It is Steve Wozniak's autobiography, as told to Gina Smith. It's a fun read. Keep your wits about you as you read--they didn't fact-check all of this material. So when Wozniak tells you what was going on in the industry at this time, you need to remember it was his perception. Probably everyone at Apple was saying that the Apple ][ was the first to sell a million units, so when Wozniak repeats this... Well, maybe that means that Apple was an echo-chamber around 1983, believing their own PR.
But it's worth reading this book. Wozniak has had a fun ride so far, and it's fun to read his reminiscences. Just in case you don't read it, though, I'm going to quote some things from the end of this book, the ideas he was hoping to convey, the lies he hoped to correct:
- He didn't drop out of college
- He wasn't thrown out of the University of Colorado
- He didn't go to high school with Steve Jobs (they went to the same school, but not at the same time).
- He designed the Apple I and Apple ][ machines himself, not with Jobs' help.
- If you are an inventor who works best alone, he advises you to work alone.
- If you are an inventor, please invent. We could use some better inventions.
I'll quote the last paragraph:
I hope you'll be as lucky as I am. The world needs inventors--great ones. You can be one. If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it's within your reach. And it'll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It'll be worth it, I promise.
Wow, inspirational stuff. I hope more folks are inspired by that than by some of Wozniak's practical jokes, many of which seemed more mean-spirited than funny. (Although I'm sure he would assure you that he didn't mean them in a mean-spirited way.) Check it out.
Labels: book, mad science, vintage computing