Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Strange, Charmed Life of Steve Wozniak | Newsweek Daniel Lyons | Techtonic Shifts |

How he ever managed to work alongside the notoriously prickly Jobs is hard to imagine. Legend has it that in the early days Jobs worshiped Woz, who is a few years older and even as a teenager had gained a reputation as an electronics wizard. Woz started out as a phone-system hacker, making "blue boxes" that enabled people to make free long-distance calls. Later he was working at Hewlett-Packard and was reluctant to quit and join Jobs to form Apple—but Jobs twisted his arm. A few years later, when Apple went public in 1980, Jobs refused to give any shares to some of the young guys who'd been helping out in the garage. So Woz set up something called the "Woz Plan" and sold (at very low prices) or gave away one third of his shares to those folks, as well as other friends and family members. After leaving Apple he finished a degree at UC Berkeley, taught fifth grade and promoted rock concerts with technology demos at the fairground.