Steve Wozniak

Biography of Steve Wozniak
Photo: Nichollas Harrison / CC BY-SA 3.0

Steve Wozniak Biography

Steve Wozniak (August 11, 1950) is an American inventor, electronics engineer, programmer, philanthropist, and technology entrepreneur who co-founded Apple Inc. Steve was born in San Jose, California. Son of Margaret Elaine and Jacob Francis Wozniak, who worked as an engineer in Lockheed.

Steve inherited the knowledge of his father in the field of engineering. At the age of 12, the child showed inventiveness, curiosity and restless spirit. Wozniak would build a homemade machine to add and subtract for a science exhibition at school, with which he would win the first place.

In his youth, he had the opportunity thanks to Bill Fernandez to meet Steven Jobs. Fernandez and Steve attended the Homestead High School. Steve Wozniak studied at the University of California at Berkeley, but he decided to drop out of school to accept a position at Hewlett-Packard. Wozniak would spend part of his spare time developing his knowledge at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California. In this company, he met again with Steven Jobs, who encouraged him to design a commercial computer.

Before Steve did, the first kit of a personal computer came to light in 1975, the Altair 8800 which was a very popular device, although its functionality did not represent much more. In 1976, Steve, motivated by the difficulty of acquiring this device, decided to work on his prototype and build his own computer using cheaper microprocessors and added several memory chips. Steve and Jobs worked side by side when they had the first model they named it Apple I. Jobs oversaw marketing; Wozniak of technical improvements.

After testing the Apple, I for several months, it was launched to the public as one of the first personal computers, the innovation was based on the fact that it was the only computer that combined a microprocessor with a connection for a keyboard and a monitor; unlike other computers, which was sold in kits. The Apple I was an assembled circuit board that contained 62 chips. After this, they venture in April of 1976 to offer it at the Homebrew Computer Club for a value of $ 666.66. However, they had previously sold a model to a local store for $ 500.  A local dealer was interested in electronic equipment and ordered 25 machines. The duo had to make several loans to be able to fulfill this request, which would then lead them to success.

Steven would quit his job at HP to play the role of vice president of the rising company. Baptized Apple Computer Company, founded on April 1, 1976.

They worked towards the construction of a second model for a year, which entailed various modifications. So, by 1977, the Apple II was already created. Several years later, in 1980 its value on the stock market was $ 117 million dollars, three years later, amazingly increased to $ 985 million dollars. By that time, they had sold 600 units of their first copy, the Apple I.

Jobs proposes Wozniak to try mass production to generate more income, a challenge that assumes in the manufacture of the Apple II, which retained much of the simplicity and consistency of the previous model but was more useful and practical for the user. The Apple II contained an integrated QWERTY keyboard, likewise, two diskette drives, with these updates, users should not worry about getting items such as housing, a transformer for power supply, ignition switch, a special keyboard and a composite video screen. Elements necessary for the proper functioning of the previous version. However, with the success of the Apple II, Steven and Jobs decided to withdraw from the market the original version in October 1977.

Over time they took up the challenge of producing better models, like printers and software. For instance, Steve created the Disk II, a diskette drive accompanied by a controller card, enabling the storage and retrieval of data safely and quickly. This disk control is still considered an engineering phenomenon.

The rising company had to work harder which created a large family of the Apple II, each one of those with modifications for the improvement of the machine. Between1979 and 1990, Jobs and Wozniak launched: Apple II Plus: included the language of programming Applesoft BASIC, Apple IIe: it was probably the most popular, perhaps because of its low cost, Apple IIc: it was the first compact design of the company, although it had limited expansion capacity. To this family was added the Apple IIe Enhanced, Apple IIGS, Apple IIc Plus, Apple IIc Plus, and the last of this family the Apple IIe Card.

In short time, Apple was one of the best and most recognized companies in the world. Unfortunately, the company suffers a blow after Steven’s accident, which caused serious injuries and a strong amnesia. His recovery took two years, at that time his wife Alice Robertson gave him much support. When he recovered he decided to leave Apple for a while. During this period, he organized the US Festival in 1982, a technological fair animated by rock music. He resumed his activities in the company until 1985. He undertook the founding of a new company dedicated to building wireless devices, including remote controls for televisions and home appliances. At this time, he would begin a new relationship with Candice Clark, with whom he had three children.

The company called CL-9 was not very successful and closed at the end of 1989. When it closed, and the economic situation was not the best, Wozniak would separate from Clark. Soon after, he started dating Suzanne Mulkern, with who he would have three children.

In January 2002, he created a new wireless device company, Wheels of Zeus, also known as WoZ. Tired of the same thing, he decided to back his knowledge with a degree in computer science and electronic engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. Because of his great knowledge, he was quickly a professor at the institution.

In 2014, he took the position of professor at the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia.


Most Popular

To Top