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Saturday, May 25, 2024

iWoz and Pleasant Memories

Author: Mark Dixon
Sunday, December 10, 2006
11:07 pm

It has been a nostalgic evening for me. As my flight from Phoenix descended towards the San Jose airport, I finished reading “iWoz: from Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It“, an autobiographical memoir by Steve Wozniak, the brilliant engineer’s engineer who developed the Apple I and Apple II computers, which launched the personal computer industry.

I particularly enjoyed Steve’s recounting how he designed and built these first personal computers with an eye towards minimal chip count and elegant, efficient code. It brought back great memories of my own efforts way back in 1977, when, as a junior hardware design engineer, I developed a microprocessor-controlled color graphics display system to plot missile trajectories for a minuteman missile simulator on a modified Sony television screen.

My designs were not as elegant as Steve’s, and certainly not as revolutionary, but reading the book triggered nostalgic thoughts about that exciting time in my professional career.

To top it all off, I’m staying in the Stanford Park Hotel, where I stayed several times in the mid-1980’s, when the hotel was brand new, while I was leading a major manufacturing information management project for Apple.

Pleasant memories, for sure.

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