One of the things I love about Microsoft is that you often get talk with, or listen to interesting people. Over the years, I got to shake hands with Steven Spielberg (wearing a Microsoft Bob baseball cap), Jay Leno (Windows 95 launch), Stevie Wonder (accessibility event), and just the other week, former NFL player Mike Utley. I just missed out on meeting Muhammad Ali once because I was heads down on shipping IE 4.01.
Today, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer came by the campus. “Woz” as his is commonly known, was a electronics geek in his teens and designed many little gadgets before Steve Jobs convinced him to sell his micro computer design that HP rejected. That became the Apple I in 1976.
Woz was giving a speech and signing copies of his book, “iWoz“. He gave a well practicied, but informal talk about his early years of fiddling with electronic things and his early interactions with Steve Jobs.
Jobs and Woz considered themselves best friends, but in all the accounts of I’ve read of both men, they really couldn’t be much different. Woz was grounded and knew he wanted to be an engineer, while Jobs was a free spririt. In his talk, he didn’t dispell that image. Woz describes Jobs as having a lot of strange friends, doing strange things, and being a “free thinker” several times. It makes me wonder what they saw in each other in the first place.
In all, a nice talk by Steve.
UPDATE on Monday, October 9, 2006: Port 25 has a video interview with Woz on the day he visited.
UPDATE on Monday, October 9, 2006: Reworded portion on Apple I for clarity. Thanks Josh.