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The cynic in us says that no one can become a huge success without making some enemies. Well, our inner cynics should meet Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple computers. He is widely known to be the brains behind the early technology that made the company what it is. Yet, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has mean things to say about him.

Woz, as he is popularly known, is a geek’s geek. He started off as a white hat hacker 5 Of The World’s Most Famous And Most Influential White Hat Hackers 5 Of The World’s Most Famous And Most Influential White Hat Hackers In this article, I’m going to jump back to the original definition and explore the world of “good hackers,” otherwise known as “white hat hackers.”Let’s take a look at five of the most influential computer... Read More , tinkered around with electronics all his life, and has never lost the joy of technology – no matter how rich and famous he got

There’s an everyman quality to him. And at the same time, given who he is, his words and actions carry a lot of weight. If you want to know about him in detail, I highly recommend reading his autobiography iWoz, which is a must-read for any Steve Jobs and Apple fan iRead: 7 Books About Steve Jobs All Apple Fans Should Own iRead: 7 Books About Steve Jobs All Apple Fans Should Own We have selected the best books written about Steve Jobs and Apple. These seven tomes provide all the information on Jobs you'll need to know, and a lot more besides. Read More . But if you can’t be bothered to go through all that, here’s a quick look at seven times that Woz was just awesome.

When He Explained Why He Never Sought Power

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A lot of people wonder why Wozniak isn’t as revered as Jobs if he’s supposedly the brains behind the operation. It’s difficult to fathom the lack of ambition, but the truth of the matter is, Woz is a nice guy and he knows it.

“I really didn’t want to be (the leader) because I was afraid of politics, people talking behind your back, pushing you out. I’m so soft and nice, I’d get pushed out. I’ll do engineering. If I do engineering nobody can kick me out, because I’m too good,” he told the Australian Financial Review.

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When He Waited In Line for New iPhones, Like Everyone Else

Woz loves Apple. He owns millions of dollars in stocks and is one of the company’s co-founders. If he wanted to, he could just call CEO Tim Cook and get the latest iPhones and iPads hand-delivered to him. But the geek in him wants the childlike joy that comes from unwrapping a new toy.

“Apple probably would give me any free hardware that I wanted, but I prefer to buy it and be one of the regular people. It keeps me better informed as to what customers are really going through… It keeps me real to have to buy things like everyone else,” he explained on his blog.

Woz has been spotted waiting in line to buy iPhones, queuing up for the iPad, and tweeting while at it:

When He Gave Away His Own Money to Early Apple Employees

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Businesses can be ruthless. Steve Jobs and the rest of the Apple board were businessmen. Woz, as he puts it, should be at the bottom of an organizational chart. But you know why people love Woz? It’s because of incidents like this one.

When the Apple board decided not to give early Apple employees stock options, a lot of them felt cheated. Apple’s 12th employee, Daniel Kottke, recalls how he tried to seek out Jobs to talk about this multiple times but Jobs refused to meet with him, and reportedly wanted to give Kottke nothing.

Wozniak thought this was unfair. So he dug into his own shares and distributed about $10 million worth of Apple stock among 80 early employees of the company in the fabled Apple garage days Apple Didn't Start In A Garage – What About Google, HP and Amazon? Apple Didn't Start In A Garage – What About Google, HP and Amazon? It's a classic story: the plucky start-up in a California garage. We look at whether it's fact, or fiction. Read More . Why?

“Because it was the right thing,” Woz says.

When He Spoke His Mind on Social Media and In Article Comments

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We know about Woz’s stock sharing because of a reply to a Google+ post, and it’s not the first time Woz has said something controversial on the Internet. Much like you or me, Woz is happy to voice his opinion freely on social media and even in the comments section of articles.

When the Ashton Kutcher-starring Jobs movie was released, Woz jumped into the comments of a review on Gizmodo. He was brutally honest in how he assessed the film, and even recounted the aforementioned stock-distribution story there. And in case you’re wondering, he likes the new Steve Jobs movie.

And hey, he’s got great taste in TV shows:

When He Pwnd Tetris

You think you’re good at Tetris, the world’s most beloved puzzle game 30 Years Of Tetris: A History Of The World's Most Beloved Puzzle Game 30 Years Of Tetris: A History Of The World's Most Beloved Puzzle Game This year, 2014, marks the 30th birthday of Tetris. In remembrance of its history, join me as I explore the past and future of the world's most famous puzzle game. Read More ? Woz is so good at it that Nintendo Power stopped accepting his high score submissions – he just keep breaking records. Being the true geek that he is, he started submitting scores by reversing his name.

“It’s hard to describe in words what I’m doing,” he says while playing. “But my head knows what I’m doing.” Just watch the video above to see the master in action.

Woz loves Tetris so much that he even took it to a Nine Inch Nails concert. And he still plays the game today, on a GameBoy with a lit screen. He finds it relaxing, he says, even though his scores aren’t as high as they used to be.

When He Stood Up For Fellow Geeks

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Recently, a 14-year-old boy, who loves building things and tinkering with electronics, was arrested. The #IStandWithAhmed hashtag and movement How to Help #IStandWithAhmed and Keep Kids Creating [Who Won the Internet This Week?] How to Help #IStandWithAhmed and Keep Kids Creating [Who Won the Internet This Week?] An innocent 14-year-old geek was discriminated against. And the entire might of the online world stood behind him, with other geeks leading the way. Read More took the online world by storm. One of the most prominent voices to stand up for him was Woz:

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In his autobiography, Woz comes across as a natural prankster, and is remembered by several friends and colleagues for his practical jokes. But standing up for a kid being harassed is just one example of why the world loves Woz.

When He Meta-Geeked on Big Bang Theory

‘Nuff said.

What’s Your Favorite Woz Moment?

This is just a small list of many, many awesome Woz moments. What’s your favorite Steve Wozniak story?

Image credits: Robert Scoble / Flickr, vonguard / Flickr, Nicole Harrison / Wikimedia, Brett Jordan / Flickr, campuspartycolombia / Flickr

  1. Paramasivam
    October 8, 2016 at 8:48 am

    The other side of Woz is Interesting and shows his humanity approach while doing business. This is just opposite of Steve who was out and out a business man. Beautiful read.

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