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I, Woz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: Getting to the Core of Apple's Inventor [Hardcover]

Steve Wozniak , Gina Smith
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Sep 2006

After 25 years of avoiding the public eye, Steve Wozniak breaks his silence and tells the full story of the Apple computer, from its conception to his views on the iconic cult status it enjoys today.

But for Steve's dream to build himself a computer, Apple would never have happened. In June, it was just an idea. By that Christmas, he'd built something that his friend convinced him to sell, just for fun. The rest, as they say, is history. But this history is full of life lessons, critical decisions, huge triumphs and big mistakes, and all from a self-professed 'engineer's engineer'.

Steve talks about his childhood, phone hacking pranks, working at Hewlett-Packard, the life-changing plane crash and teaching. I, WOZ offers readers a unique glimpse into the offbeat and brilliant but ethical mind that conceived the Macintosh. With the help of award-winning journalist Gina Smith, Steve sets the record straight.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (25 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755314069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755314065
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 15.9 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 782,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'I, Woz is essential reading, not just because of the great prose or because it makes revelations...it's real value lies in the reflections of the man who sparked the computer revolution...I, Woz offers lessons for the next generation: believe in yourself, make do, be honest and work alone. He might have added: "be generous" - it's the way he's led his life' (Sydney Morning Herald)

'Fascinating' (The Times)

Book Description

The co-founder of the Apple computer tells his exclusive story for the first time

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black & White replaced by Grey! 22 Oct 2006
Steve at first seems overly self-interested, but this reflects the stage of his life he is recalling. Woz tries to put right some of the half-truths and errors that have been reported about his involvement with Apple. He is rightly proud of the things he has created and makes this very clear in this book. The content of iWoz falls between a biography and a techincal analysis of Woz's designs.It has an easy to read style and although it contains a good bit of geek tech-talk it does not get in the way of the main message.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining 22 Nov 2007
By Chris
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it only took a few evenings to finish it.
It is written in an entertaining way but is certainly not a linguistic master piece. He manages to get technical details into the book, which are not intimidating to non-electronic engineers. At the same time he still manages to highlight how revolutionary some of the inventions were, from a technical and visionary point of view.
What I found missing, was more about his more recent passed/achievements, but maybe it's not as entertaining as the rest.
It did get a bit repetitive in regards to him claiming to have been the first to have done this or done that. While this may well be true, there is very little credit given to those that came before him; as Newton said: "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants."
Altogether, I can highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable trip down micro memory lane 14 Feb 2007
Wozniak's non-comformity and considerable achievements are underlined in a fairly self-deprecating way in this book.

The explanation of how he designed and built the Apple I is extremely accessible and makes it sound like anyone could do it. Of course, the reality is that very few people have both the vision and skills necessary to make a quantum leap like the original Apple computer.

He's also included chapters on Phreaking, his development of remote control systems and later Apple products. He sets out his position on the politics within Apple and adds a section on advice for new young inventors and engineers - which is short and to the point. Throughout the book he's constantly referring to the various professional relationships between individuals and companies within the Silicon Valley area - with the intermingling of ideas from Atari, Commodore, HP, Apple and others. These were key points in the development of the Silicon Valley area as an engine of economic growth and also pivoting points on which the IT revolution tilted.

But this is not a text book - so you're reading it like Wozniak is saying it. Don't expect huge amounts of detail or a read that will take weeks. I read this book in a couple of sittings - and it was all the better for it.

In response to those who see this book as a self-serving exercise: Having read the biographies of others (sports personalities, media tycoons and the rest) I'm at a loss to see how Wozniak is trying to big himself up. If you want self-promotion on a huge scale try reading the memoirs of some UK politicians. Wozniak admits to losing vast amounts of money on some of his business schemes, having had failed marriages and crashing a plane! How much more self-abuse do people want from him?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is a book I would describe as intriguing rather than interesting. Woz is undoubtably a great guy who has been responsible for some of the key aspects of our life today but reading this you would think he had solely invented just about everything. There is a complete lack of defference in his approach and comments. For me a little more humility and acknowledgement that other people on this planet did contribute something to the world in which he could flourish would not go amiss. The constant barrage of 'the invention of this was entirely down to me'. 'I was the first person to do this' and 'x y or z could only do what he did because of me' gets a bit tiresome after a while. Still, its' a great narrative!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertains but doesn't enlighten 4 Aug 2010
By Colin Mccartney TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
"Iwoz" offers little insight into the worlds of electronics and business. If you're looking for a text on either, this is not the place to start.

It does, however, tell the not uninteresting story of America's answer to Sir Clive Sinclair. In summary, Wozniak had one brilliant idea (the Apple II) and thereafter went on to invent the universal TV remote. Then there is far too much information about how he organised rock concerts (is this some sort of attempt to try and show that even though he didn't invent the Ipod, he's still hip?) And then he went into teaching. Those who can...?

I'm not sure that we really get to know the real Steve Wozniak from this book. If it IS to be believed, he had a refreshing dislike of corporate culture, was good to his co-workers and was on occasion even known to give stuff away. But on the other hand, he goes through at least 3 wives and without really telling us why - is this what we expect of a nice guy? Do we really, as the cover claims, get "to the core of Apple's inventor"? If we do then fine, but I'm not entirely convinced on the evidence of this.

The big-headed writing style is at first a bit irritating: SW appears to be the perfect human being and knows it. But all that starts to crumble very subtly as the references to the Apple II (which HE obviously rates very highly) increase disproportionately. The expression "Pooterism" springs to mind.

Commendably, he doesn't hide his admiration for the Ipod (which was produced after his effective departure from Apple). In fact I think the subconscious title for this book would be something like "How I failed to invent the Ipod despite the fact I'm really very clever and I'm far too positive a person to be bitter about it".

The FT Magazine review quote ("oddly endearing...") quoted in Amazon's product info, hits the nail on the head.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The wizard of Woz in his own words
I bought this before meeting Steve Wozniak at Apps World in London. He tells his story in his own words. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joanna Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
Steve Wozniak has an amazing story, overshadowed by Steve Jobs sometimes but both guys deserve books! iWoz is very motivating also.
Published 7 months ago by David Martin
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor rating for I, Woz
I thought this book was very poorly written as though he had gone down the pub and was talking to his friends. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Judith Paice
5.0 out of 5 stars When is part 2?
Great, enthusing.

But where is part 2?

That's a 1.0 product :-)

Maybe the iOS years?

Or expanding on the values? Read more
Published 8 months ago by JF Brouillet
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but..
Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of the guy and what he's done, but the "I have done so much clever original stuff from a young age" tone does get to you a bit as other... Read more
Published 9 months ago by BobF
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting man and enjoyed his story.
Brought back memories of my Sinclair ZX81. Loved hearing about the early days of home computing and Woz was a real pioneer.
Published 12 months ago by David Reeves
4.0 out of 5 stars Artlessly written slice of history
This is a fascinating glimpse at a moment in history, and the genius of Wozniak who invented the idea of the personal computer as we imagine it today (a pre-loading operating... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Bruce Lawson
3.0 out of 5 stars Well it's ok
I just finished reading the book.. It was writing in a very personal way, you might love or hate it.. but overall is entertaining
Published 18 months ago by miguel santiago
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting to read, but my word what an ego!
(Possible spoilers below)

I found out about this book after reading a blog post about the upcoming jOBS movie about the life of Steve Jobs but in that article they quote... Read more
Published 19 months ago by BenGillam
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, reveals Wozniak personality
Written by a journalist, but it does say, what Wozniak one of my heroes wanted to say.

It does not reveal some of his qualities, as wanting to remain open, feeling as of... Read more
Published on 19 May 2012 by J. Kertesz
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