The day I met Woz
In about 1985, at the age of 11, I touched my first Apple computer. It was an Apple //e with an amazing 15 colour display! I was attending a summer camp at my local university campus in Brisbane.
I hated summer camps, stupid outdoor games with kids that weren’t my friends. But the day I touched that Apple 2 I will never forget. My own primary school had a few Commodore 64’s. They were pretty cool but my poor state school could only afford monochrome monitors. So getting my hands on a machine with a colour display was like going to heaven! I remember hurriedly coding a crude flight simulator in BASIC, the same simple one I had punched in on many computers, but this time I was able to fill below the horizon in glorious green and above in magnificent blue! Wow!
Not long after that day the Amiga 1000 entered my family home. After various Amiga’s it was then on to PC’s and the world of Microsoft. Apple returned to my life on and off over the years and as it did I learnt more of its history and became fascinated by the story of their founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. As you know doubt know, the story of Apple’s is a thrilling roller coaster ride though computing history. Jobs certainly takes the credit in the public eye for Apples rise, fall and rise again, however I have alway been fond of his genius best friend – Woz.
I highly recommend reading Steve Wozniak’s autobiography iWoz. Part life story (as one would expect), and part basic electronics tutorial! You see Woz can’t help himself, he is an engineer at heart and wants to share this passion with everyone. That’s way I like him. He’s honest and genuine, two qualities that some might argue Jobs lacked. And that’s probably why together they made such and unstoppable team.
Anyway, on 23 October last year I finally got to meet my hero – Woz. Well, kind of meet him – I shoved my macbook in his face and asked him to sign it!
That morning, about 4.30am I woke early to race out to Earls Court . It was the Apps World trade show and Steve Wozniak was scheduled to present the keynote address. I had a ticket but was worried I wouldn’t get a decent seat for this once in a lifetime opportunity. As it turned out I got to sit in the front row! The keynote was fascinating and the massive crowd was enthralled by Woz’s stories and insights. As he left the stage he was mobbed like a rock star. Any unknowing passer-by would have thought Bono was in the building! Everyone wanted a selfie with the Woz! However I had other ideas, when the chance arose I thrust my macbook and a fat marker pen towards him and polity asked the great man for his signature (see video). I returned to my office that afternoon beaming from ear-to-ear proudly showing off my most prized possession – an Apple Macbook Air personally autographed by its creator! 🙂