Steve Wozniak

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Steve Wozniak
Born Stephen Gary Wozniak
August 11, 1950 (1950-08-11) (age 66)
San Jose, California, U.S.
Other names "The Wonderful Wizard of Woz","Other Steve"
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
Occupation Computer scientist
Electrical engineer
Net worth increase US$100 million (2011)[1]
Spouse Alice Robertson, 1976-1980,
Candice Clark, 1981-1987
Suzanne Mulkern , 1990-2004
Janet Hill,2008
Children 3

Stephen Gary "Woz" Wozniak (born August 11, 1950) is an American computer engineer and programmer who founded Apple Computer, Co. (now Apple Inc.) with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne. Wozniak single-handedly created the Apple I and Apple II computers in the mid-1970s, which contributed significantly to the microcomputer revolution of that era.[2]



In addition to being popularly nicknamed "Woz," "The Wizard of Woz," or "The Woz," Wozniak is also sometimes referred to as the "Wonderful Wizard of Woz" and "iWoz" (a reference to the naming scheme for many Apple products). "WoZ" (short for "Wheels of Zeus") is also the name of a company Wozniak founded. He is sometimes known as the "Other Steve" of Apple Computer, the better known Steve being the late co-founder, Steve Jobs.

Apple Computer

Origins of Apple

Wozniak met Steve Jobs when fellow Homestead High School student, Bill Fernandez, introduced them to each other.[3] In 1970, they became friends when Jobs worked for the summer at Hewlett-Packard, where Wozniak was working on a mainframe computer.[4] According to Wozniak's autobiography, iWoz, Jobs had the idea to sell a computer as a fully assembled printed circuit board. Wozniak, at first skeptical, was later convinced by Jobs that even if they were not successful they could at least say to their grandkids they had had their own company. Together they sold some of their possessions (such as Wozniak's HP scientific calculator and Jobs's Volkswagen van), raised USD $1,300, and assembled the first prototypes in Jobs's bedroom and later (when there was no space left) in Jobs' garage. Wozniak's apartment in San Jose was filled with monitors, electronic devices, and some computer games Wozniak had developed, similar to SuperPong but with voice overs to the blips on the screen.

Excerpt from the Apple I design manual, including Wozniak's hand-drawn diagrams

By 1971, one year after enrolling, Wozniak withdrew from the University of California, Berkeley and developed the computer that eventually made him famous. By himself he designed the hardware, circuit board designs, and operating system for the Apple I.[5] With the Apple I design, he and Jobs were largely working to impress other members of the Palo Alto-based Homebrew Computer Club, a local group of electronics hobbyists very interested in computing, one of several key centers which established the home hobbyist era, essentially creating the microcomputer industry over several years. Unlike other Home Brew competitors, the Apple had an easy-to-achieve video capability that immediately created buzz and drew a crowd when it was unveiled.[5]

On April 1, 1976, Jobs and Wozniak formed Apple Computer. Wozniak quit his job at Hewlett-Packard and became the vice president in charge of research and development at Apple. Their first product, the Apple I computer, was similar to the Altair 8800, the first commercially available microcomputer, except it had no provision for internal expansion cards. With the addition of these cards, the Altair could be attached to a computer terminal and could be programmed in BASIC. The Apple I was purely a hobbyist machine, a $25 microprocessor (MOS 6502) on a single-circuit board with 256 bytes of ROM, 4K or 8K bytes of RAM and a 40-character by 24-row display controller. It lacked a case, power supply, keyboard, or display, which had to be provided by the user. The Apple I was priced at $666. (Wozniak later said he had no idea about the relation between the number and the mark of the beast, and "I came up with [it] because I like repeating digits." It was $500 plus a 1/3 markup, which is actually $666.67, rounding up to the nearest penny.) Jobs and Wozniak sold their first fifty system boards to Paul Terrell, who was starting a new computer shop, called the Byte Shop, in Mountain View, California.[6]

Airplane crash

In February 1981, Wozniak was injured in a private plane crash taking off from the Santa Cruz Sky Park.[7] The cause of the crash was determined to be premature liftoff. He was unable to recall details of the crash and, for many weeks after being released from the hospital, did not realize he had been in a crash at all. He says he wandered around in a haze and did not report to work, thinking every day was a weekend day. He did not remember one day to the next and needed to be told how to get to places familiar to him. After questioning his wife,[citation needed] he finally began to figure out what had happened, after which his memory began operating correctly again.

Employment with Apple

Steve Wozniak in 1983

Wozniak did not immediately return to Apple after having recovered from the crash. Instead, he married Candice Clark and returned to UC Berkeley under the name "Rocky Clark" (Rocky Raccoon was his dog's name and Clark his wife's maiden name), finally earning his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering & computer sciences (EECS) in 1986.[8] In May 1982 and 1983, Wozniak also sponsored two US Festivals to celebrate evolving technologies; they ended up as a technology exposition and a rock festival as a combination of music, computers, television and people.

In 1983 he returned to Apple product development, desiring no more of a role than that of an engineer and a motivational factor for the Apple workforce.[6]

Wozniak permanently ended his full-time employment with Apple on February 6, 1987, 12 years after having created the company. He still remains an employee and receives a small token paycheck.[6][9][10] He is also an Apple shareholder.[11] He also maintained connections with Steve Jobs until Jobs' death in October 2011,[12] although in 2006 Wozniak stated that he and Jobs were not close friends.[13]

Post-Apple career

Wozniak founded a new venture called CL 9, which developed and brought the first programmable universal remote control to market in 1987.[6] Wozniak also taught fifth-grade students.

In 2001, Wozniak co-founded Wheels of Zeus (WoZ), to create wireless GPS technology to "help everyday people find everyday things." In 2002, he joined the Board of Directors of Ripcord Networks, Inc., joining Ellen Hancock, Gil Amelio, Mike Connor, and Wheels of Zeus co-founder Alex Fielding, all Apple alumni, in a new telecommunications venture. Later the same year he joined the Board of Directors of Danger, Inc., the maker of the Hip Top (a.k.a. Side Kick from T-Mobile).

In 2006, Wheels of Zeus was closed, and Wozniak founded Acquicor Technology, a holding company for acquiring technology companies and developing them, with Apple alumni Ellen Hancock and Gil Amelio.

In September 2006, Wozniak published his autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. It was co-authored by writer Gina Smith.

In March 2006, Wozniak attended the FIRST National Competition in Atlanta to show off Lego robots.[14] In 2010, he attended another FIRST event, a regional event in downtown Phoenix Arizona at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.

In February 2009, Steve Wozniak joined Fusion-io, a data storage and server company, in Salt Lake City, Utah as their chief scientist.[15]

On November 18, 2010, Steve Wozniak gave a speech at the Science & Technology Summit at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague in which he predicted that Android would be dominant over the iPhone market-wise but the iPhone would retain the quality edge.[16]

On June 9, 2011, Wozniak joined members of Fusion-io’s management team to celebrate the company’s first day of trading on the NYSE by ringing The Opening Bell.[17]

On October 20, 2011, Wozniak delivered a keynote presentation entitled "Today’s Science Fiction, Tomorrow’s Science Fact" at IP EXPO, a Computer expo which takes place at Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London.[18]

On November 14, 2011, Steve Wozniak was the keynote speaker at "Rutgers Entrepreneurship Day" at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.[citation needed]


Joey Slotnick, left, poses with Steve Wozniak. Slotnick portrayed Wozniak in the film Pirates of Silicon Valley.

Since leaving Apple, Wozniak has provided all the money, as well as a good amount of on-site technical support, for the technology program in his local school district.[6] Un.U.Son. (Unite Us In Song), an organization Wozniak formed to organize the two US Festivals, is now primarily tasked with supporting his educational and philanthropic projects.[6] In 1986, Wozniak lent his name to the Stephen G. Wozniak Achievement Awards (referred to as Wozzie Awards), which he presented to six Bay Area high school and college students for their innovative use of computers in the fields of business, art and music.

Honors and awards

In 1979, Wozniak was awarded the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award. In 1985, Wozniak received the National Medal of Technology (with Steve Jobs) from US President Ronald Reagan.[6] In December 1989, he received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he studied in the late sixties.[19] Later he donated funds to create the "Woz Lab" at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1997, he was named a Fellow of the Computer History Museum. Wozniak was a key contributor and benefactor to the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose; the street in front of the museum has been renamed Woz Way in his honor.[20]

In September 2000, Wozniak was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame,[21] and in 2001 he was awarded the 7th Annual Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment.[22] The American Humanist Association awarded him the Isaac Asimov Science Award in 2011.

In December 2005, Wozniak was awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Kettering University.[23] He also received honorary degrees from North Carolina State University and Nova Southeastern University, and the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology. In May 2011, Wozniak received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Michigan State University.[24]

He was awarded the Global Award of the President of Armenia for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity Through IT in 2011.[25]

Steve Wozniak's Honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees

  • University of Colorado at Boulder - 1989
  • Kettering University - 2005
  • North Carolina State University - 2005
  • Nova Southeastern University - 2005
  • ESPOL University in Ecuador - 2008
  • Michigan State University - 2011
  • Concordia University in Montreal Canada - June 22, 2011
  • State Engineering University of Armenia - November 11, 2011


Wozniak is listed as the sole inventor on the following patents:

  • US Patent No. 4,136,359 - "Microcomputer for use with video display"[26] - for which he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
  • US Patent No. 4,210,959 - "Controller for magnetic disc, recorder, or the like"[27]
  • US Patent No. 4,217,604 - "Apparatus for digitally controlling PAL color display"[28]
  • US Patent No. 4,278,972 - "Digitally-controlled color signal generation means for use with display"[29]

Television appearances

After seeing her stand-up performance in Saratoga, California, Wozniak began dating comedian Kathy Griffin.[30] Together, they attended the 2007 Emmy Awards,[31] and he subsequently made many appearances on the fourth season of her show Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Woz is on the show as her date for the Producers Guild of America award show. However, on a June 19, 2008 appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Griffin confirmed that they were no longer dating and decided to remain friends.[32]

Wozniak portrays a parody of himself in the first episode of the television series Code Monkeys; he plays the owner of Gameavision before selling it to help fund Apple. He later appears again in the twelfth episode when he is in Las Vegas at the annual Video Game Convention and sees Dave and Jerry. He also appears in a parody of the "Get a Mac" ads featured in the final episode of Code Monkeys' second season. Wozniak is also interviewed and featured in the documentary Hackers Wanted and on BBC.

Wozniak competed on Season 8 of Dancing with the Stars in 2009[33][34] where he danced with Karina Smirnoff. Despite Wozniak and Smirnoff receiving 10 combined points from the three judges out of 30, the lowest score of the evening, he remained in the competition. He later posted on a social networking site that he felt that the vote count was not legitimate and suggested that the Dancing with the Stars judges had lied about the vote count to keep him on the show.[35] After being briefed on the method of judging and vote counting, he retracted and apologized for his statements.[36] Despite suffering a pulled hamstring and a fracture in his foot, Wozniak continued to compete,[37] but was eliminated from the competition on March 31, with a score of 12 out of 30 for an Argentine Tango.[38]

On September 30, 2010, he appeared as himself on The Big Bang Theory Series 4 Episode 2 Titled "The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification". While dining in The Cheesecake Factory where Penny works and is approached by a robot Sheldon, Leonard tries to explain to Penny who Steve is, but she says she knows him from Dancing with the Stars.

Steve Wozniak signs a Modbook for a fan during an appearance at the Axiotron booth during Macworld Expo 2009.

Personal life

His father's family came from Poland.[39] Wozniak lives in Los Gatos, California. He is a member of a Segway Polo team, the Silicon Valley Aftershocks. In 2006, they were challenged to a game by the newly formed New Zealand Pole Blacks (the Woz Challenge Cup); the match ended in a 2-2 tie, with the Woz Challenge Cup staying in Auckland. In 2007, the Silicon Valley Aftershocks avenged the tie by defeating the Pole Blacks 5-0 in the Woz Challenge Cup finals. The 2008 Woz Challenge Cup was held at the SegwayFesT 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana, on August 8–10, 2008 (polo events ran August 7–9).[40]

Sept 30 through October 2, 2011, Woz played Segway Polo in the Zurich Cup in Berchtesgaden, Germany. He played for the Funky Move Turtles team which placed 7th in the tournament.

His favorite video game is Tetris.[41] In the 1990s he submitted so many high scores for the game to Nintendo Power that they would no longer print his scores, so he started sending them in under the alphabetically reversed "Evets Kainzow".[42]

He is also a member of the Freemasons. Wozniak describes his impetus for joining the Freemasons as being able to spend more time with his wife at the time, Alice. Alice belonged to the Order of the Eastern Star, associated with the Masons. He has said that although he took the necessary oaths and is a lifetime Freemason, he doesn't actually put a whole lot of stock in the mystical and religious overtones of the oath or the order. He has remarked that he joined the Freemasons for one specific purpose, but he is very unlike the other members of the order. Wozniak has said that he quickly rose to a third degree Freemason because, whatever he does, he tries to do well. He was initiated in 1980 at Charity Lodge No. 362 in Campbell, California.[43]

He is married to Janet Hill.[44] According to his ex-girlfriend Kathy Griffin, “He met someone very quickly and then they [got] engaged. I have had dinner with them, and she’s a thousand times more appropriate!”[45]

See also


  2. Nolan Bushnell Appointed to Atari Board - AtariAge Forums - Page 30. (2010-04-29). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
  3. Livingston, Jessica (2007). Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days. Apress. ISBN 1590597141.  See
  4. Young, Jeffrey S. (December 1988). Steve Jobs: The Journey is the Reward. Lynx Books. ISBN 155802378X. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Swaine, Michael (2000). Fire in the Valley. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0071358927. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Wozniak, S. G.; Smith, G. (2006), iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. W. W. Norton & Company
  7. NTSB Identification: LAX81FA044, National Transportation Safety Board -- Aviation Accidents
  8. Harriet Stix (May 14, 1986). "A UC Berkeley Degree Is Now the Apple of Steve Wozniak's Eye". Los Angeles Times. "Rocky Clark is Apple computer creator Steve Wozniak. He used an alias at UC Berkeley because, he said, 'I knew I wouldn't have time enough to be an A+ student.' Rocky was the first name of his dog Rocky Raccoon, and Clark his wife Candi's last name." 
  9. " Video". CNN. 
  10. Letters-General Questions Answered,
  11. Apple's Other Steve (Stock Research) March 2, 2000,
  12. Jobs’s Death Was Like Lennon, JFK Getting Shot, Wozniak Says. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved on 7 October 2011.
  13. Steve Wozniak Q & A
  14. Weisman, Robert (2006-03-25). A star who aims to spark innovation by students., The Boston Globe.
  15. Wozniak Accepts Post at a Storage Start-Up New York Times February 4, 2009.
  16. iPhone vs. Android: Steve Wozniak Says Android Will Be Dominant One Day,, November 18, 2010.
  17. Fusion-io Celebrates Initial Public Offering and First Day of Trading on the New York Stock Exchange NYSE Euronext New York, June 9, 2011.
  18. Steve Wozniak’s lessons for innovators IPEXPO ONLINE Fri, 21 Oct 2011.
  19. Seibold, Chris. This Day in Apple History December 28, 1989: Woz Gets Honorary Doctorate, Dish Incident Forgotten. Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
  20. (1970-01-01). Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
  21. Inventor Profile - National Inventors Hall of Fame.
  22. The Heinz Awards, Steve Wozniak profile. Retrieved on 2010-11-11.
  23. Honorary Doctorate - Kettering University List of Honorary Degrees.
  24. Commencement | MSU Commencement
  25. Global Award of the President of Armenia for Outstanding Contribution to Humanity Through IT
  26. US Patent No. 4,136,359, US Patent & Trademark Office, Patent Full Text and Image Database.
  27. Controller for magnetic disc, recorder, or the like US Patent 4210959.
  28. Apparatus for digitally controlling PAL color display US Patent 4217604.
  29. Digitally-controlled color signal generation means for use with display US Patent 4278972.
  30. Collins, Michelle. VH1 Best Week Ever - Off The Market: Kathy Griffin Finds a New Man!. Archived from the original on 2007-08-20. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.
  31. Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Escorted Comedian Kathy Griffin & Her Potty Mouth To The Emmy’s.. Retrieved on 2007-09-18.[dead link](Wayback Archive)
  32. Who’s so vain? June 19, 2008 - The Howard Stern Show.
  33. "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to compete on 'Dancing With the Stars'" from Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 2009-02-8.
  34. "Why Apple founders got 'fired up.'". BBC News. 2008-11-21. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  35. Matyszczyk, Chris (2009-03-17). "Woz in ABC 'outright lie' accusation". CNET.;txt. 
  36. Fashingbauer Cooper, Gael (2009-03-19). "Wozniak sorry he called ‘Dancing’ show ‘fake’". MSNBC. 
  37. Injured Woz Will Perform, March 23, 2009.
  38. Woz Gets Hipchecked Off the Dance Floor, by Kara Swisher, April 1, 2009, All Things Digital.
  39. Welcome to. (March 1, 2000). Retrieved on February 6, 2012.
  40. International Segway Polo Association. Retrieved on 2008-03-03.
  41. "Woz and I agree: 'Tetris' for the Gameboy is the best game ever, by Daniel Terdiman, December 11, 2007, Geek Gestalt on CNET News.
  42. "Tetris: The pieces fall into place, by Brad Cook, Apple Inc.
  43. [1] from "A Few Famous Masons"
  44. "Meet Janet Hill, the woman secretly married to Steve Wozniak" from
  45. "Steve Wozniak Engaged", by Jamie on Aug 7, 2008,

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