Apple CEO Steve Jobs declines to write foreword for Woz’s autobiography

“Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs in 1976, was in Seattle Thursday to speak to a University of Washington class. His goddaughter, Julie Roebuck, is a UW student and invited him to the campus. Wozniak, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, sat down afterward for an interview with The Seattle Times,” Kim Peterson writes for The Seattle Times.

Some excerpts:
Q: What do you think about Boot Camp, which lets you run Windows on a Mac?
Woz: I don’t think anything of it at all. You know, people say a bunch of PC people will now buy Macs. No. What I really want is just a window that I can go back and forth instantly. I don’t have to reboot. I go to Macintosh, I go to the PC, I go to Macintosh, so right now I use “Virtual PC.” It’s a program on the Mac that emulates a PC but it’s slow.

Q: What can we expect from the book [you have coming out soon]?
Woz: You can expect stories about what really happened, how things were really done, key elements of it. I was a little disappointed — Steve Jobs had indicated he’d write a forward [sic]. But he’d never written a forward [sic] before and I said, “Just write what we were like back then.” We sent him the book and he said, “Oh, I saw some excerpts, and I’m going to decline writing the forward [sic].” I don’t know why because I’m nice to him, so there must have been something he didn’t like.

Q: Are you still close friends?
Woz: Not close friends. Even when Apple really got started we weren’t close friends because he had a different motivation in the company, which was to run a company, and mine was just to be a top engineer that did clever, clever projects. So we almost never saw each other in the company.

More in the full Q & A here.

[UPDATE: 4:28pm EDT: Fixed headline and marked incorrect usage of “forward.” Thanks “essefgy.”]

MacDailyNews Take: Unsurprising. What would be surprising is if Jobs had accepted and was busily typing away right now. We don’t think Steve Jobs likes his name to be anywhere near, much less in, books that he doesn’t completely control.

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Related articles:
Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak autobiography ‘I, Woz’ coming this fall – April 11, 2006
Microsoft ‘pleased’ with Apple’s Boot Camp; Woz says ‘It’s a great thing for Apple’ – April 06, 2006
Woz raises $150 million with Acquicor IPO – March 15, 2006
Wozgate erupts – March 03, 2006


  1. That’s too bad… just write a forward to Woz… that’s all he’s asking.

    I wouldn’t think that would be too much trouble for the friend who did most of the engineering to get Apple off the ground 30 years ago.

  2. I’m looking forward to this book. Don’t forget when Steve J scammed Woz with the video game. I wonder if that’s in the book.

    I really do think both Steves are very different than they were when they started Apple 30 years ago – writing about what they “were like back then” must seem like a world away.

  3. Very few people would write a forward for a book on the basis that the author is “nice to him”. Sure they have a history, but their friendship has obviously perished. Woz probably talks about reasons he left Apple, where he probably says a few negative things about Steve. And Steve’s RDF simply tells him that Woz is flat out lying, therefore Woz is a jerk, therefore Woz gets no forward.

  4. Things change between people all the time. I don’t blame Steve.

    I’m not a Woz hater by any means, but I’m not a “fan” either. His involvement in the old Apple was amazing and deserves credit, but doesn’t anyone else think that constantly reliving “the old times” has had its time?

    I just recently listened to a podcast– name forgotten– where a bunch of Apple old timers spoke and the interviewer spoke with an air of adulation that was nice, but after a while, old.

    It’s the permanent “Hey, remember when…?”

    I don’t know why Steve didn’t write the foreward, but my guess is that while Steve remains in the moment, some of the book’s selective remembering rubs the wrong way.

  5. So let me get this straight: Woz “asked” Steve to write a forward. Steve read a copy of the book. Steve “declined” to write the forward.

    Why do people immediately assume that a request should always be granted. That’s all it is…a request that was turned down. End of story.

  6. Jobs is being a prick. Don’t get me wrong, I love Apple and Jobs but let’s face it… not writing the foreword is a prickish. He’ll allow Windows XP on Apple hardware but won’t write a few words for the Woz.

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