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Steve Wozniak speaks about Apple's early days

Co-founder reflects on Apple's struggles, sacrifices, sleeping patterns and Steve Jobs

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak spoke to students at the University of Southern California about the company he started with Steve Jobs in the 1970s.

At the presentation on 19 April, Wozniak revealed that he was designing circuits and learning about electrons at a young age, after he discovered a journal "in a closet".

The journal contained "articles about these things called computers! There were no books, no magazines in book stores, no place where you can run into anything about what are computers and this had things about 0s and 1s about how we can add them. That's when I fell in love with science," said Wozniak.

Wozniak told the students that he and Steve Jobs shared a common interest in pranks, as well as computers. "When you're building something for yourself, you put so much emphasis in making it so perfect it couldn't be finer," Wozniak explained. "Steve Jobs knew where to sell things. I never thought about that. I just built things for fun."

So that's how the partnership between the two Steves began. Wozniak would design devices, Jobs would sell them.

Wozniak revealed that in order to create Apple Computers, he had to make sacrifices: "I sold my most valuable possession, my HP-65 calculator. It was worth $500; I only got $250 because the guy didn't show up with the rest."

"The Apple Two computer was really the heart of the computer. I designed it in three months, back when I had four days and nights without sleep. Your mind, when you are falling asleep or waking up, your mind gets into a less inhibited work state," Wozniak told the students. "Go to sleep thinking about the problem really hard, wake up in the middle of the night and have a solution."

Wozniak advised: "Think different. The way things have been done before, that's like a formula, you hardly ever step back. What if it were all different? A whole new world, a virtual world that doesn't really exist. With products, sometimes, oh my God, sometimes that leads you to a much better solution."

Steve Wozniak recently expressed his worries about the struggle faced by entrepreneurs aiming to start a technology business. He was also quoted as saying that he wished his iPhone did all the things his Android does, and that the Macintosh was a failure, but he queued up for the new iPad nonetheless.


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