iWoz – Apple from the other side?

iWoz - Steve Wozniak's account of AppleMy copy of iWoz arrived from Amazon this morning and I am mildly excited about reading it – much more than I thought I would be.

The book is selling itself as the first account of Apple founder Steve Wozniak’s view of this peculiar computer company. The blurb in the book is: “Having avoided the spotlight for the last twenty-five years, Steve is finally ready to break his silence…”

Since I’m not a Mac maniac, I’m not entirely sure what he says in the book and I suspect it won’t be that extraordinary, but I bought it because I’m due to interview him in Oxford in a month’s time – something which I’m also oddly looking forward to.

I’m sure the irony of the book being called iWoz won’t be lost on Wozniak. It is clearly after the iPod – a product that Apple has now become intrinsically associated with but Wozniak had nothing to do with – and follows a book on Jobs called iCon (which could be read by the cynical as “I con” – which is many ways, he does: Steve Jobs is the ultimate business confidence trickster).

In fact, the iWoz title looks like smart marketing added on later as all self-references to the book list the title as “I, Woz“. Maybe Wozniak was worried about his old pal Jobs suing him and only got approval late in the day.

I wonder why Wozniak has decided to do the book now. I hope to find out as I read it. I’ve tried to read the very early reviews of it that have gone up on the Net, but they’re so effusive and falling over themselves with praise that they are worse than useless.

It appears to be well written from the very little I’ve seen so far. Of course the Mac maniacs now think that Wozniak can also write as well, whereas in fact it has been ghosted by a San Francisco tech writer Gina Smith, who seems like a nice woman (I’ve just been reading her blog).

I have to say that I’m also a little concerned that I seem to be reading a lot of books about Apple lately. And I am seriously considering getting a Mac Book Pro laptop next time as it can run Windows. Am I gradually being sucked into the strange cultish Apple world?

12 Responses to “iWoz – Apple from the other side?”

  • Its only a small part thats strange and cultish, and in many ways its quite fun to watch Apple – more interesting than pretty much any other company anyway! The majority of mac users just use them because they enjoy the experience, I guess its “cultish” in that they promote them to their friends…

    I use Windows most of the time, OS X some of the time and Linux a bit, and I have to say that OS X is a very nice OS – for any level of user. It can make things really simple (even has a Simple Finder feature that cuts out 90% of the features) and make things really complex with terminal and all the associated programs…

    I can’t see why you’d need to run Windows really – I only do as I’m developing software for it and play some windows only games sometimes… That said, I’ve heard that paralells, vmware and Crossover Office for Mac all can do a good job for those who need windows apps…

  • Hey Ed

    I wouldn’t be comfortable shifting from Windows in one go. It’s been so long since I’ve used a Mac regularly and I have to confess that I’ve only ever dabbled with Linux. But I have dug into the guts of Windows so many times that I feel comfortable with it.

    If someone can guarantee me a machine running all three that didn’t require a reboot – that would be heaven. Although I suspect I form a very, very small group of people for whom that sounds even vaguely interesting.

    But I could be tempted to shift from Windows to either OS X or Linux if they were both on the same machine.

    I’d still want Windows there though. The apps are still there in a way they aren’t with the others. I have grown increasingly sick of constantly having to work around Windows though. Apple does do saving files and finding files so much better – and I seem to spend half my life doing exactly that.

    Maybe I should get a Mac Book Pro now, rather than wait for Vista and a new laptop. Hmmm…


  • Nice opportunity here. If you happen to work in a few questions about the early days: blue boxes and stuff. I would love to know about how the Steves just knew that a personal computer would sell. I’m in a slightly later generation, and, lets just say, I didn’t sell my HP calculator and did finish my degree….

    PS I tried living in ubuntu linux for about three months and then bought an iBook. The Mac OS is very nice indeed if you need to get stuff done, and if you need to use arcane scientific software.

  • Ach- How could I forget; try asking W what he thinks of Negroponte’s £100 laptop for third world countries. The idea of a minimal platform that is totally solid state.

  • I’d be interested on hearing what he thinks of the iPod, if he has one, where he sees it going. Along with his views on the Atari days of “helping” Jobs out with some of his work.

    Can I ask if you know if he is in Oxford for anything in particular, like a speaking engagement or suchlike?

  • I am listening to these suggestions btw and will ask em.

    Yes, Wozniak is giving a talk at the Said Business School (about five minutes walk from my house). You have to get an invite. Hang on, I’ll dig out the details. Here we go:

    Monday 23rd October at 12.15pm
    Mandela Lecture Theatre, Said Business School


    I’ve been reading the book this morning btw. It starts off a bit dry but is starting to find its feet and now I’m looking forward to reading more. It’s written with Wozniak as a first-person narrator.


  • Thanks for the tip, appreciate it. If you need any more research material, might I suggest a look at the Pirates of Silicon Valley, which if you haven’t seen it is the made-for-tv movie of the rise of Jobs and Gates, and is as close to a geek film turned into Dallas as you could ever hope for.

  • Ta, I’ve got it downloading on torrent, oh! ar, um, yes, I’ve ordered it from Amazon. Should take about five hours, um, oh, should be here in a couple of days…


  • Hi Kieren,

    I just released my first documentary, In Search of the Valley, which also heavily features Steve Wozniak (who have us a lengthy interview). Let me know if you’d like to know more e.g. press release or arrange an interview.

    – Steve

  • Cheers Steve,

    I’ll check it out


  • Flotsky,

    Watched it last night. Actually enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Very strange film though, parts of it were genuinely enticing but other parts were absolutely dreadful.

    I think where it fell down was in its determination to fit in famous anecdotes about Jobs, Gates et al which kind of jumped out at you and then disappeared just as quick as the narrative continued.

    I tell you what though, there is a definite really good film in here. I think Scorsese or Ron Howard would do a fascinating job.


  • uhm, sorry for the question but do you have the torrent file for the iwoz? would be great thank you very much!
    best regards.

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