Woz at HP


I saw Steve Wozniak at Michigan State University this afternoon. In a Q&A session I asked which HP calculators he worked on before starting Apple. He answered so quickly (and I was a bit nervous in the presence of one of my heros) that all I caught of his product list were the first and last: 45 and 67. He said he did chip design and layout and did not write firmware but he studied it. Then he mentioned CORDIC and talked about how they did everything with integer math internally. That inspired his Apple Integer BASIC, he said.

Later I asked him whether he still had the "Cream Soda" computer (his scratch-built CPU, pre-Apple). He said he might still have the board but he smoked it long ago when he stepped on a wire and shorted 35V to the chips! He also said the Apple II is the design he's most proud of, and the Disk II was one of the most challenging. Fascinating talk!

He signed my Apple II Reference Manual (Red Book) but my pen let us down. It reads "Noz".

Edited: 6 May 2011, 9:21 p.m.

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