If, like me you grew up and used Macs at school and college, you may well be interested to know that Steve Wozniak - the guy who "invented the personal computer and co-founded Apple" - will shortly be releasing his autobiography: IWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It. I remember first hearing about this extraordinary, and quite unassuming guy, while reading John Sculley´s autobiography - Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple : A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future. This is really the man who shaped the way that we use computers today and communicate today - his contribution to the way we work and live today is actually quite immense!
Wired Magazine has an exlcuisve interview with Steve Wozniak - IWoz Logs Leap From Geek to Icon - where he discusses the new book and ponders on why Steve Jobs wouldn´t do the foreword. The interview can also be listened to as a Podcast.
The recent issue of Wired Magazine offers some great tips on how to keep a snooping boss at bay and how to look busy at work. The second is written by Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, and here are some tips from this section:
Complain that you're totally swamped at every opportunity. Use phrases like "up to my ass in alligators" and "jumping from one fire to another" to make your job sound kind of sexy and dangerous.
Emailing looks like work. Email friends and family often.
If you feel like talking instead of working, talk to your boss. That counts as work no matter what you're chatting about. The ideal topic of conversation is how poorly all of your coworkers are performing.
Be sure to get involved in unquantifiable projects. You want to be doing a lot of consulting and advising and attending. Avoid anything with a hard and fast deadline.
Here are some other good "How to" guides from this issue:
Be More Productive
Secure Your Data
Make Work Less Hellish
In a recent Fortune magazine, entitled The Welshman, the walkman, and the salarymen identifies why the Walkman is so far behind the iPod:
"Menus," Stringer says, "have displaced knobs." That, in a nutshell, is why Apple's iPod, which neatly integrates hardware, music, and an Internet platform, makes the Sony Walkman look like a tired relic of the 1970s.
Rocket science it is not, but how long did it take Sony to work that one out.
Apple will be 30 on April 1st and Wired magazine has a special series of articles to celebrate the event. One that caught my attention was the series of screenshots showing how the operating system has developed over the decades.
Happy St David's Day to you all!
Tonight sees the return of the successful BBC series The Apprentice (first aired in the States I believe). 14 hopefuls will compete against each other for a six-figure salary working with Sir Alan Sugar. The last series was quite enjoyable and I'm sure that this one will be equally the same. If you don't know what the series is about, here's a brief synopsis:
Fourteen hopefuls, two eagle-eyed advisors and one self-made millionaire. Yes it’s the show that pits Britain’s hungriest business brains against each other to see which one is worthy of a six-figure salary and the chance to become Sir Alan Sugar’s apprentice.
Over twelve weeks the candidates will take part in the toughest recruitment-drive on television. Sharing a luxury townhouse on London’s "millionaire’s row", they will be split into two teams and given a weekly task with which to expose their entrepreneurial nous.
The BBC has a mini site dedicated to the series where you can view previous episodes, get clips from both this and the last series, biographies of the hopefuls and the latest news.
So, which of the 14 will be the first to hear the words: You're Fired
I just saw a great ad on TV tonight which I felt I had to blog about - I think it was doing the rounds in the States a good few months ago. The ad is from IBM and shows a truck screeching to a halt before a woman sitting at a "customer services desk". Here's the dialogue:
Trucker 1: Would you kindly tell me what you're doing in the road?
IBM Helper: I'm with the Help Desk. You're lost. You're headed to Fresno.
Trucker 1: Fresno, right.
IBM Helper: This is the road to Albuquerque.
Trucker 1: How'd you know we were lost?
IBM Helper: The boxes told me.
Trucker 1: The boxes?
IBM Helper: RFID. Radio tags on the cargo. Helps track shipments.
Trucker 1: (to trucker No. 2, all under end titles) The boxes knew we were lost.
Trucker 2: Maybe the boxes should drive.
Trucker 1: Very funny.
I think it's just a very simple way of getting across what this technology stands for.and it probably makes people want to find out a little more about the technology.
View IBM Truckers Ad
Fortune Magazine has an interesting article on Steve Jobs, which not only looks at how the stories surrounding Disney linking to Pixar, but takes a closer look at Steve Jobs, the Master of Disruption. It discusses how Steve Jobs has managed to create two different models :
Apple's trick has been not just its game-changing tech breakthroughs
(music and computers made easy) but its relentless push to disrupt
itself before others have a chance to do so. "The thing that most
people don't realize about Steve is that he is not only really good at
taking technology and turning it into good-looking, easy-to-use
products, he's really good at doing it faster than anyone else," says
Paul Saffo of the Institute of the Future in Palo Alto.
The article goes on to give a an example of how Apple did the unforgvable - making a successful product obsolete within 18 months:
The first one released four years ago had a monochrome screen and a
five-gigabyte hard drive. Now it has a color screen and a 60-gigabyte
hard drive at roughly the same price. What other business would
obsolete a successful product like the iPod mini after only 18 months
to introduce the nano?
I think that Tom Peters used to talk about destroying your business before anyone else does. Steve Jobs seems to follow the same mantra and makes sure that he keeps moving the goalposts for his competitors all the time.