January 26, 2007
Founders at Work

DEVO - mopping up

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days, by Y Combinator founding partner Jessica Livingston, is finally out [via gavin].

It looks like the complete list of interviews is available at the book's website, along with the text of the Steve Wozniak interview.

Livingston: What is the key to excellence for an engineer?

Wozniak: You have to be very diligent. You have to check every little detail. You have to be so careful that you haven't left something out. You have to think harder and deeper than you normally would. It's hard with today's large, huge programs.

I was partly hardware and partly software, but, I'll tell you, I wrote an awful lot of software by hand (I still have the copies that are handwritten) and all of that went into the Apple II. Every byte that went into the Apple II, it had so many different mathematical routines, graphics routines, computer languages, emulators of other machines, ways to slip your code in and out of an emulation mode. It had all these kinds of things and not one bug ever found. Not one bug in the hardware, not one bug in the software. And you just can't find a product like that nowadays. But, you see, I had it so intense in my head, and the reason for that was largely because it was part of me. Everything in there had to be so important to me. This computer was me. And everything had to be as perfect as could be made. And I had a lot going against me because I didn't have a computer to compile my code, my software.

Posted by jjwiseman at January 26, 2007 05:22 PM

Apple II was an amazing machine, and a workhorse, no doubt about that.

Posted by: geoff on January 27, 2007 08:31 AM

Too bad they misspelled my name.

Posted by: joshua on January 28, 2007 10:29 AM
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