Wozniak Talks Technology, Apple History And More At ASIS 2013

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak talked about how technology changed his life and is affecting the world today in a keynote address at ASIS 2013 in Chicago on Wednesday.

"Technology is what helps us become more productive," he said. "Technology is what helps us become more productive and it's making our lives better."

And the role of technology has also changed security.

"Security used to be very physical. But that's no longer the case. It's not physical tools that people are using to break security," Wozniak said. "We need a new mindset."

Both sides of the IT security puzzle now feature the smartest people instead of the strongest or most physically adept.

He then explained some of his early life and how he spent his high school and college days playing variuospranks, and more importantly learning how systems work. After getting into computers in high school, Wozniak didn't have money to build computers, but designed them on paper.

"I wouldn't be here if I wasn't clever on how I would use technology," he said.

One especially interesting anecdote for security professionals came when Wozniak relayed the story on how he snuck into a Stanford computer center on Sundays to use the equipment and read from the library.

"When you have the brightest people in the world, they usually leave at least one door unlocked," he said.

After getting hired to design to the iPhone 5s of its day – the HP Scientific Calculator – Wozniak met Steve Jobs and the pair quickly became best friends.

And as part of the Homebrew Computer Club, Wozniak realized how the computer could play such a large part of society.

"The social revolution was based on the technology revolution, and more specifically a good and inexpensive computer," he said.

Both Wozniak and Jobs put in $300 to start Apple Computer and began to sell the famous Apple I. After a bit, the pair had a bank account with more than $10,000. Things only got better from there.

After helping to design the famous Breakout game for Atari, the duo helped create the Apple II and realized the power of software as well.

"The first spreadsheet program showed that personal computers could do more than a mainframe," Wozniak said.

Finally, the now philanthropist and educator ended his talk wondering how we can keep information private, but yet secure.

About the Author

Brent Dirks is senior e-news/Web editor for Security Products and Network-Centric Security magazines.

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