June 20, 2011

iWoz

So, after almost 4 years i got a copy of iWoz during a casual visit to Blossoms book store. The visit was preceded by super sumptuous lunch at On the Edge, which is on the 13th floor of Barton Center. The visit to Blossoms is always nice. You are surrounded with ceiling high stack of awesome books; and you gape at them always wanting to read the entire stack but at the same time, prefer to preserve the neatness of the stack and also think about how time is always running out before one can read all the great stuff there. Anywayz, i picked up a copy of iWoz; and after a quick nap in the eve, started reading it. After having read iCon, i wanted to read more about the other Steve - Steve Wozniak, with whom Job had started Apple.

I had read iCon in early 2006 and loved it. It was a page turner and if i remember it right, i started it on a Friday night and had finished the entire book by Sunday evening. iCon is filled with many important events in Jobs's life - both personal and professional; reflecting on various traits of his. The author had done a commendable job, though it was not a biography but looked at some of the very personal events in Jobs's life.

I started reading iWoz, and almost finished one-third of the book in an hour and the first thing that i did Sunday morning after breakfast was to continue reading it and finished it post-lunch. The book written by Woz himself is another page turner.

Having read so many news articles about Jobs and Apple,i never knew much about Woz and this book was the much needed reading material on what it was to be the "Woz of the Silicon Valley". Woz explains in much detail about his engineering aptitude(s) and creations with the childish curiosity -- something that is much lacking in today's engineers. Right from phone phreaking to founding Apple, interspersed with couple of marriages and divorces, and the eventual CL9 to the engagements with the schools in his neighborhood -- Woz has always wanted to be the best of his class, and also the first. The perfectionism in his creations along with the minimalism is a characteristic brand value of Apple. Also, Woz clears some of the misconceptions that surrounds his (and also Jobs's) exit with Apple etc which was an eye opener for me. The childlike curiosity, with a keen inclination towards playing pranks(and getting away with it) with the mental acumen and stability of an grandpa would be virtues of Woz.

This book is a must read for every Engineer on the planet, for it gives some of the best insights into the life of probably The Greatest Engineer of Our Generation - Woz, himself.
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