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Wozniak on his first favorite portable device: CNET News Video

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CNET News Video: Wozniak on his first favorite portable device

1:36 /

While touring the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reflects on his first transistor radio.

-One of the big steps in my life was my first transistor radio; first time ever I held a gadget in my hand that I loved what it could do. It brought me music. It opened my world up. I could sleep with it and hear music all night long, and music's become such a big part of my life. And I look at my little radio, it had 6 transistors in, hand-built in Japan, but hand-built. And my dad worked at Lockheed. The only people that could afford the early chips and really spur this chip industry was the military and the very largest corporations--their need for computers. So, my dad had access to the companies in Silicon Valley that were about to make the first chips ever. And he took me to a show when I was, maybe, 8 years old, and I went there and I saw a gentleman presented a picture that showed little blocks and said, "This is a picture that we're gonna turn into a chip with 6 transistors on 1 chip, 1 piece of silicon." And I went home and I just went to my dad and I said, "Well, so they're gonna make better transistor radios?" And he said, "No, no, no. These chips cost way too much. Only the military can afford them." After a number of years, there's surplus that they don't need anymore and that's what people get. And I always felt, "Darn! You know, the needs of real people for things in their home to bring them enjoyment should be pushing our industry." Well, what is pushing the state of art in the silicon industry nowadays? Personal computers, and now, games. The highest, most powerful chips that are made on Earth are made for game machines. So, the legacy of the little personal device has come true.

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