That’s Steve Jobs on the left, and Steve Wozniak on the right. They’re checking out a blue box, a device for phone phreaks. If you don’t know, or don’t remember what a phone phreak was, they’re people who would seize control of a phone line, and make free calls.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Steve’s autobiography iWoz gives us a portrait of the brain behind the early Apple computers.

Steve’s father and the rest of the family were raised Catholic, and one brother went on to become a priest. Steve’s father, however, rebelled and was not religious. Steve more or less implies that his father was fairly strict in his ethics.

He emphasizes that he believes in logic, etc. Now I think it is a mistake to believe in logic as anything other than a method. Some people, and Steve appears to be one of them, think of logic as a value, something that one might expect from Spock or Tuvok.

Logic is not a value, but a method of arriving at certain conclusions about reality. Incorrect premises, such as “All swans are white,” lead to incorrect conclusions. Evil premises, such as those of a Hitler, a Stalin, or a Mao lead to evil conclusions. However, the methodology that is employed can be coherent and consistent so that the answers are correct within that logical framework.

If you have values, they can be completely independent of any logical justification of them.

Steve is completely off base here.

He details many of his pranks, but I’m afraid that I didn’t think most of them were funny. There seems to be an undercurrent of sadism in even the mildest of pranks, even Steve’s.

What he has to say about Apple, the founding of the company, and the early days with Steve Jobs is interesting, and corrects errors that have been floating around for years.

Some of his discussions of computer topics will not go over too well with non-geeks, but if you’re interested in that kind of thing, you may well find it fascinating.

Next up Danger’s Hour, the story of the USS Bunker Hill.