A Short Biography Of Steve Wozniak – One Of Apple’s Co-Founders

Stephen Gary Wozniak (Woz) was born back in 1950, on August 11th in San Jose in California. His father Jacob Francis Wozniak had graduated as one of the best students of the Columbian University Information Technology and he was actually the one who inspired the young Steve to become a guru in electronics. Since he was a very little boy, Wozniak junior spent a lot of his time in his father’s workshop, which was a place full of all kinds of electronic parts. He became very interested in what his dad was doing and wanted to learn how transistors, diodes, and other electronic components worked. Jacob was more than happy to explain everything to his son. This is how Steve became a wizard in electronics when he was just in fourth grade. During that time he spent most of his time working with a circuit board, instead of playing with the kids from the neighborhood. When he was in 8th grade, he constructed a calculator, with which he won a big prize in a local competition.

With time passing, Woz was getting more and more indrawn. Most of his time he was in his home reading magazines about electronics and building small widgets, while his mates were chasing girls and having fun. This was hard for him and he was mischievous because of that. One day he placed a ticking device in his locker in school, trying to make his schoolmates think that this was a bomb. The same day he was called to appear in the director’s office. When he got there, he saw several policemen waiting for him. The director accidentally went by that locker, heard the ticking sound, and actually thought this was a bomb. This is how the young Steve was sent to jail for one day. But this didn’t make him reconsider his behavior. There he taught his cellmates how to use the wires powering the fan in the roundhouse and attach them to the grating, so everyone who touched it would be shaken by an electric shock.

After High School…

Steve Wozniak Steve Wozniak

After high school, Steve Wozniak wanted to continue his education at the University of Colorado. That would be expensive for his family, but he managed to persuade his father to let him study there. While he was there, he spent a big part of his time doing impish things, and he couldn’t pass two of his exams and had to drop out. He continued studying at the De Anza College in California but dropped out again after a year there. So Wozniak Junior decided to get a job, so at least he could make some money. He was hired by a local computer manufacturer and this was actually his first job. There he got an interesting offer from one of his colleges – to build one of the computers he had planned on paper earlier. Woz accepted. He started work on the project with a friend of his named Bill Fernandez, who was still in high school. They worked in the garage of the Fernandez family. While building the computer, they had big quantities of lemonade as a refreshing drink. This is why they decided to call it ‘the lemonade computer’.

Steve Wozniak Meets Steve Jobs For The First Time

When the computer was ready, Bill Fernandez told to Steve Wozniak that he had to meet one of his friends at all costs. This guy’s name was Steve, too, and he also liked to create different electronic widgets. This is what happened during one of the meetings that would later change the world – Steve Wozniak met Steve Jobs. They met for the first time in front of Bill’s house. They almost immediately liked each other, because they had so much in common, especially in the field of electronics.

The Blue Box

One day in 1971, Steve Wozniak came across an article entitled ‘The Secret of the Black Box’, in which he read about how some hackers and computer gurus had found a way to make free phone calls, by copying and playing the ones that redirected the calls. So Woz called the other Steve immediately. They both researched the matter and decided to start producing and selling such blue boxes in order to make some cash. This was the first time they did some business together. Jobs and Wozniak managed to build around 100 blue boxes and sold almost all of them at $150 each. This is how they learned to work together. Jobs once said that if there wasn’t the blue box, there would never have been Apple Computers.

The Apple 1 Computer

In 1976, he met Steve Jobs and the two developed the first Apple computer together. The Apple I, created by Wozniak, gained immense popularity as the first consumer-focused personal computer. He followed up this success with the invention of the Apple II, a more sophisticated and powerful version of the Apple I. This was the machine that launched Apple as a computer company.

The computer was designed and built in Job’s parents’ garage in 1976, and sold for $666.66. The computer was first sold to the general public in July of 1976 from the Byte Shop in Mountain View, California.

The Apple 1 was one of the first PCs with a pre-assembled motherboard and 8-bit MOS 6502 processor. It had 4k of RAM, an 8k ROM Monitor, and an audio cassette interface for data storage. It also included a simple keyboard, power supply and composite video output for connecting to monitors.

The Apple 1 was a major step forward in home computing. It was a fully functional home computer, allowing users to type, run programs and store data on cassettes. Although the Apple 1 had very limited capabilities compared to today’s computers, it was a game-changer in terms of making computing affordable and accessible to the average person.

The computer was included in an article in the January 1977 issue of Popular Electronics magazine and immediately gained a lot of attention. It was soon followed by the improved Apple II, released in 1977, which was the basis for the personal computers that were to follow.

Only around 200 Apple 1 computers were ever produced and only 6 of those are known to have survived to this day. The Apple 1 computer has become a sought-after collector’s item and in 2018, one of the remaining Apple 1 computers sold at auction for a staggering $375,000.

The Apple 2 Computer

In terms of its physical design, the Apple 2 was a rather large machine. It featured a built-in keyboard and a nine-inch CRT monitor in a beige plastic case. However, it was the advanced software and hardware features that made the Apple 2 so revolutionary. It was the first to come with two built-in game paddles, had advanced color graphics (which were only available in a few other computers at the time), and could store up to 64KB of memory (wow :)).

The Apple 2 also included BASIC language, a programming language that allowed users to create their own programs, making it the perfect computer for learning to code. As if that wasn’t enough, it also featured an audio cassette port for loading and saving data which was revolutionary for the time.

The Apple 2 was an instant success, becoming the most popular home computer of its time. It sold over 5 million units and encouraged the development of software programs and peripherals. It also helped lead the way for the personal computer revolution that followed. It’s no surprise that it’s still considered one of the most iconic and influential computers of all time.

The Apple 2 was followed by the Apple II Plus, which was released in 1979, and the Apple 2e, which was released in 1983. The Apple 2e was the last model of the Apple 2 series and provided performance enhancements that kept it competitive with many of the computers released during that period.

Beyond computers, Wozniak has several other technological inventions such as the Universal Remote Control. He also set up the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to protect civil liberties online.

Stephen Wozniak remains an important figure in computer engineering and innovation. In 1985, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and he continues to invest in and mentor budding entrepreneurs today. He serves on the board of numerous companies and is a regular lecturer and speaker on the subjects of technology and entrepreneurship. No doubt, his influence and impact in the industry will continue to be felt for years to come.

Stephen Wozniak is one of the most iconic figures in the world of technology and business. He is credited with being the brilliant engineer who, along with Steve Jobs, founded Apple Inc. Throughout his impressive career, Wozniak has made countless technological contributions that have revolutionized the tech industry. He continues to be an inspiring figure for budding entrepreneurs and engineers, serving as an example for pushing boundaries and innovating for the future.