Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is as classy as ever about screwed up scene from Steve Jobs movie

This is one of the reasons I love Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

The Woz caught an early one-minute clip  of “jOBS,” the Ashton Kutcher flick about the Woz’s famous Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and declared the scene more or less “totally wrong,” according to Gizmodo

“Not close…we never had such interaction and roles…I’m not even sure what it’s getting at…personalities are very wrong although mine is closer…,” Woz said in a Gizmodo commenting section.

But what I love is, in a later email, Woz said what I think all those self-important folks should say when they get all worked up because a movie — yes, a movie — doesn’t portray events exactly as they happened.

“It’s only one clip,” Woz wrote to Gizmodo in an email. “The movie should be very popular and I hope it’s entertaining. It may be very correct, as well. This is only one clip. But you’ll see the direction they are slanting the movie in, just by the dialog style of this script.”

See how it’s done? Don’t take this as reality, Woz says. (Did I say “iJobs” is a movie.”) But hey, it’s only a movie. And, Woz adds, he hasn’t even seen it yet, so he’ll reserve judgment.

The impromptu review is getting a lot of ink (or pixels) herehere and here, for instance.

Now it turns out Woz had a lot of other things to say about what he found a bit off about the short scene and I say more power to him. No problem putting out there the way you remember things that you actually participated in. Just don’t require that movies be accurate and historic representations of events.

We may hear more, given that the movie was scheduled to be screened at Sundance today. Meantime, this from Woz’s note to Gizmodo:

“I never wore a tie back then. I wore blue jeans and the same style blue button-up shirt every day of my life. I was not like a professional in demeanor ever.

Here is a reply I gave to someone on Facebook a few minutes ago:

The fact that it didn’t happen is unimportant. The important thing is whether the meaning portrayed is correct.

It’s ok to make up a dramatic scene but is much better if it sort of happened and had the meaning portrayed. But this is only one short clip of the movie. The entire movie may be very good. But the initial exposure to the social meaning of a technology revolution went in a very different direction in those early times.

A more accurate portrayal would be myself in the Homebrew Computer Club (with Steve Jobs up in another state and not aware of it) being inspired by liberal humanist academics from Berkeley and Stanford and other places speaking of these high social goals. I decided then and there to help them reach those goals by designing a computer that was affordable. I gave it away to members of this club to help them. My goal was not money or power. In fact, when Steve came down and came to the club and saw the interest, he did not propose making a computer. Rather, he suggested we make a PC board so that others could build my computer easier. This PC board is just a component, like the ones Steve would sell at Haltek, a surplus electronics store. By the way, the Apple I was the 5th time I designed something just for fun that Steve found a way to turn into money, and the Apple II was the 6th time. We always split the proceeds.”

Next up: “Steve Jobs” by Aaron Sorkin. I can’t wait.


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  • Steve

    Steve Wozniak has been a huge hero / role model for me (and probably many other engineers out there) since growing up as a kid coding on my Apple II. Just designing stuff ’cause its cool and because it’s something that we want / need ourselves. I hated the Mac because it took away the command line and felt like you were losing control of your own computer…