I’ve been meaning to do a quick review on iWoz for a while now, having read the book back in December last year.
iWoz is the autobiography of Steve “Woz” Wozniak. For those who don’t know who this is, Woz created the Apple I computer, and founded Apple Computer (along with Steve Jobs).
Now, I’m a big fan of Apple as you know. And everyone loves Woz. So I really wanted to like this book. But the truth be told, the book was a painful read.
First, Woz may be a genius when it comes to electronics. But he is no genius when it comes to writing. Apparently the book was co-authored by a writer named Gina Smith, who you would assume cleaned it up to make it more readable. So I shudder to think at how bad it was originally. At least it makes you realise that we really all can’t be good at everything.
If you can get past the bad writing style, the next hurdle is Woz himself. My mum would put it this way: “Woz is a genius… Just ask him”. Woz seems to be void of humility – and though he does admit to mistakes where he loses money, it is still a difficult read with all the constant pats on the back. You get the feeling that Woz is taking credit for everything that has ever been created at times, and it is really a turn-off.
Further, it is clear that Woz was socially awkward as a boy (and may still be so). His sense of humour is, well, just not funny. Yes, it is mildly funny to make a TV jammer that messes up the TV of a group of students while they are watching it. The first time. Maybe even the second time. But if you continue to do it every night for weeks on end until all the students stop watching TV, it isn’t funny.
Now, part of this may be a cultural thing. I mean, in Australia, we tend to expect a certain amount of humility from geniuses. I suspect the English do too. If you compare the reviews of this book at amazon.co.uk with amazon.com, you’ll see the American’s don’t seem phased by Woz being such a fan of himself, while the English do. So maybe that is part of the problem.
Anyway, end result: not a bad book, but don’t expect a real page turner.