Steve Wozniak is the guy who co-founded computer company/cult Apple with Steve Jobs. Apparently he also the one who’s been stealing Jobs’ lunch out of the break-room fridge for the last 30 years. Anyway, Wired recently did a pretty cool article about Wozniak’s 9 favorite gadgets. This being the billionaire co-founder of Apple, I was expecting to see some absurdly expensive stuff that is about 10 years from being commercially available. Surprisingly, it turns out to be several nifty artifacts from the early days of those fancy computation devices.
“We’ve gone through more change in a single lifetime than probably any other time in history,” the Woz said.
He should know. As a kid, Wozniak fiddled with minicomputer circuit boards at home, when the idea of having a computer in your own house was little more than a wild-eyed fantasy.
Everything from punch-card machines to old-school supercomputers, and from disk stacks to transistor radios, inspired an ambitious geek who would eventually create the Apple I computer that launched a PC revolution.
Even non-nerds have to admit, some of this stuff is pretty cool. My favorites? A calculator from 1936 that could add binary digits. The thing looks like a handheld doomsday device made by Nikola Tesla. I also liked the hard disk drive from 1956.
It’s roughly the size of a phone booth and holds about as much memory as a slide rule. Okay, it holds 5 MB, but still. If you looked at the plates you could probably read the ones and zeros. Imagine what sh*t’s gonna look like in another 60 years.
Also on the list: a punch card computer from 1949 and a Pong game from 1972. Conspicuously absent? Han Solo frozen in Carbonite.