News about computers, microcomputers, hobbyist, robotics, computing, museums, Bugbooks, Computers at Bugbook Historical Computer Museum, Floyd VA - the history makers present and historical.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Apple 1 computers annual inspection & Apple 1 computer at auction.

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Fridays are always interesting working with Grayson Van Beuren. Grayson visits the museum Friday,s as part of his Graduate Independent Study project. This week we brought the Apple 1 computers from the bank vault to the museum for an annual inspection. Apple 1 at auction next month -- see story at end of blog.

Click on photo to enlarge 
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Apple 1 Computer 

Grayson giving an Apple 1 a good visual exam. The Apple 1 computers were operational the last time they were powered up however we have no reason apply power for each annual inspection. It will be an easy task to make them operational when needed. The logic of the computer is not complex and problems are easy to repair.  Steve Wozniak's design of the Apple 1 uses a minimum of IC chips. A very clever design.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Apple 1 Computer

Grayson and I gave all four Apple 1 computers a good inspection and found them continue to be in excellent condition.  These computers are on Mike Willegal's "Apple 1 Registry" as numbers 13,22,42, & 55 in the Registry list "Summary of Apple 1s".

Bob Luther's Apple 1 and Ron Wayne's proofs of Apple documents to be sold at Christie's Auction December 11,2014.

LR- Ron Wayne & Steve Wozniak - credit Bob Luther

Ron Wayne & Steve Wozniak , Apple's remaining co-founders, met Monday November 17th 2014 to talk about the growing interest in Apple memorabilia.  Ron Wayne was one of the original 3 owners of the Apple Company. Ron sold his 10 percent interest in the company for about $800 12 days after the owners agreements were signed. The Ron Wayne story is not generally known by the public.

Bob Luther arranged this meeting  to help Wayne sell his original Apple working proofs . These proofs and Bob Luther's Apple 1 will be sold by Christie's Auction December 11, 2014. You can see part Ron Wayne's interview in Bob Luther's Book "the First Apple" in my blog.

Here is interesting video of Ron Wayne telling how he was involved in the founding of the Apple Computer company.

David Larsen
Christie's auction of Bob Luthers  Apple 1 computer and Ron Wayne's working proofs is only 50 days after Bonham's auction of an Apple 1 computer for $905,000 This will be interesting - what is your prediction of the selling price ??

Monday, November 17, 2014

Computer Museum Curator's Birthday -David Larsen KK4WW is 76 November 17,2014

Your Museum Curator David, brothers Howard & Chris 
This time of year I always reflect on where I have been for the past 76 years (November 17,1938) and what is ahead for the next unknown years. A reflection on my family of 5 brothers & one sister always comes to mind first. The family is small now with only 3 of us brothers still kicking dirt above ground.  Chris (82 years),brother Howard (93 years) and myself  remaining. My parents were just great folks and they grew up in hard times during the early 1900's and Great Depression. Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles long gone now and memories faded.
Happy Birthday Dave

I grew up during the 40's & 50's & the Aunts & Uncles were scattered far and wide from my home and I did not get to know any of them very well.   Cousin's - their are many dozens and I know only a few of them - This is so sad for me.

I do get together as often as possible with my two brothers and always wonder - Will this be the last time?

Brother Howard is a writer and he wrote this "Ode" about our mother. He is correct she was a great Mom always showing us her love. Mother was born in 1899, 99 years old and died in 1999. We enjoyed her loving care for many years.
An Ode To Mother”

I was standing by mother's bedside, watching and praying, as she lay in her tilted bed. Passing the time was very sad. God entered my soul and changed things. “Your mother is on her way to heaven to spend the rest of her days with dad.” Dad went to heaven several years ago. I lost my best friend.

You have been such a comfort to me mom. Your ninety nine years on earth have finally come to an end. As I walk this earth and get older each day, I'll have the rest of the family to enjoy as they work or play.

My children grew up knowing their Grandma. Her love was something they always would feel. At the end of the day before leaving, you would make them a tasty cooked meal. You never had a harsh word, always giving praise when I was around. Mothers and Grandmothers like you are someone that's hard to be found.

When I was just a youngster, we lived on a farm in the woods. You were always up early doing chores and working real hard. When that work was finished you chopped wood in the yard. We bathed ourselves in a galvanized tub. You were always there to give us a scrub.

In the winter you were outside working sometimes in the wind and blowing snow. You never gave up till your face turned red. Then you would go inside, clean up, put some wood in the old cook stove and make cinnamon rolls, and homemade bread. These are the things you did all your life, besides making my dad a wonderful wife. You lived several years after dad passed away, just part of your family is left here to stay.

I will stay here for the rest of my life remembering the good, forgetting the sad. You will be resting in heaven while living with dad. “Goodbye Mother” As you have been lifted above, you have left this earth with all of my love.

I am feeling good now forgetting the sad. When you are resting in heaven say hello and give my love to Dad.
Your Loving Son Howard

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Dad Will, me  & Mom Ruth  1945

This photo brings back the good memories of my mother and father. I was 7 years old in 1945 and in the back ground in a 1941 Chevrolet - just delivered. Dad ordered the Chevy in 1941 however World War ll delayed the delivery by 4 years.

David Larsen
I am counting down - only 24 to go ?  Could be 24 years or 24 seconds & I vote for the 24 years but sure know I don't have full control of the timing.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Vintage Computers - Microcomputers on display at "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum".

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Here is a look at one of 20 display cases in our museum.

Click on photo to enlarge for good look
Case #5 Bugbook Computer Museum
Case #5 Bugbook Computer Museum

Here are some of the older computers in our museum 

Most interesting 3 for me is in this display are the Mark 8 on right of second shelf down - then the 1972 Intel 8008 development system (Blue one on left 3rd shelf down )-
next is the Intellec 4 Intel 4004 development system on lower left.

 Curator David describes computers in this showcase.

David Larsen
I wish I had more space for computers in our museum however I have tried to have the most interesting computers on display. Maybe someday I will have a much larger display or someone else may be able to put my collection on display in a more complete museum. It is still a real pleasure for me to have our little "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum". 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Vintage - Apple 1 Computer Clone operational at the "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum"

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NEWS FLASH - Bob Luther is selling his "First Apple 1 Computer"  December 11,2014 at Christie's Auction.  
Click on photos to enlarge
bugbook Historical Microcomputer museum
Apple 1 clone display 
Apple 1 clone is operational and running programs just fine here in our museum. Grayson Van Beuren as part of his Graduate Independent Studies at Virginia Tech (VT) has been helping with interactive operational retro computers. This week the Apple 1 clone was tested and executes programs just fine. Grayson comes  to the museum every Friday for a several hours in the afternoon and we work together on projects for his studies. He is a very enthusiastic and a joy for me to spend time with in the museum. The museum is about a 50 minute drive from the VT campus and this study project takes up a lot of his Friday's.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Grayson Van Beuren

Grayson loading cassette Basic into the Apple 1. Basic loads fine using this old Walkman cassette player.

Grayson usually takes a vintage computer back to campus and works from home some Friday's. This is good use of his time and reduces his travel time to Floyd.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Running Apple 1 Basic 
The computer executes Basic just fine and is a popular display for our museum visitors.
Brandon Cholodenko assembled this Apple 1 clone for our museum by  starting with the Mimeo Apple 1 PC board from Mike Willegal. Brandon assembling of the Apple clone was great - it worked perfectly out of the box. 
This  Mimeo Apple 1 is just the ticket to get our original Apple 1 operational. The same power transformers and keyboard can be used operating the original Apple 1's.

                                              Operational Apple 1 Clone Computer

It was a busy Friday for Gayson with a visit to the museum warehouse on the trip back to VT.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Grayson in Computer  Museum Warehouse

Grayson and a view inside the warehouse.  The warehouse contains 10,000 items  all entered on the professional museum software "Past Perfect". It has taken at least 5 years of intermittent work to get the inventory cataloged and entered into our collection database. The 10,000 items represent my 45 years of collecting and includes various computer memorabilia. I thank my summer student interns for entering most of data into "Past Perfect".

David Larsen, KK4WW
Grayson Van  Beuren & Apple Lisa computer
Grayson inspecting the Apple section of the warehouse looking at several Lisa computers.

The museum original Apple 1 computers are not in the warehouse. They are stored in the local commercial bank vault. I would not even trust having them at home. The house could burn down and they would be gone for good. The bank seems to be the best solution for storing safely.

Bugbook, Bugooks,, Apple 1
Grayson Van Beuren with Core Memory
Grayson inspects a core memory stack.  This core 18 boards with 18 X 18 bit words. This is a total of 326 18 bit words of core memory. I really hugh box for so few words - yep really big cores. This demonstration memory module was donated to our museum by Dr. Thomas Haddock author of  "A Collector's Guide to Personal Computers and Pocket Calculators" you will find this book listed in our books for collectors.

David Larsen
The curators here at the museum always look forward to working with Grayson. We are all learning new things from this independent study project.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Apple 1 Computer for sale Dec 11 - Bob Luther author of "The First Apple" interviews of people from start up days of Apple Computer

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
LR, Bob Luther & David Larsen
Apple 1 Computer For Sale
NEWS FLASH - Bob Luther is selling his "First Apple 1 Computer"  December 11,2014 at Christie's Auction.

My wife and I had the pleasure of an 8 day cruise up the East Coast and this gave me time for reading. I read "The First Apple" by Bob Luther for the second time.
David Larsen, bugbook,bugbooks,
"The First Apple" by Bob Luther
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Most of the people he included were involved in the start up of the Apple Computer Company.  I found reading these interviews very interesting and I learned a lot more about the early days of the Apple Company. The folks Bob interviewed had great bits of information and stories to share.

If you have an interest in any of the people in this list below "The First Apple" book is the place to read a current interview in their own words. A lot of good reading with about 300 pages of interviews.

   Bob Luther tells you in his own voice what inspired him to write his book "the first Apple"

Allen Baum     (I have included a few excerpts of  interviews below with permission of Bob Luther.)
Mario Boglioni
Joey Copson
Rick Crandall
Bill Fernandez
Elizabeth Holmes
Dick Huston
Federico Ini
Sallam Ismail
Steve Jobs
Dan Kottke
Dave Larsen
Liza Loop
Lonnie Mimms
Neil Goldberg
Owen O’Mahony
Jef Raskin
Charles Ricketts
Wendell Sander
Risley Sams
Adam Schoolsky
Mike Scott
Dan Sokol
Craig Solomonson
Paul Terrell
Bruce Waldack
David Waldack
Ron Wayne
Randy Wigginton
Mike Willegal
Steve Wozniak 

Excerpts from Ron Wayne interview - Ron was one of the 3 original owners of the Apple Company. 
PG 117-118
Bugbook historical Microcomputer Museum
Ron Wayne
Bob- Did you leave before they started making the Apple-1?
Ron Wayne- I backed out of the situation twelve days after I drew up the contract. So I was never really involved in the workings of the whole Apple enterprise. I’ve been the ‘unknown founder” for decades.
I’ve had many vocations in my life, failing at each. I’ll put it to you this way. I’ve never been rich, but I’ve never been hungry either. And I’ve done a lot of fun stuff, and pursued many interesting things in my lifetime.
I’m absolutely convinced that I’ll go down as a footnote in history, literally because I happened to have known someone. Steve Jobs’ name will ring through the corridors of time. He’s had a very phenomenal, very productive, and very dominant life of activity in the computer world.

PG 120
It seems I made a very foolish mistake many years ago, roughly twenty years ago. I ran across an ad that somebody was running a guy who deals in famous autographs. And I’m thinking to myself, look…I’ve got this contract sitting in a filing cabinet collecting dust. Maybe I can turn this into some money, which at the time I could use. So I got in touch with the guy, and we negotiated, and that contract was sold to him for five hundred dollars. And you know what happened to that contract?
Bob- It sold at auction for one $1,500,000.

RonNow you got it. I’ve always been a day late and a dollar short.
Excerpts From interview with Adam Schoolsky a friend of Wozniak in the very early days of Apple. Adam tells about the Zaltair Computer spoof he and Wozniak did at the First West Coast Computer Fair in 1977 - The Computer that never was. I was fortunate to purchase and Apple 1 computer from Adam in 1995.
PG 258-259
Bob- In terms of the fair, did they need some help maintaining the booth? How did you
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Adam Schoolsky
come about participating in that?
Adam- Steve and I had done those Zaltair brochures for that thing. I did help out in the booth. I think I was there mostly to check things out, and to distribute Zaltair brochures.
Bob- Was the Zaltair prank something you and Steve had planned out much in advance?
Adam- What we did was, I’d gone to his apartment a few weeks in advance, and we basically hashed the thing out. So that it would be untraceable. I went to a printing place in LA, and I had them typeset it and print it. They printed several huge boxes of them. We had them printed in four really bright colors. And I printed thousands of these. Then I went to another place, and I had them print envelopes, because we were going to mail them out. Steve paid for it, and I just shipped this stuff up to him on PSA. You know, you used to be able to air freight. I’d go to PSA and ship all of them, twenty dollars or whatever to ship all of them up there by air freight.
Bob- What was the thinking behind doing this? It was just a goof or something?
Adam- The Altair was the popular computer at the time. So what we did was to screw with them. The Apple ll was coming out, and it had capabilities that nothing else had. One of the things on the Zaltair flier was a chart – it was pretty funny – and it had these totally meaningless benchmarks. It had all of the current competitors of Altair; Apple, Processor Technology, and Sphere, and whoever else we put on there. And it had benchmarks features like speed, numbers that were totally meaningless. Of course, everything for the Zaltari was like, 1.0 or whatever, and then all the others are like 0.5. But they didn't relate to anything. Anyway, that was pretty funny. One of the ones we did, we just put ‘Apple.’ It didn't say ‘Apple-1’ or ‘Applell‘ it was just ‘Apple.’ And, of course, for Apple, which was the Apple-1, we just put really low numbers. Because we knew the Apple ll was coming out, which was going to be way better than the Apple-1.
Anyway, we’d take stacks of these things and dump them on the literature table. All these companies had tables, and they’d put literature out. So we’d put stacks of these brochures out, and go by, see that the stack was gone, and we’d go and put out another pile. There were like fifteen thousand of these things. They had one or two of them up- It was a riot!- in the MITs booth, on the wall, and they’d written on them in black magic marker ‘FRAUD!’ It was pretty funny. Yeah, it was good.

View Copy of original Zaltair Brochure "CLICK"
Randy Wigginton was Apple employee #6 and worked at Apple for 9 years. I was specially interested in this interview because Randy mentions his brother built some cases for the Apple 1 computer and I have been trying to find out who built the case for my Apple 1 - I still do not know for sure.
PG 69
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Randy Wigginton
Bob- Your involvement with Apple from the beginning is one of those things that turned out to be a good happenstance, in your case.
Randy- Well think about it, I mean most everything is sort of happenstance. Really we don’t control much of our own fate.
Bob - How long did you work at Apple?
Randy- Basically up through 1985. For nine years or so.
Bob- Do you have good memories about the Apple-1 or the very early days?
Randy- Oh, God, there were so many. People always say they joined the company in the garage stage. Well, I joined in the couch stage. We weren't big enough for the garage yet. We were on the couch, you know. It eventually moved over to Jobs’ garage and building stuff there. My brother built some of the original cases for the Apple-1’s. Everything was very mom and pop. When the company became real, we rented office space.
Bob- The third founder, Ron Wayne, was there for a very short time. When you joined, was he already gone?
Randy- Well, I met him. But Apple was incorporated twice. They incorporated once in early ’76. Ron was never part of the second incorporation of Apple. He was still around, but he never really did that much. You know, I mean he drew some diagrams and wrote up some documentation, but that was kind of it.
Read the book for 299 pages of  31 current interviews involving early  Apple history.

David Larsen KK4WW
David Larsen

I enjoyed the second reading of Bob Luther's book and the interviews provided various views about the early days of Apple.

"by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian   
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Apple 1 computer brings record price at auction of $905,000 - Bonhams auction

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NEWS FLASH - Bob Luther is selling his "First Apple 1 Computer"  December 11,2014 at Christie's Auction.  

Working 1976 model sells at Bonhams' History of Science sale          

The Apple 1 computer designed by Steve Wozniak - Only 200 were manufactured and sold in 1976/77. About 40 are known to still exist in museums and private collections. The $905,000 price is a record for this highly desirable museum collectible. The previous high price was set by the Breker auction company in Germany -  Apple 1 sold for $621,400 in 2013.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Apple 1 computer 
The Apple 1 was not very popular because it was only a computer-on-a-board and the user had to add a keyboard, power transformers, &  display. Steve Wozniak realized he needed a more user friendly computer & started to design the Apple ll long before all the Apple 1's were sold.  The Apple Company took back many of the Apple 1 computers as a trade in for the much better Apple ll .

Steve Jobs sold his VW and Steve Wozniak sold his HP calculator to start there Apple business.The Apple Company may not have succeed if Steve Jobs had not been successful in selling the first 50 Apple 1 computers to Paul Terrell for sale in his Byte Shop computer stores This $25,000 sale was the financing needed to get Apple started. It was not easy for the Steve's to interest investors to provide start up funds. One person approached was Stan Veit owner of the first computer store on the East Coast.  Jobs offered a 10 percent ownership of the Apple Company if Stan would invest $10,000. Stan turned the offer down with the idea that his money was better used in his own "Computer Mart" in New York. The interesting stories about the Apple 1 and the start of the Apple company by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs are endless & the Apple 1 computer started what is now one of the most successful businesses in the world.  

The Henry Ford organization was the buyer (reported Reuters) , which plans to display the computer in its museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Apple 1 sold at auction 

Bonhams auction house had suggested the Apple 1 would bring $300,000 to $500,000.  It was reported that more than 100 bidders participated to set the record price of $905,000.

Bonhams video of the Apple 1 computer. "CLICK"

David Larsen.
The Apple 1 computer continues to bring record prices and is  a unique microcomputer . Some are predicting prices of over a million $ by the end of 2016. This is very speculative as many factors affect the price of collectibles. This price does look very good for a group of investors who purchased an Apple 1 computer several years ago for over $300,000.  
."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vintage Computer Rare SCELBI on display in "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum"

The SCELBI 8B is a rare computer - according to the developer Nat Wadsworth only about 200 SCELBI computers were made in 1974/75.  One hundred of them were the 8B (Business Model).
Click on Photo to enlarge

bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
SCELBI 8B Microcomputer
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Mike Willagel (on  his blog) indicated only about 12 original  models are know to be in museums. Mike estimates 20 to 40 originals still in collections and closets.  This SCELBI  has been in our collection 25 years and I purchased it from Robert Forman of Portland, Oregon. Robert purchased the bare boards and built the computer adding his own customs cards you see on the right side of the computer.

Mike Willagel has made clone cards for the SCELBI & some folks have made clone computers from the cards.

Go here for more information about the computer in this blog including a video with close up view of the cards & original purchase receipt   "CLICK".

          David give a little history about his SCELBI Microcomputer

Click on photo to enlarge 
bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Display in museum with SCELBI  Microcomputer 
The SCELBI computer is on the second shelf down - right side, 

Computers in this display case top L-R Superjolt, LSI 11,the Tent card describing the SCELBI and copy of 1974 SCELBI advertisement.

2nd shelf Commodore 128 and SCELBI 8B.

Bottom shelf HP 85 microcomputer & Kaypro lugable computer.

On the top of case is a display of amateur radio publications.

bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
SCELBI computer information

Close up of tent card describing the SCELBI in display case and copy of  First SCELBI advertisement in 1974 OST amateur radio magazine. A copy of the 1974 QST is in our collection.

You can read the tent card information and see the advertisement
Click on the  photo to enlarge and read.

More Reference information about SCELBI Computers.

Mike Willegal's hobby Blog

Build Your Own SCELBI

John Calande - His SCELBI Clone

bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Bell & Howell Apple 2 computer

We have been busy today in the museum. Packed this Bell & Howell Apple 2 for shipment to "Alex's Apple Orchard" Museum collection.

It is not known how many of these computers are in collections however they are becoming rare and collectible.

bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Bell & Howell Apple ll computer

When Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs started to sell the Apple 2 computer - Jobs was not sure he could sell in the educational market and made a deal with Bell & Howell to sell to schools.   Jobs realized very soon he did not need  Bell & Howell and canceled the agreement.

David Larsen
We are having a good time with our "Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum" in Floyd, Virginia. Lots of visitors and nice to have Grayson a doing an Independent Study as graduate student from Virginia Tech (VT).  I taught about using these early microcomputers at VT for 31 years and retired in 1998.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vintage computers - "iWoz" Steve Wozniak's book by Wozniak & Smith - My comments - a good read

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Anyone having an interest in the Apple Computer company and how it all started will really enjoy this book. Steve's book has been in print for 8 years - if you missed it now is a good time do your read. Their are many reasons for the tremendous success of Apple however it all started with Steve Wozniak
bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Click image to enlarge
designing the Apple 1 microcomputer.  Their were many good breaks as the company developed and sometimes just being in the right place at the right time was a big help. Steve Jobs convinced Wozniak to sell his Apple 1 computer and was the marketing guru that made the company grow to what it is today and those first months of the start up are very interesting.

Did you know that the first partnership of the Apple company included 3 people not just the 2 Steve's. Ron Wayne was in on the  original official founding and actually is the one who wrote the partnership agreement and at that time owned 10 percent of the Apple company? Only 12 days after the partnership Ron dropped out and received about $800 for his interest. CNN story about Ron Wayne.

bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Wozniak as Woz
Steve Wozniak ( Steve often goes by just Woz ) designed the Apple 1 and Apple ll totally on his own and also wrote the initial software monitor and Basic program.  Steve was and is a very smart and clever designer.  Woz wanted to give the plans of the Apple 1 for free and in fact did so at Homebrew Computer Club meetings. Of course without the Apple 1 their would be no Apple Company today.

The first sale made by Steve Jobs was just a few days after the original partnership was signed and he sold 50 Apple 1's to Paul Terrell owner of Byte Shop. It could be that without this sale their would be no Apple Computer Company today.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum, bugbook
Zaltair computer - steve wozniak
 "Zaltair Computer"      A really great practical joke that Steve Wozniak  pulled of at the First West Coast Computer Faire in April 1977.  Steve says in his book "iWoz" that he likes to do practical jokes and have someone else get blamed for doing the joke. In the case of the Zaltair he did a very good job and did not get accused of being the originator of the joke in fact Gary Ingram at Processor Technology was the one accursed of doing the hoax. The hoax was directed toward the Ed Roberts and his Mitts Altair 8800 microcomputer. Steve called his friend Adam Schoolsky to come help with this hoax.

More about the Zaltair.

   Woz with Apple 1
Photo by Dan Sokol
I recommend reading the book to learn in Woz's words about the start up of the Apple company and his own story. It is worth a second read if you like history and these fascinating story's told by Woz. The book "iWoz" published in 2006 and was on the New York Times best seller list.

David Larsen

I had the opportunity to read this book for a second time and I learned many new interesting story's  about Wozniak and the Apple Computer Company - a good read