My mom absolutely loves the reality TV show Dancing with the Stars. So I had to call her up as soon as I heard that Steve Wozniak would be competing alongside Karina Smirnoff in the next series of competition, which starts today. Of course, her first reaction to this was, “Who?”
It’s not really a surprise to me that Steve Wozniak isn’t a household name like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Yet “The Woz” (as he’s known in the geek community) is every bit as important to the early history of personal computers as those two.
Woz’s story is every bit as colorful as his personality. It starts with a young engineer who worked for Hewlett-Packard in the early 70s, who involved himself with side projects like running a successful dial-a-joke service. His real claim to fame: when he joined with his friend Steve Jobs to create the original Apple I computer.
The early success of the Apple I allowed Wozniak to leave HP and co-found Apple Computer with Jobs in 1976. The release of the Apple II in 1976 helped to cement both Apple’s success, as well as that of the personal computer revolution that’s changed so much of our world since then.
The Apple II also marked the end of an era, as it was one of the last personal computers to be designed solely by one individual, without the aid of an entire team of engineers required by the complex designs of today’s technology.
Here at Geek Squad, our mission is to provide hero support, and really, in every sense of the word, Steve Wozniak is a geek hero. That’s why I plan on rooting for Woz every step, shuffle and slide of the way during his time on Dancing with the Stars. If you plan on rooting too, check out our Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/GeeksforWoz. And definitely put #votewoz in your Tweets if you plan on Tweeting live to the show tonight.
And if you don’t know what Twitter is, and want to get started, check out our Two Minute Miracle video below: