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Tuesday, 04 March 2008 17:20

Steve Wozniak, Apple critic and the original Wozni-hacker

In Sydney this week at a broadband event, Steve Wozniak let loose with his views on the iPhone, the MacBook Air and Apple TV – while also saying Australia’s new ‘broadband’ plan is just ‘adequate’.

Sadly, we weren’t in Sydney for a local broadband conference where the star attraction was Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Famous for being the technical brains behind the Apple I and Apple II computers, which were remarkably open devices, then leaving Apple when Steve Jobs decided to make the Mac a much more closed system (as Jobs wanted to avoid Mac clones in the way Apple II computers were cloned by all and sundry), Wozniak also holds a unique place in the world of Apple.

Still a paid employee, although not actually working at Apple anymore, Wozniak can happily criticise Apple’s direction, and Steve Jobs’ decisions, without being immediately sacked, as he has done many times, as his place in Apple’s history makes him virtually bulletproof.

Wozniak is also clearly immune to the Steve Jobs ‘reality distortion field’, as he happily blasts Apple’s decisions on a relatively regular basis, although Wozniak has defended himself saying that most of his pronouncements have effectively said the same thing Apple or Jobs has said.

We weren’t at the broadband conference because of another Australian technology conference happening in a different state, although we’d have happily attended otherwise – it certainly is a shame to have missed out on seeing and hearing the legendary Steve Wozniak in person.

Happily, however, there were a range of other journalists there, many of whom were able to record his thoughts on Apple’s iPhone, the MacBook Air, and the Apple TV.

So, what did Wozniak say? Please read onto page 2.

In short, Wozniak believes the iPhone should have been 3G from the start, doesn’t think the MacBook Air will be a runaway success in its current incarnation, and thinks the Apple TV should be improved, especially in the area of movie rentals which are only playable for a 24-hour period.

Wozniak also believes that Australia’s planned 12Mbps fibre-to-the-node network is only ‘adequate’ and forgets that our use of the Internet in the very near future will undoubtedly require vastly greater amounts of bandwidth speed.

Wozniak also commented on the upcoming US presidential election and some of the candidates.

For a detailed publication of the questions posed to Wozniak from a range of journalists, a fascinating article from Australian Personal Computer Magazine, written by Dan Warne, provides all the juicy details of exactly what Wozniak said – even down to Steve Jobs’ reaction when some ‘negative’ Apple press emanates from statements Wozniak has made.

Australia’s ZDNet has an article by Jo Best that has some of Wozniak’s comments, as does a article written by Cath Hart.

Wozniak – the original Apple Wozni-hacker. Let’s hope Steve Jobs is truly listening to some of what Wozniak has to say, and brings out a 3G iPhone that will impress us all once again – and maybe this time even Steve Wozniak!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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