SunSpot.net has posted the first half of a two-part interview with Steve “Woz” Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and creator of the Apple I and Apple II computers. The interview appears as part of
The Mac Experience column.
Woz said that he and Steve Jobs met during Woz’s second year of college. Woz called Jobs “a free-floating hippie” who ate a lot of nuts and walked around barefoot or in sandals. But Jobs was “always looking toward business” in the same way he does today.
Woz explained that he’s still on Apple’s payroll today, though he says his salary is token. His relationship to Apple has some perks, like the chance to call Jobs or have lunch with him from time. But Woz said that he buys his Apple products at retailers “just to see what regular people go through.”
Woz was working at Hewlett-Packard when he designed the first Apple computer, and they rejected the design. The rest is history, but Woz’s interviewer asked what would have happened if they’d built it. “… it would have come out all wrong,” Woz said.
Woz explained that his involvement in the design wouldn’t have been as complete, and “It would have had to have been more complete, finished and expensive and restrictive in some ways.”
The interviewer asked Woz for his opinion of the docu-drama “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” an account of Apple and Microsoft’s early days featuring Noah Wyle as Steve Jobs and Anthony Michael Hall as Microsoft founder Bill Gates. After it first aired, the reaction in the Mac community and at Apple was strong enough to cause Apple and Jobs to even feature Wyle — doing his best Steve Jobs impression — on the keynote stage at Macworld Conference & Expo.
Woz said that his first reaction was to ignore it, like he does for most of the books or shows related to Apple’s early years. “… right from the start, it caught me,” Woz admitted. And while the actual dialogue, people involved and time sequences aren’t as Woz remembered, he said that every one of the events in the movie happened.