Reviews: iWoz & iCon


Recently I've read iWoz, Steve Wozniak's autobiography, and iCon, a Biography of Steve Jobs (written by Jeffrey Young, and probably unauthorised).

They're quite different books, although they both have a lot of common ground with the founding and development of Apple. Steve Wozniak's shows a basically nice guy with a talent for hardware and technology.

Jobs, meanwhile, comes across as a gifted visionary, a focussed leader and a complete prick. I gather that this is a view held by many people, even those who would consider themselves his friends.

I must declare a bias here. The first computer I ever used was (in 1979) an Apple ][ (designed and built by Woz and Jobs), I used a Mac in 1984 and just about every personal computer in that heady period when they were all different. I rediscovered Macs in 2005 and have recently bought a MacBook. I use OS X, Linux (since 1999) and Windows every single day, I would regard myself as a competent system administrator for all of these and I have complete contempt for those single system types with no experience of the others who nevertheless diss those others at any opportunity. Otherwise known as Fanboys, or salesdroids.

We wouldn't have computers with interfaces as humanly accessable as we do now without Steve Jobs. Woz was a gifted techie, but someone else would have invented the floppy drive, affordable colour display, small chip count motherboard, and breakout game.

Without Steve Jobs vision of a computer that you can use to create content without worrying about the technical details, the world would be a poorer place. Microsoft's "it's crap but it'll do" approach would dominate computing. Would we still have Windows? Yes, because Xerox invented that stuff in the 1970's.

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This page contains a single entry by dave published on April 11, 2007 5:41 PM.

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