PHL 458 Steve Wozniak and Grace Hopper

Steve Wozniak and Grace Hopper





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Steve Wozniak and Grace Hopper

Steve Wozniak and Grace Hopper both worked in the same industry, the computer industry. They both have an immense contribution to the society both in the development of computers and computer systems to what is known nowadays as asserted by (Curley, 2010). Steve Wozniak an American electrical engineer together with other colleges cofounded Apple, commonly known in the present time, and had a lot of contribution to it in the technical part of it. He single handedly managed to design Apple 1, among the first revolutional computers that were present at that time and formed a base for today’s computers. His genius mind managed to constantly reduce the number of chips used in computers and other electronics embed components. His inventions ad patents that he acquired managed to provide new ways of doing things in a much simpler and efficient ways. Patents like video display and color production has made a huge milestone in what is known today in the industry. Grace Hopper on the other hand is widely known for championing computer independent programming languages. This is famed for creating the first compiler. These were the programming languages that were used to run virtually any program independent of the machines architecture. Her genius brain was in a position to be part of the brain and also steering and guiding the team that developed COBOL as it is known and famed today.

Both Steve Wozniak and Grace Hopper sort out to solve several issue that were facing the society in the computing sector. They managed to conclusively solve them for once and forever. Wozniak specifically had his talent in the hardware and circuit design. Way back then, computers were viewed as big industrial electronics that were used for research and by industries (Venezia, 2010). Wozniak demystified this by creating Apple 1 computer that was light and even occupied a small space in relation to computers that were produced at that time and were intended to be used at homes and personal use. Apple II picked up and was used in homes and other personal use. The major problem that was also there were the bulky designs. Wozniak managed to reduce them considerably. Way back in the 1950s, computers present then had program combatibity issues. Specific programming languages were used for different computers that had different architectures. She popularized the idea of machine independent programming language and even created the first compiler (Beyer, 2009). This means that different machines could run different program and porting of programs were made possible. She managed to make program more universal and machine independent. This has managed to save a lot of time in learning each and every machine’s programming language and also sped up the uptake and production of software since they can be compiled of different machines with different architecture.

Their problems were critical and thus solved in a specific way that was revolutionary. Wozniak’s personal computing took him just simple mathematical skills and self-taught electrical engineering technical knowhow to produce and design computers for home and basic use. He managed to make an operating system that was client focused and had programs that were user friendly and end user friendly. He managed to bring computers to the members of the public and made it a basic and necessary commodity in homes today. Such simple yet usable computers were the main reason why they were uptake by the members of the public. Grace Hopper on the other was able to use her mathematical and technical know how to solve the machine independent programming language issue. She managed to code the first compiler and made it operational. While she was working for Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation, she was in a position t make it possible and even made it possible for it to run later programming languages like COBOL and others (Marx,2002).

The environment that these people were at played a very crucial role in their inventions, innovations and also all the work they did in the computer industry. Steve came at a time when everyone needed a computer that was friendly and easy to use by the average person. He solved this. The main reason he ended up here is when he joined college and found a friend that introduced him to Steve jobs who was then working on a circuit board for a gaming company. He aided Steve to reduce the number of chips and later worked with him (Wozniak, 2006).. This academic environment gave him the opportunity to work with some of the brilliant minds and in that process growing personally. Grace Hopper worked in the military and also she was a mathematics professor making her astute and sharp in the field. She was at a time when machines and programming languages were machine dependent. This made her stand out in whatever she did. She was also assigned a programming team to lead at a company she was later on advancing her career. At a time she was at the military, there was world war thus made her improve more on her career path and thus probably accelerated her success.

Obstacles are present in each and every field. This was not an exception to the two. Steve particularly had trust issues with Steve Jobs though he still gave up his personal self for his ambitions. There was a time when jobs was promised some money if he managed to reduce the number of chips used. He lied to Wozniak and gave him a little money against what they agreed. This only proves that there was much more that we know that made Wozniak part ways with apple and Steve Jobs. Personally, he was more of the technical person than his colleagues who were business oriented. This was a challenge by itself. Grace Hopper came at a time when many people didn’t get to use her innovation because many people were not using the technology at the people. People didn’t realize its importance until when systems had developed and people started using various machines with different architecture. She also couldn’t sustain her marriage due to issues they had with her husband.

Both of them did their best in their respective fields. Grace Hopper particularly offered the best beginning for machine independent programming and made her work well suited to everyone. Grace would have continued developing more usable cross platform programming language that its program could be used in all platforms. I wish she never left everyone to come up with their own programing language. She has contributed a lot to today’s programming skills and also improved them immensely. People can now code on different platforms using the same programming language. Steve on the other side would have been better if he continued working at Apple and would have achieved a lot rather than what he has achieved so far. He was best suited as an engineer and would have even produced more technological electronics and innovation than what it left Apple to. His work has contributed a lot to modern electronics and has thus improved immensely. Both their contribution added a lot to the understanding of the field and made a lot of milestones (Curley, 2012). Many people viewed them as difficult before them but after them they were made to understand that.


Beyer, K. (2009). Grace Hopper and the invention of the information age. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Curley, R. (2010). The 100 most influential inventors of all time. New York, NY: Britannica Educational Pub. in association with Rosen Educational Services.

Curley, R. (2012). Architects of the information age. New York, NY: Britannica Educational Pub. in association with Rosen Educational Services.

Marx, C. (2002). Grace Hopper: The first woman to program the first computer in the United States. New York, NY: Rosen Pub.

Venezia, M. (2010). Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak: Geek heroes who put the personal in computers. New York: Children’s Press.

Wozniak, S. (2006). I, woz: The autobiography of the co-founder of Apple. London: Review.

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