“Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.” — Steve Wozniak
Stephen Gary “Woz” Wozniak was born on this day in San Jose, California in 1950. Today is his 63rd birthday.
Woz was always interested in electronics. Even as a kid he had the ability to build gadgets from scratch. He wasn’t a great student (he only stayed one year at UC Berkley) but he was able to design the hardware, circuit boards and operating system for the original Apple computer on his own and with out a formal engineering degree. (He later went back to UC Berkley under the name Rocky Clark — a combination of his dog’s name and his wife’s maiden name — and earned his Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences degree in 1986).
He and friend Steve Jobs were members of a Palo Alto electronic hobby group called the Homebrew Computer Club and they premiered the Apple 1 at one of the groups meetings. Wozniak quit his job at Hewlett-Packard and he and Jobs started Apple Computer on April 1, 1976.
With Wozniak’s knowledge of electronics and Jobs’s marketing skills, the two were well-suited to do business together. Wozniak went on to conceive the Apple II as part of the company’s personal-computer series, and by 1983, Apple had a stock value of $985 million. [Biography.com]
Wozniak was severely injured in an airplane accident in 1981. It took two years before he returned to Apple. He eventually left the company in 1987.
Post Apple Woz founded CL 9, a company which developed the first programmable universal remote control. His Wheels of Zeus venture developed wireless GPS
He pursued a lifelong goal when he began teaching science and technology to kids from 5th to 9th grade.
Wozniak published his autobiography,iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. Three years later, he joined the Salt Lake City-based start-up Fusion-io as its chief scientist. [Biography.com]