August 11, 1950: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is born. Whereas Steve Jobs stands out as the most admired Apple determine, Woz may be essentially the most well-loved by followers.
Along with his most well-known creation, the Apple II, Wozniak can be accountable for imbuing Apple’s merchandise along with his fun-loving character.
Steve Wozniak: The geek’s geek
In contrast with the prickly Jobs, Wozniak at all times proved extra relatable to tech geeks. Whether or not you considered Jobs as a glorified salesman (a typical false impression throughout Apple’s early years) or a cool hippie who dreamed of going off to search out himself in India, Woz was extra clearly considered one of us.
He embraced the insurgent hacking mentality of Silicon Valley’s hobbyist Homebrew Laptop Membership, the place he and Jobs confirmed off the primary Apple pc. Later, regardless of having performed a key function in inventing the private pc — most notably with the revolutionary Apple II — Woz spent his fortune having enjoyable as a substitute of making an attempt to take over the world.
Proper from the beginning, Woz was a prankster. Throughout his brief stint attending the College of California, Berkeley, he rigged a college pc to churn out countless reams of paper studying “GOOD SCRAP PAPER.”
At Apple, he as soon as sneaked right into a colleague’s cubicle and put a stay mouse inside his pc. Then Woz watched as his co-worker turned an increasing number of confused by the odd squeaking sounds popping out of the machine.
Even on vital events, Woz remained lighthearted. When the Apple II made its public debut on the West Coast Laptop Faire in 1977, Wozniak performed a prank on Jobs. He handed Jobs a brochure for a superior pc that supposedly launched the identical day. The intelligent faux advertising and marketing included parody Jony Ive-esque feedback like, “Think about a automobile with 5 wheels.”
Woz didn’t let Jobs know that the so-called Zaltair pc was a hoax till years later. (Woz gave Jobs a framed copy of the brochure for his birthday.)
Steve Wozniak was Apple’s peacemaker
At this time, the form of geeky in-jokes that Woz cherished are immediately recognizable as nerd tradition. Nevertheless, distilling Woz’s humor and good-natured persona into Apple’s computer systems and advertising and marketing made the corporate really feel very totally different. Particularly since this by some means occurred within the pre-internet period.
Woz was the geeky yin to Jobs’ polished yang.
Inside Apple, Woz served as a peacemaker. He caught up for folks in a method that has by no means been forgotten. When Jobs started barring sure early staff from inventory choices for causes few might perceive, Wozniak objected.
Woz gave away a few of his personal Apple shares to staff who in any other case wouldn’t qualify. When Apple went public in 1980, Woz took dwelling $100 million lower than Jobs because of this.
Lastly, Wozniak was a rattling effective engineer. The Apple II is the pc he’s most related to. However maybe his crowning achievement was the Disk II, Apple’s first 5.5-inch floppy disk.
Created with 17-year-old Apple worker Randy Wigginton over Christmas 1977, the Disk II massively elevated the performance of Apple’s in style private pc. It was additionally the primary instance of Apple’s persevering with high-margin enterprise mannequin. Disk II value simply $140 in elements, however offered for $495.
Completely satisfied birthday, Woz!
Woz nonetheless makes his presence felt within the tech group, though he’s been largely absent from Apple for years.
A lot of his persevering with presence revolves round enjoyable, nerdy pursuits like making cameos on The Large Bang Concept, turning into a Tetris world champion, whipping out some dance strikes on Dancing With the Stars and expressing continued enthusiasm about Segways.
However Woz has additionally continued to talk out about what he views because the utopian mission of know-how, whether or not which means asking Apple and Google to place apart their variations for the better good or urging the Federal Communications Fee to maintain the web free.
Completely satisfied birthday, Woz!
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