Steve Wozniak: An Engineer's Engineer

There are few people who can captivate and appeal to the entire tech industry, and even fewer with life stories to match. Steve Wozniak, Co-founder and “Employee #1” at Apple, is one such man. From simple beginnings in his garage and at UC Berkeley to winning more engineering and inventor awards than can be counted, Steve is one of the few engineers left who have seen the personal computer era in its entirety.

If this was back in the late 1990s or earlier in the twentieth century, Seeing Wozniak at an Intel event may have struck many as odd. But beyond Apple now using Intel processors in it’s products, Wozniak has always been an Intel fan, going back to when he was still working in his parents garage. “I would have used an Intel processor,” said Wozniak, “but I couldn’t afford it.” Like a lot of the small companies in the early days of personal computing, Apple wasn’t exactly loaded from the start, but according to the Woz, “Sometimes when you’re short of resources...it forces you to do better work.”

Steve has never been one to keep his personal life totally private like other high-profile “tech celebrities”. When Moira Gunn, Wozniak’s interviewer, brought up Kathy Griffin, many already knew of his semi-regular appearance on her Bravo television show. However, it was a surprise to many when Wozniak revealed how their friendship started. “Somebody sent me an email one morning saying I was dating Kathy Griffin, and I said who is she?.” Wozniak then explained that he went along with the gag in order to help Kathy with her show, which had just started, However, he did clarify that they never actually dated.

Staying with clarification for a moment, the Woz also set the record straight on his alleged line-cutting at a local Apple store during the iPhone 3G launch, and gave the press some of their own medicine. “I did not cut in line,” said Steve. “...these press guys...they get seated first at the MacWorld shows...they get seated first in the prime seats, they aren’t cutting in line.” Probably the one part of Wozniak’s life that he did not want publicized was his teaching career. “I was teaching seven days a week for eight years...I didn’t want [the press] around the children.”

So what is the Woz up to now? Besides pushing his book “iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon”, he is still a huge Segway fan and takes his Segway Polo seriously. Despite his team losing the U.S. Segway Polo championship this year after winning it twice), Steve has something to look forward to. “...I get to play in the [Segway Polo] Euro Cup, I’m going to play for Germany against Switzerland on September 14th...I’m the first transcontinental Segway Polo player.”

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