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Fusion-io surprises Steve Wozniak with 62nd birthday party

updated 02:29 am EDT, Thu August 2, 2012

Company also announces SSD-based cloud server

Fusion-io's chief scientist and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was thrown a surprise birthday party by the company, complete with Tetris arcade games, a crowd of secretly-invited guests and a both a cake and artwork created based on his DNA. The company threw a birthday party at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco that included pink feather boas and noisemakers. Though Wozniak actually turns 62 on August 11, the early party allowed him to be surprised.

Separate of the party, Fusion also announced a new cloud-server technology utilizing flash storage instead of hard drives in servers, referred to as the ION Data Accelerator. The software allows companies to manage large quantities of flash storage in the same way as server hard drives are controlled, offering a marked jump in data throughput (though flash storage is still many times more expensive per GB than disk-based storage). The company says that one of its major clients, Facebook, has already transitioned to all-flash servers. Apple, another major client, may not be far behind.

Wozniak, along with Steve Jobs and early investor Ronald Wayne formed Apple on April 1st, 1976 based largely on the strength of Wozniak's skill at redesigning circuit boards to do the same job with fewer (and less expensive) parts. Woz, as he came be known, continued to be the engineering bedrock of the company for a number of years, from hand-assembling the original Apple I to wholly designing the Apple II. His patent for a "microcomputer for use with video display" and the resulting products become among the first mainstream computers for consumers and earned him a place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Wozniak has been affiliated with a number of technology companies over the years, including joining Fusion-io in 2009 -- though he remains an official Apple employee and still draws a modest paycheck from the company he co-founded. Woz is well known for being enthusiastic about new technology regardless of its source, and has had kind words for Android and Windows phones and Microsoft's Surface tablet among other products. He of course remains a fan of Apple products as well, frequently lining up with other buyers outside Apple retail stores.

In addition to his other activities, Wozniak is also advising screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and others working on the Sony Pictures big-screen treatment of Steve Jobs' life on Apple culture and historical context. Wozniak is being portrayed in another, independent production by Broadway star Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon) in a film called jOBS which stars Ashton Kutcher in the title role.

Pictures from the party were posted by AllThingsD reporter Ina Fried and Mike Isaac, and are reposted below. MacNN wish Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak a happy birthday and many more to come. [via AllThingsD]

by MacNN Staff



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