Apple co-founder and tech icon Steve Wozniak took to Reddit’s popular Ask Me Anything (AMA) forum to let the general public ask him, well, anything.
Not surprisingly, the most popular questions were focused on Apple’s current legal battle against the FBI concerning encryption on an iPhone used by a terrorist.
Many celebrities take to Reddit’s AMAs to market their latest endeavours, and Wozniak is no exception. He’ll be hosting the Silicon Valley Comic Con and made sure to provide a link to it.
Regardless of the motive, it was good timing on his part to throw his hat into the ring on the current matters.
Since Mr. Wozniak actually has quite a way with words (some guys have all the luck…) we won’t be copy pasting his lengthy answers here. Instead, we’re going to summarise the best answers he gave, stripping away some of the extraneous detail he went into. Of course, this is going to take away some of the flavour and context away from the answers in return for brevity, but you can always read the full Q&A here.
Looking forward to @reddit AMA about tech, entertainment, people, life. March 16, 1pm PDT.
— Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) March 16, 2016
Reddit user: What are your thoughts on the FBI/DOJ vs Apple ordeal at the moment?
Summarised answer: I come from the side of personal liberties. But there are also other problems. Twice in my life I wrote things that could have been viruses. I threw away every bit of source code. I just got a chill inside. These are dangerous, dangerous things, and if some code gets written in an Apple product that lets people in, bad people are going to find their way to it, [it’s] very likely.
What is Tim Cook doing right/wrong, in your opinion?
What he’s doing right: Acknowledging the employees and the customers of Apple as real people. He is continuing a strong tradition that Steve Jobs was known for of making good products that help people do things they want to do in their life. Everything else, I’m very approving of, because every time we have a new iOS update, I’m very happy that it’s doing things that really affect people.
What he’s doing wrong: I worry a little bit about – I mean I love my Apple Watch, but – it’s taken us into a jewelry market where you’re going to buy a watch between $500 or $1100 based on how important you think you are as a person. The only difference is the band in all those watches. Twenty watches from $500 to $1100. The band’s the only difference? Well this isn’t the company that Apple was originally.
What’s the greatest invention that you wished you designed?
A device that lets you locate anything in the world, or something that gives you an extra hour per day.
What is the most [funniest] prank that you’ve [ever] pulled?
I did like the one where I put a little ticking electronic metronome in a school locker, back when very few people could build such things as a ticking metronome; and I had it rigged so that when you opened the locker, a little tinfoil switch caused the ticking to speed up.
What is your opinion on how immersive our technology is becoming?
So that’s sort of the modern way, and you know the millennials, every generation wants to criticize the next generation for missing out on things like personal human contact, but I’ll tell you a little story. When we started Apple, Steve Jobs and I talked about how we wanted to make blind people as equal and capable as sighted people, and you’d have to say we succeeded when you look at all the people walking down the sidewalk looking down at something in their hands and totally oblivious to everything around them!
Why did you leave Apple?
I left Apple partly because I wanted to be, like, a normal person. I didn’t want to seek wealth and power, because in my mind it often corrupts people, and I didn’t want to be that person who runs a company.
Even though you left in 1985, what was your relationship with the company like after, and how has that changed compared to now?
I’m always welcome. I could come by, Steve Jobs would always make sure I had a badge that could get me into any building. I didn’t use it much, but I can go there. The only trouble is I’ll get mobbed.
What is your favourite up and coming gadget?
I would think probably one of them is certainly the Oculus Rift, or any of the VR headsets.