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What I thought of 'iWoz'

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I've been reading 'iWoz', the semi-autobiography of Steve Wozniak (thanks for the b'day gift) for sometime now and finished it on this weekend. I may have forgotten some parts of it, partly because I've been reading it for a couple of months now (maybe more). I read non-urgent books at a slow pace. Come to think of it, I read all books at a slow rate. :)

Anyways, the book is worth a read overall if you happen to be slightly interested in either personal computing evolution or Apple's technological root founder. Woz (the legendary Wozniak's alias) through the medium of his life in computers succeeds in describing the quintessential geek and how exactly the word 'personal' got added into personal computing. The book itself is not very lengthy, about 300 odd pages written in a nice medium sized font. What is most interesting to see, is the process of how actually a great engineer goes through stages to make a great product, in this case Woz making the Apple I and II.

Though the authors (Woz and Gina Smith) have tried to explain most of the computing jargon used in the book and even included a helpful glossary, non-tech users will find the book hard to follow. For example, Woz's explanation of engineering the Floppy Disk controller for the Apple II is, how shall I put it, uber geek. :P A techie however, would fall in love with Woz's honesty and his absolute dedication to making a better product. That is not to say that he only talks about computing. He goes into other aspects of his life too, like the US music concert he funded, teaching kids and even pranks he pulled all his life.

A note of caution however, to many (and I include myself in the list) Woz comes across as an arrogant geek. But proceeding through the book one realizes that Woz is merely being directly honest and knows no other way to best put his point across. Just like Woz (you've gotta love the guy). All-in-all a great read for any geek, if you're old enough its a trip down memory lane, for the younger ones its insightful to learn the evolution, and for the managers - its a great peek to how your no-so-easy-to-work-with engineer thinks. And for everyone, its a great way to understand how one of the greatest minds of our times actually works.

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