Steve Wozniak – Co-founder of Apple | Famous IT personalities
Stephen (or Stephan) Gary “Steve” Wozniak is an American scientist, also known as “Woz”. He was a part of revolutionizing personal computers in 1970s. He along with Steve Jobs founded Apple.
Birth and Early days of Career
Born in San Jose, California, on 11 August 1950, Wozniak is Polish and Swish German from paternal side and German, Irish and English from maternal side. Wozniak is called by a number of nicknames like “Woz”, “The wonderful wizard of Woz” or “the woZ” (for “Wheels of Zeus”). He was also known as “Berkeley Blue” in the early 1970s.
Steve Wozniak’s Apple Connection
Wozniak was introduced to Steve Jobs in 1971 by his friend Bill Fernandez. Jobs and wozniak became friends and they invented Apple I computer. Though Wozniak had keen interest in designing electronics, but he never was a star student in college. In 1976, Wozniak designed the hardware, circuit diagrams and the operating system of the computer that made him famous- Apple I. Job convinced Wozniak to sell Apple I as a completely assembled printed circuit board. It sold for $666.66. First 50 system boards were sold for a new computer shop.
On forming Apple Computer on 1st April, 1976, Wozniak quit his job at Hewlett-Packard and started working as the vice president taking charge of the research and development at Apple. The first computer from Apple lacked a number of features like keyboard, power supply, case and a display.
As Apple I became successful, Apple II was designed by Wozniak which became the first computer that could display colour graphics and had BASIC programming language built-in. When Apple II was in design stage, Wozniak wanted to give it six expansion slots while Jobs argued to have just two. After having a lot of argument, they both finally settled for eight expansion slots. Apple II was a huge success and was one of the first mass-produced personal computers and in 1983, the stock value of Apple had reached $985.
Even after the success of Apple, Wozniak felt that Apple was proving to be a block in what he wanted to become and hence left Apple in 1985 by selling almost all of his stock.
Career of Steve Wozniak after Apple
Wozniak had a wish to teach elementary school and he took computer classes for kids from sixth to ninth grades. He taught their teachers as well. Till date, Wozniak receives $120,000 annual stipend from Apple and continues to be its employee. He also holds shares of Apple.
Wozniak founded a number of ventures that includes CL 9, the company that developed the first programmable universal remote control in 1987. One of his ventures is the “Wheels of Zeus” (WOZ) that created wireless GPS technology. WOZ was started in 2001. It was closed in 2006. Wozniak attended the first National Competition to show Lego robots in March 2006. He later published his autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It which was co-authored by Gina Smith.
In 2007, he joined Scottevest and in 2008, he became a part of Fusion-io, a company based in Salt Lake City, as Chief Scientist.
Honours and awards of Steve Wozniak
ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award – 1975
National Medal of Technology – 1985
7th Annual Heinz Award –2001
Isaac Asimov Science Award – 2011
Global Award of the President of Armenia for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity through IT – 2011
66th Hoover Medal – 2014
2014 Lifetime Achievement Award to Steve Wozniak by 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award to Steve Wozniak – 2014
Legacy for Children Award – 2015
2015 Alumnus of the Year Award by UC Berkeley’s Alumni Association – 2015
He was portrayed by
- Joey Slotnick in the 1999 TNT film Pirates of Silicon Valley
- Josh Gad in the 2013 film Jobs
- Seth Rogen in the upcoming film Steve Jobs.