Woz comes to Google

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 at 9:21 AM

Posted by: Scott Knaster, Technical Writer

The first time I ever saw the mysterious inscription Woz was while reading the legendary Red Book that came with my Apple ][. I soon found out that Woz was Steve Wozniak, who had designed the Apple ][ and co-founded Apple Computer. The more I learned about Woz and his inventions, the more amazed I was: how he enabled the Apple ][ to use a cheap cassette recorder to load and save data; his incredible design for color output that two professional engineers told me "couldn't possibly work"; his unique disk controller that somehow managed to use software for timing and eliminated the need for all but 5 chips.

Woz is a Silicon Valley legend of the highest order, so we at Google were thrilled to welcome him here last Thursday to talk about his new book, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. Woz arrived about 20 minutes late, but stayed more than twice as long as he was "supposed" to, answering every question, signing every book, and talking to everyone who wanted to talk to him (and so I figured out why he was late in the first place).

Woz's talk showed why he is an inspiration to engineers (and other people) everywhere. He captivated the crowd with his passion and enthusiasm for what he does, whether it's designing computers, putting on massive concerts, or talking about his life and work. I highly recommend you see Woz on his travels if you get a chance -- if you're lucky, you might even get pranked -- and whether you see him in person or not, his book is a wonderful peek at the life of this remarkable guy.

And now I have this great souvenir: