's locker, where it sounded like a bomb," Wozniak said. "I also arranged it that when he opened the locker, the ticking sound sped up!"
Wozniak described himself as a more grounded individual, while Jobs was more of a floater like the hippies in California who didn't wear shoes and ate seeds.
"But I didn't want to be a follower and wanted to choose my own ways," Woz said, who stressed the importance of freedom to pursue curiosity.
"Young children must open up drawers to touch and feel the shape of things. We're born with that curiosity and that desire to explore," Wozniak said. "When you're young you should be encouraged to explore."