Seldom are the people who carve out their niches to be unique and live on the lines of “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart” Stephan Gary Wozniak personifies these lines. He loves himself to be called “Steve” although his birth certificate identifies him to be Stephan Gary Wozniak. Though born before the technological era, he set off a technological upheaval by creating things as it is his greatest strength created technical machines designed and redesigned them to make them the best.
Date of Birth: August 11, 1950
Net Worth: $100 Million
Being a co-founder of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), he along with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne kicked off a personal computer revolution. Steve Wozniak’s technical ability combined with Jobs spellbinding strength culminated in Apple II a desktop computer. This is a small endeavour on his 67th birth anniversary to bring some less known yet interesting facts about “The Woz.”
1. Prior starting the venture and finding things on own, he was employed with Hewlett-Packard (HP) working on the mainframe computer, and around this time he met Steve Jobs and the duo were passionate about electronics and doing something new. Eventually, the technical interest provoked him to give up his education and dropped out of the University of California. When he started off on his technical voyage since he could not afford a computer, he thought of building one, and it was called Apple I. Later in 1986, after he left Apple, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering.
2. When the Apple took off in 1976 by the trio Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, a partnership agreement was signed. But, the 10% of company stock was sold soon after two weeks to fetch $800 owing to debts. Today Apple leads the technical race.
3. The first computer of Apple designed by Wozniak the Apple I was priced at $666.66. Some of the interesting insights to fix the numbers seem to be it was pretty easy to type the number as it consisted of the same digit throughout.
4. Apple II was the mighty product of Apple that marked a new beginning in the history of microcomputers. It was designed by Steve Wozniak while Steve Jobs had overseen the whole process and Rod Holt had designed the unique power supply in the system. It was introduced in West Coast Computer Faire in 1977. The product was the first consumer product sold by Apple Computer. It was the first computer with a built-in BASIC programming language and colour display. He was honoured as the Fellow of the Computer History Museum in 1997.
5. Though Steve Wozniak left Apple in 1976 and no longer remains to be the active employee of Apple. He receives a stipend from the company of $120,000 annually and also a shareholder of Apple. He was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2000.
6. Once he was out of Apple for the second time in 1985, he started off with a new venture CL 9 a programmable universal remote control in 1987. The device was the first kind of its kind in the market. The company operated from 1985 to 1988.
7. Apart from being a technical geek realising the importance of a teacher in student’s life he wanted to be a teacher and thought computers from fifth to ninth grade after his retirement from Apple.
8. He is one among the Electronic Frontier Foundation it is one of the advocacy groups that took up the causes related to free speech, privacy, and digital rights. When the group initially started off in 1990 Woz was one among the three people who provided financial aid for the organisation.
9. Steve Wozniak invented four patents namely ‘Microcomputer to use with the video display,’ ‘Controller for magnetic disc, recorder of like,’ ‘Apparatus for digitally controlling PAL colour display,’ and ‘Digitally-controlled signal generation means for use with the display.’
10. One of the key contributors to Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose and to honour his contribution the street leading to the museum was named after him the Woz Way. As a child he always aspired to be an engineer similar to his father but also nurtured the dreams of being a teacher with a philosophy of “Give your own time,” the philanthropist teach the students of California public school apart from providing free computers. The futurist says giving your time is more valuable than giving money.
11. He has captured his life history in his autobiography titled ‘iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It,’ the book is co-authored by Gina Smith.
12. He was also appeared on some television reality shows including “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” and Dancing With The Stars season 8 to take part in four different dances including the Argentine tango.
“My goal wasn’t to make a ton of money. It was to build good computers.”
“I wish to God that Apple and Google were partners in the future.”
The above lines depict his passion for engineering and building things. One of the noblest means to thank the visionary for his philanthropic deeds is through helping others. If it’s been a reality, the world expects to see a lot more technicality from the giant partners.