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Steve Wozniak

There are computers in most homes in the United States. Who started this home computer craze? His name is Stephen Gary Wozniak, but he prefers to be called Woz. Woz was born in 1950 and raised in Sunnyvale, California. His father, Jerry, was an engineer at Lockheed and was a guiding hand for him. Influenced by the character Tom Swift, from the series of books, Woz was not inhibited to play with electronics. He never took a computer building course or read a 'How-to' book. He tinkered and learned on his own.

Supported by his teachers in fourth and fifth grades, and his natural science and math skills, Woz flourished. By the time he was 11 he had built his first computer - it played Tic-Tac-Toe! Although this was quite an accomplishment, Woz always sought improvement. He would take his computer apart and try to rebuild it, smaller and with fewer chips. Throughout his High School years at Homestead High in Silicon Valley, Woz designed more than 50 computers - on paper.

After three years at the University of California at Berkeley, he took some time off to earn money to go back to school. He got a job as an engineer at Hewlitt Packard and loved it! He had a steady paycheck and got to design calculators. Woz soon realized that the tiny microprocessors used in calculators were cheap and could be used in his computer designs. He was now able to trim his schematic diagram down to a single page! In 1975, he joined the Homebrew Computer Club at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He brought his designs and schematics to their meetings. He was a hit! People gathered around him and asked questions. His presence added a new feeling to the club. There was talk of a computer revolution - that computers would become cheap enough to be owned by everyone. This is where he met Steven Jobs, and together they formed the Apple Computer company.

Steve Wozniak


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This page is an original production by Alan S. for ICSA741, project 3.