North Texas Daily

Computer industry icon speaks on campus

Computer industry icon speaks on campus

Computer industry icon speaks on campus
August 18
23:58 2014

Rhiannon Saegert / Senior Staff Writer

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak shared advice, personal insight and anecdotes with students Monday night as the latest speaker for UNT’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

An Apple IIe, two floppy disk drives and a dot matrix printer sat on the stage in the Coliseum where Student Government Association program manager Adam Hasley asked Wozniak planned interview questions. Audience members asked questions through Twitter.

Wozniak spoke about working as an engineer for Hewlett Packard. He advised that anyone looking to start their own company has to start out by finding employment.

“First thing is, when you get out of college you need a job to pay for your apartment,” he said. ”You’ve got to get a job with ‘The Man’ to get the money. Your dreams are inside of you.”

Wozniak said he sold his most valuable possession at the time, a Hewlett Packard calculator, to start his company.

He also shared his concerns about current technology’s ethical, moral and environmental ramifications.

“More energy per person is usable and more energy means we have more wealth, more objects we can buy, more possessions, but it also means more pollution as a result of computers,” he said. “That’s a problem.”

“I certainly don’t like the fact that people can be spied on so easily. I mean, if I had been listening to my neighbors’ phone calls for ten years and they found out, do you think they would think of me as a friend?”

When a Twitter user asked for Wozniak’s thoughts on encouraging young women and girls to join STEM programs, he said it was an issue he’d heard and discussed his entire life, and gave an example from his time teaching coding to grade school children.

“In fifth grade, man, the girls would learn everything,” he said. “They raised their hands, they’d show off their knowledge, just as much as the boys would. Everything equal, every day, every step of the way. By seventh grade, I’d ask a simple question and they wouldn’t want to show that they know the answer. They wouldn’t raise their hand. So something happens on a bigger scale in society to convince them that it’s not their role or something.”

Incoming freshmen Garrett Wilson, Brianna Kar, Brandi Kar and Zachary Bean attended Northwest High School together and the four computer engineering majors decided to attend the lecture as a group.

“We came from a STEM program at our High School, so it was really cool for him to talk about developing those programs around the country,” Wilson said.

University spokesperson Leslie Minton said 1,000 tickets were sold by Monday morning, and about 3,000 people were expected to attend including students.

Featured image: Steve Wozniak shares his thoughts on topics from artificial intelligence to Tetris on Monday night in the Coliseum as part of UNT’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Photo by Byron Thompson, Senior Staff Photographer

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