I couldn’t miss this show, Steve Wozniak was the guest on tonights Engadget show. It was a great interview. Engadet’s Editor In Chief, Josh Topolsky started the interview off with some background and Steve talked about the early days of Apple starting out in a garage, similar to that of Google’s fouders.
Woz, although he doesn’t work at Infinite Loop on a day to day business he still collects a paycheck of “A few hundred dollars every two weeks” and still gets health insurance from Apple. He hopes to be the longest running employee in Apple history.
When Topolsky asked Woz about Android vs Apple he said “they have a lot of great features that we don’t have”. Woz went on to say that he loves “Swyping”. In addition to a white and a black iPhone he also carries a Droid X on a day to day basis. He likes to keep up with all technology but he also has a certain affinity to Verizon and an aggravation with AT&T. On AT&T Woz told a story about how he has asked AT&T several times about his different plans and they always told him he was fine, until of course a trip to Germany yielded a $7,000 bill. Woz says he has a $64 unlimited international plan that isn’t available anymore.
Woz also has a frustration with AT&T in both San Fransisco and New York and that’s why he always carries a Verizon phone, his Droid X. Woz said just about anywhere he goes he can catch a Verizon signal and in thoes few times he can’t he does get a signal with AT&T.
As far as traveling goes Woz also told a story about when he went to Germany and everyone was tethering their iPads wirelessly. He couldn’t because his iPhones didn’t have a “mifi” feature and to that he said “I know that was deliberate” so he had to tether an iPhone to his macbook and then bounce the signal from his macbook to his iPad to be cool like the others.
Topolsky asked Wozniak about what he tought was the future of computing technology and Woz said that voice was definitely the future. He talked about Apple and their innovations with voice but went on to say that “Android has a hook in voice” and he likes how he can tell his Android phone “Navigate to…” and it does. He also likes the ability to ask questions to his phone in his voice and get an answer.
When asked about why he carries two iPhones Woz said “It solves the battery problem doesnt it”. Woz carried a white iPhone and repeatedly made reference to Verizon carrying the iPhone in 2 colors both white and black. As far as his current white iPhone, Woz sourced his white iPhone parts from the teenager in New York who was selling them before Apple shut him down. Woz had dinner with that teenager last night and said that he shouldn’t be prosecuted and if he was than Woz would contribute to his defense fund.
Wozniak is a founder of Apple so naturally he is a big supporter but overall Wozniak is one of the most beloved geeks in the world. He often goes against the grain and answers questions honestly. Woz basically said that he had a certain value set he had since he was 20 years old and Apple was just getting ready that he still adheres to today. Topolsky asked Wozniak if he ever gets in trouble with Steve Jobs for being so honest and of course Woz admitted he did.
In one instance overseas Wozniak had called the non iPod touches a “commodity”. He meant that now with iPhones and iPod touches you could find the “little colored ones” everywhere and everyone had one he didn’t mean to down the other iPod models. Apparently Jobs called him on it and said the Board of Directos wanted to fire him. Of course they didn’t and they probably won’t. Wozniak does respect Jobs’ cloak of secrecy and although he doesnt ask engineers what they’re working on he does get privy to some private information and doesn’t share that.
In regards to the $2 bills….
Apparently Topolsky and Wozniak were backstage and Woz showed Topolsky a pad full of perforated $2 bills that were exactly the same size, shape and weight of real money. He said he uses these two dollar bills all the time and for some reason, some loop hole he found he could be arrested for it but not prosecuted. He also said that for years he had a dye sublimation printer and would make fake ids and backstage passes for concerts. Before 9/11 and for five years Woz used an official looking ID that said “Department of Defiance” on it and identified him as a “Laser Safety Tester”, to get through airport security. He said on one of three times he was questioned about the counterfit two dollar bills by the Secret Service he used that ID to give to the secret service.
So why write about Steve Wozniak on an Android focused site, because Wozniak is a geeks geek. Even at his current age he still has the passion and giddyness of a 20something who just discovered something. Ive seen Wozniak speak 11 times in the past 20 years and everytime he’s just awesomesauce.