Steve Wozniak

At first I had began brainstorming trying to think of a subject for this paper.

I had heard Mr. Perry speak of Apple computer and of Steve jobs. His rise to
power and his fall from grace then his rebirth, like the phoenix from in myths
and legends rising from his own ashes. However I didn’t know much about the
subject. So I decided on the subject of Apple computers. Then the more I
researched I found a more interesting subject. In the next few pages I am going
to attempt to do justice of the accomplishments of Steve Wozniak. No not the
other Steve, I found Steve Wozniak a more interesting person simply because I
had never heard of the man. I never new he existed. Being of lesser knowledge
than most on the subject of computers I found it fascinating. The way Steve

Wozniak did things. Steve Wozniak was born in 1950. A baby boomer he grew up in
suburban Santa Clara Valley, California with his parents and siblings. His
father was an engineer for Lockheed and his mother was the president of a

Republican Women’s Club. He was into electronics heavily even as a child and
young teenager. While looking at a magazine article he spotted a diagram for a
simple calculator called the One-Bit-Adder-Subtractor. Woz, as his friends
called him, dissected the plans and made improvements. In Cupertino Science Fair
he took home first prize with the Ten Bit Parallel Adder Subtractor. It was his
first attempt at building a computer. This would be the beginning of a great
learning era it would seem. In junior high he had already taught himself how to
design programs in computer languages. At homestead high school he absorbed
everything he could about electronics and physics. He fare outreached his
counter parts in class. After he graduated he went on to the University of

Colorado but flunked out. You see he was bored with school because he was so
intelligent. At least that is what he tells everyone. Returning to California
the Woz still was interested in computers even after his fall from college life.

One of his early interests was the Altair 8800. It was costly when it came out
so he and a friend began research on it. In the garage of a neighbor Steve

Wozniak created what would be called the cream soda computer. Named that after
all the cream soda he drank while building it. While building it he met a man
named Steve Jobs. Although the computer went up in smoke during a test the basic
groundwork was laid for a machine that would change the world was set and a
friendship that would turn into a new industry. After the introduction of the

Altair an organization sprang up of hobbyist and amateurs. It was the Homebrew

Computer Club and of course Steve Wozniak went to the meetings and rarely if
ever missed one of them. It seemed the Altair used a costly microprocessor, the

Intel 8080, to do its thinking. Since Woz couldn’t afford the 179 dollars per
chip he jumped at the offer Hewlett Packard offered its employees. At a
substantial discount he could buy the Motorola 6800 microprocessor. He did
experiments with it and like all computer parts the prices dropped. Then he
moved on to the 6502 Microprocessor by MOS Technologies. The MOS chip sold for
only 25 dollars this appealed to Woz because of the price per function. Plus he
thought all this computer stuff could be done on very few chips and parts making
it appealing to the everyday person. On April fools day in 1976 three men signed
an agreement to form a computer company. After a little haggling a name was
chosen for both the company and the computer. On 1300 dollars, which came from
the selling of a VW van and a programmable calculator the three men would start
an industry. They would call it Apple Computer and the first product would be
called the Apple I. The three would soon become two you see Ron Wayne would sell
out for only 800 dollars never getting the ten- percent of the millions to come.

Surely he spent several nights tossing and turning at the thought of it. The
pecking order was Jobs was the go-getter. The person who made the deals, begged
for orders, and got the parts. Woz didn’t care about anything as long as he
got to be the engineer. The lack of interest in the business side of Apple
computer along with the cutthroat attitude of Jobs would be