Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Back to the future with computer wizard 'Woz'

For someone who had a Dragon 32 computer in the Eighties and only really knew about the type of apples which grow on trees until relatively recently, the prospect of speaking to Steve Wozniak was daunting.

A brief glance through the internet, which he probably had a hand in inventing, found that his house in Los Gatos in California was for sale for $4.5m, but that wasn't going to cut it as an ice breaker.

I needn't have worried about looseners because like others of his ilk he was a bundle of energy who doesn't go in for too much small talk, preferring getting stuck into the task at hand.

You don't need to talk to him for too long to realise how he became one of the founding fathers of modern technology. But do wonder how he was the other founder of Apple you don't hear much about compared to Steve Jobs.

He talks about technology with the kind of enthusiasm that is infectious, even though I know for a fact he's already done exactly the same type of interview just minutes before.

He is passionate about giving people the room to be creative in their work, even if it doesn't look as if they're doing anything productive.

Relax, he says, they may look as if their playing but they're actually learning skills which will make them a mint in a few years' time.

That will make a lot of production-focused business people wince, but he has a point.

Without time to be creative we all, no matter in what industry, suffer and can eventually become less productive.

Anyway, Mr Wozniak believes technology is the future (apart from a small aversion to the cloud) and I believe him.

That's good news for us, what with our focus on all things hi-tech.

Maybe it's time to get the Dragon 32 out again.

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