He is known as a pioneer of the personal computer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, along with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.Wozniak single-handedly developed the 1976 Apple I, which was the computer that launched Apple. He primarily designed the 1977 Apple II, while Jobs oversaw the development of its unusual case and Rod Holt developed the unique power supply.
In 1969, Wozniak returned to the Bay area after being expelled from University of Colorado Boulder in his first year for hacking into the institution's computer system. He later re-enrolled at De Anza College and transferred to University of California, Berkeley in 1971. Following a ten-year stint of employment at Hewlett-Packard where he and Steve Jobs befriended one another, he went on to complete his Engineering degree in 1986.In 1976, Wozniak developed the computer that eventually made him famous. He alone designed the hardware, circuit board designs, and operating system for theApple I. Jobs had the idea to sell the Apple I as a fully assembled printed circuit board. Wozniak, at first skeptical, was later convinced by Jobs that even if they were not successful they could at least say to their grandkids they had had their own company. Together they sold some of their possessions (such as Wozniak's HP scientific calculator and Jobs' Volkswagen van), raised $1,300, and assembled the first boards in Jobs' bedroom and later (when there was no space left) in Jobs' garage. Wozniak's apartment in San Jose was filled with monitors, electronic devices, and some computer games Wozniak had developed. The Apple I sold for $666.66. (Wozniak later said he had no idea about the relation between the number and the mark of the beast, and "I came up with [it] because I like repeating digits.") Jobs and Wozniak sold their first 50 system boards to Paul Terrell, who was starting a new computer shop, called the Byte Shop, in Mountain View, California.
From an interview:
"The more a computer becomes like a real person, the more we like it. When a computer speaks in a nice voice and the more human it sounds, the more intriguing it is to a child learning."
Leyba: What initially got you interested in technology and science? When did you get started?
Wozniak: Around 4th grade, I'd say. I started reading "Tom Swift" books. They were about this young guy who was an engineer who could design anything, and he owned his own company, and he would entrap aliens, and build submarines, and have projects all over the world. It was just the most intriguing world, like the first TV shows you ever watched.
Also, my father was an engineer and he helped to guide me into some science fair projects that were electronics, so my love grew. Teachers started recognizing me and praising me for being smart in science and that made me want to be even smarter in science! Eventually, by 5th grade, I was building very large computer-like science fair projects. In 6th grade, I built one that really was a computer; it played Tic-Tac-Toe.
I was also real bright at mathematics and got my HAM radio license in 6th grade. So, I got an early start. Then I continued throughout the years, building more sophisticated computer projects, eventually designing complete computers and building them through high school and college.