Steve Wozniak

Steve Wozniak

Infobox Person
name = Stephen Gary "Woz" Wozniak

caption =
birth_date = birth date and age|1950|8|11
birth_place = San Jose, California
death_place =
occupation = Computer engineer
salary =
networth =
spouse = Alice Robertson (1976-1980)
Candice Clark (1981-1987)
Suzanne Mulkern (1990-2004)
Janet Hill (2008-Present)
children = Jesse,Gary,Sara(with Clark)
website = []
footnotes =

Stephen Gary "Woz" Wozniak (born August 11 1950 in San José, California) is an American computer engineer of Polish descent, and the co-founder of Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.), with Steve Jobs. His inventions and machines are credited with contributing greatly to the personal computer revolution of the 1970s. Wozniak created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s. The Apple II gained a sizable amount of popularity, eventually becoming one of the best selling personal computers of the 1970s and early 1980s.

Wozniak has several nicknames, including "The Woz", "Wonderful Wizard of Woz" and "iWoz" (a reference to the ubiquitous naming scheme for Apple products). "WoZ" (short for "Wheels of Zeus") is also the name of a company Wozniak founded. He is known for his introverted character, and he finds his level of celebrity somewhat annoying. He is also known as the "Other Steve" of Apple Computer, the better known Steve being co-founder and current CEO Steve Jobs.

Origins of Apple

By 1975, Wozniak withdrew from the University of California, Berkeley (he would later return to finish his B.S. degree in E.E.C.S., which he received in 1986 enrolled under the alias Rocky Clark) and came up with the computer that eventually made him famous. However, he was largely working to impress other members of the Palo Alto-based Homebrew Computer Club, a local group of electronics hobbyists. His project had no wider ambition.

In 1970 Wozniak had become friends with Steve Jobs, 4½ years his junior, when Jobs had a summer job at the same business where Wozniak was working on a mainframe computer. [ "In mid-1970, at the end of his sophomore year in high school, when he finished McCollum's electronics class, Steve was also finished with formal training in electronics. That summer he worked at Haltek and became close friends with both Wozniak and Baum, who were working as systems programmers on a nearby mainframe computer. Much of his advanced training in electronics would come at Wozniak's elbow, and the two older boys, who were both deeply involved in improving the design of the Flair pen computer of the previous year, allowed Steve to tag along as they conducted research into the stacks at the Stanford library and pored over the product literature and specifications that arrived daily at Woz's house" "Steve Jobs - The Journey Is The Reward" ] According to his autobiography iWoz, Jobs had the idea to sell the computer as a fully assembled P.C. board. Wozniak, at first skeptical, was later convinced by Jobs that even if they were not successful they could at least say to their grandkids they had their own company. Together they sold some of their prized possessions (such as Wozniak's H.P. scientific calculator and Jobs' Volkswagen van), raised USD $1,300, and assembled the first prototypes in Jobs' bedroom and later (when there was no space left) in Jobs' garage. The Apple I Computer was similar to the Altair 8800, the first commercially available personal computer, except it had no bus structure allowing users to add memory cards and interface cards. With the addition of these cards, the Altair could be attached to a computer terminal and it could be programmed in BASIC. The Apple I was a pure hobbyist machine, a $20 microprocessor (M.O.S. 6502) on a single-circuit board with ROM. It lacked RAM, a keyboard, and a monitor to make it a fully functional microcomputer.

On April 1, 1976, Jobs and Wozniak formed Apple Computer. Wozniak quit his job at H.P. and became the vice president in charge of research and development at Apple. The Apple I was priced at $666.66 (Wozniak later said he had no idea about the correlation between the number and the mark of the beast, and "I came up with [it] because I like repeating digits." It was $500, plus a 33% markup.). Jobs and Wozniak sold their first 100 computers to Paul Terrell, who was starting a new computer shop, called the Byte Shop, in Mountain View, California. Terrell bought just the circuit board for the Apple I, he had to supply the keyboard, monitor, transformer, and even the case in which to put the computer. Wozniak, S. G.; Smith, G. (2006), "". W. W. Norton & Company]

Wozniak could now focus full-time on fixing the shortcomings of the Apple I and adding new functionality. His new design was to retain the most important characteristics: simplicity and usability. Wozniak introduced high-resolution graphics in the Apple II. His computer could now display pictures instead of just letters: "I threw in high-res. It was only two chips. I didn't know if people would use it". By 1978, he also designed an inexpensive floppy-disk drive controller. He and Randy Wigginton wrote a simple disk operating system and file system. Shepardson Microsystems was contracted to build a simple command line interface for the disk operating system.

In addition to designing the hardware, Wozniak wrote most of the software initially provided with the Apple. He wrote a programming language interpreter, a set of virtual 16-bit processor instructions known as SWEET 16, a Breakout game (which was also a reason to add sound to the computer), the code needed to control the disk drive, and more.

In 1980, Apple went public and made Jobs and Wozniak multimillionaires.

Aircraft accident

In February 1981, Steve Wozniak crashed his Beechcraft Bonanza while taking off from Santa Cruz Sky Park. The NTSB investigation revealed that Wozniak was not rated in the type of airplane, did not have a "high performance" endorsement on his pilot's license (making him unqualified to operate the airplane), and had a "lack of familiarity with [the] aircraft." The cause of the crash was determined to be a premature liftoff, followed by a stall and "mush" into a 12 foot embankment. As a result of the accident, he had retrograde amnesia and temporary anterograde amnesia. He had no recollection of the accident and, for a while, did not even know he had been involved in a crash. He also did not remember his hospital stays or the things he did after he was released: he followed his previous routine (except for flying), but could not recall what had happened. He would walk into rooms and forget why he was there and couldn't even remember the current day of the week. For example, he would go to work on Sunday, or stay home on a Wednesday, thinking it was the weekend. He began to piece together clues from what people told him. He asked his girlfriend, Candice Clark (an early Apple employee who worked in the accounting department), whether he had been involved in an accident of some kind. When she told him about the event, his short-term memory was restored.

Wozniak and Clark got engaged later that year, ordered their wedding rings from a San Diego jeweler, and flew to San Diego to pick them up. Wozniak also credits Apple II computer games for aiding him in restoring those "lost" memories.

Beyond Apple

Wozniak did not return to Apple after recovering from the plane crash. Instead, he married Clark (he called her "Superwoman", possibly because of her accomplishments as an Olympic kayaker in 1976) [ [ "This Week in Apple History"] from "The Mac Observer" ] and returned to U.C. Berkeley under the name "Rocky Raccoon Clark" (Rocky was his dog's name and Clark his wife's maiden name), finally earning his undergraduate degree in 1986. In 1983 he decided to return to Apple product development, but he wanted no more of a role than that of an engineer and a motivational factor for the Apple workforce.

In May 1982 and 1983, Wozniak also sponsored two US Festivals to celebrate evolving technologies; they ended up as a technology exposition and a rock festival as a combination music, computers, television and people. They differed from previous rock festivals, notably Woodstock, by shorter lines for the Portable toiletsFact|date=August 2008: Wozniak is an engineer, and simply computed the number of Port-a-Potties that would be needed, using less optimistic assumptions than previous concert organizersFact|date=August 2008. (This experience would help him when the time came to build Shoreline Amphitheatre).Fact|date=August 2008

In 1986, Wozniak lent his name to the "Stephen G. Wozniak Achievement Awards" (referred to as "Wozzie Awards"), which he presented to six Bay Area high school and college students for their innovative use of computers in the fields of business, art and music.

Post-Apple career

Wozniak ended his full time employment with Apple for good on February 6 1987, twelve years after setting up the company. However he still remains an employee (and receives a paycheck) [ Welcome to ] ] and is a shareholder. [ Apple's "Other" Steve (Stock Research) March 2, 2000 ] ] He also maintains connections with Steve Jobs.

Wozniak founded a new venture called C.L. 9, which developed and brought the first universal TV remote control to market in 1987.

Wozniak went into teaching (he taught fifth grade students) and charitable activities in the field of education. Since leaving Apple Computer, Wozniak has provided all the money, as well as a good amount of on-site technical support, for the technology program for his local school district. Un.U.Son. (Unite Us In Song), an organization Wozniak formed to organize the two U.S. Festivals, is now primarily tasked with supporting his educational and philanthropic projects.

Wozniak received the National Medal of Technology in 1985 from Ronald Reagan, then President of the U.S.

In December 1989, he received an honorary Doctor of Engineering from the University of Colorado.Citation| last = Seibold| first = Chris| title = This Day in Apple History December 28, 1989: Woz Gets Honorary Doctorate, Dish Incident Forgotten| url=| accessdate = 2007-07-31] In 1997, he was named a Fellow of the Computer History Museum. Wozniak was a key contributor and benefactor to the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose (the street in front of the museum has been renamed Woz Way in his honor). [ [,+san+jose,+ca&t=h&ll=37.326361,-121.891733&spn=0.003686,0.008497&t=h] ]

In September 2000, Steve Wozniak was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

In 2001, Wozniak co-founded Wheels of Zeus (note the acronym, "WoZ"), to create wireless GPS technology to "help everyday people find everyday things". In 2002, he joined the Board of Directors of Ripcord Networks, Inc., joining Ellen Hancock, Gil Amelio, Mike Connor, and Wheels of Zeus co-founder Alex Fielding, all Apple alumni, in a new telecommunications venture. Later the same year he joined the Board of Directors of Danger, Inc., the maker of the Hip Top (a.k.a. Side Kick from T-Mobile). In May of 2004, upon nomination by Dr. Tom Miller, Wozniak received an honorary S.D. degree from North Carolina State University for his contribution to the field of personal computing.

In May 2004, Wozniak was awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Kettering University, in Flint, Michigan. He also received an honorary S.D. from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology. In 2006, Wheels of Zeus was closed, and Wozniak co-founded Acquicor Technology, a shell company for acquiring technology companies and developing them, with Apple alumni Ellen Hancock and Gil Amelio.

In September 2006, Wozniak published his autobiography, "". It was co-authored by writer Gina Smith.

Steve is currently working on three new books, one of which is on pranks.

Popular culture

* An aphorism attributed to Wozniak, "Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window", is quoted in the game, "Civilization IV", when players discover the "Computers" technology during single player games.
* In the movie "Camp Nowhere", Christopher Lloyd's character scams parents into sending their kids to a computer camp under the fake name of Dennis Wozniak.
* Wozniak stars as a parody of himself in the first episode of the TV series "Code Monkeys" when he is the owner of Gameavision before selling it to help fund Apple. He later appears again in the 12th episode when he is in Las Vegas at the annual Video Game Convention and sees Dave and Jerry. Woz also appears in a parody of the "Get a Mac" ads featured in the final episode of Code Monkeys Season 2.
* Steve Wozniak is the inspiration behind "Eureka 7" character Woz the Whiz.

Current activities

Wozniak is a member of a Segway Polo team, the Silicon Valley Aftershocks. In 2006, they were challenged to a game by the newly formed New Zealand Pole Blacks (the Woz Challenge Cup); the match ended in a 2-2 tie, with the Woz Challenge Cup staying in Auckland. In 2007, the Silicon Valley Aftershocks avenged the tie by defeating the Pole Blacks 5-0 in the Woz Challenge Cup finals. The 2008 Woz Challenge Cup will be held at the SegwayFesT 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana from August 8-10 (polo events run August 7-9)cite web | title =| url= | accessdate = 2008-03-03 ] . Recently, he attended the FIRST National Competition in Atlanta to show off LEGO robots cite web| last = Weisman| first = Robert| title = A star who aims to spark innovation by students
url=| accessdate = 2007-09-18
] .

Wozniak, after seeing her stand-up performance in Saratoga, California, began dating Emmy-winning comedian Kathy Griffin.cite web| last = Collins| first = Michelle| title = VH1 Best Week Ever - Off The Market: Kathy Griffin Finds a New Man!|url=| accessdate = 2007-09-18 ] Together, they attended the 2007 Emmy Awards,cite web| title = Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Escorted Comedian Kathy Griffin & Her Potty Mouth To The Emmy’s.
url=| accessdate = 2007-09-18
] and he subsequently made many appearances on the fourth season of her show "". Woz is on the show as her date for the Producers Guild of America award show. However, on a June 19, 2008 appearance on "The Howard Stern Show", Griffin confirmed that they are no longer dating and have decided to remain friends. [ [ Who’s so vain? - The Howard Stern Show ] ] As noted in a postscript on the August 7, 2008 episode of "My Life On The D-List", Wozniak is currently engaged to another woman, but it did not mention who she was. According to Griffin, “He met someone very quickly and then they [got] engaged. I have had dinner with them, and she’s a thousand times more appropriate! I hate to say it, but in the Bruce, Demi, Ashton [scheme of things] , I’m the Bruce!” [name=] It turned out that he married Janet Hill in Indianapolis. [ [ "Meet Janet Hill, the woman secretly married to Steve Wozniak"] from "" ]

On July 11, 2008, Wozniak showed up at the Apple Store at the Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, CA, offering doughnuts to customers waiting to purchase Apple's new iPhone 3G.

Wozniak is interviewed and featured in the upcoming documentary "Hackers Wanted".

See also

* Blue box
* "iWoz" - an autobiography.
* "Pirates of Silicon Valley" - A movie based on the rise of Apple and Microsoft; Wozniak is portrayed by actor Joey Slotnick.
*"Triumph of the Nerds" - A documentary about the rise of the P.C. industry by Robert Cringely


External links

* [] Wozniak's official site
* [ "Apple Computer The Early Days A Personal Perspective"] by Paul Laughton


* [ Collection of more than 20 Interviews with Steve Wozniak ]
* [ Frontier Visionary Interview Interviews Steve Wozniak on Frontier Journal]
* [ The San Jose Tech Museum interview with Wozniak]
* [ Colbert Interviews The Woz TV interview on Sept 28th, 2006]
* [ Wozniak giving history of himself at GnomeDex 2004]
* [ "Interview with Wozniak" (from Failure Magazine, July 2000)]
* [ 2005 Interview with Wozniak at the Stanford Cardinal Inquirer]
* [ TWIT with Woz, a podcast Wozniak participated in]
* [ TWIT with Woz - Wozniak and Kevin Mitnick on "This Week In Tech" podcast]
* [ TWIT with Woz - Wozniak on "This Week in Tech", episode 44]
* [ TWIT with Woz - Wozniak on "This Week in Tech", episode 48]
* [ Founders At work - Chapter 3 is a lengthy and somewhat technical interview of his early days at Apple conducted by Jessica Livingston]
* [ Interviewed by R.U. Sirius on 10 Zen Monkeys]
* [ Wozniak's New Goal is Efficient Housing (, Aug. 2007)]
* [ Wozniak on the iPhone, Apple's OS Leopard, and the future of personal computing (by Joanna Stern of, Oct. 2007)]
* [ Steve Wozniak on Inventing as Art, Philanthropy and the Spirit of Creativity Part 1 of 2]
* [ Social Networking Watch Interview with Steve Wozniak, August 08]
* [ An interview with Steve Wozniak on "The Marketplace of Ideas"]


* [ Interview with Steve Wozniak at Digital Village Audio Archives]
* [ One night with The Woz, video - A video from the Computer history museum, with a long speech from Woz]
* [ Series of Comments at the thirtieth anniversary celebration for home computer pioneers (Video, below the ENIAC videos)]
* [ In Search of the Valley A 2006 documentary on Silicon Valley featuring Steve Wozniak]
* [ iWoz: From Computer Geek to Culture Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It]
* [ M.I.T. World Steve Wozniak on speaking to]
* [ M.I.T. students (includes Q&A session)]
* [ Steve Wozniak interview on iWoz Book An hour long video interview by Guy Kawasaki, November, 2006]
* [ Steve Wozniak interviewed by Charlie Rose January 29, 2007]
* [ Steve Wozniak interview on November 30, 2006]
* [ Steve Wozniak Speaks at UC Berkeley April 22, 2008]


* [ Bio. Stephen Wozniak]
* [ Stephen Wozniak Bio.]
* [ Dot Eaters page featuring an article on Wozniak and Atari's Breakout]
* [ Steve Wozniak describes how he created the Apple I and II]
* [ The World According to Woz - Profile of Wozniak in Wired magazine]
* [ Steve Wozniak A short Bio. about Steve Wozniak]

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