BBC Click interviewed Steve Wozniak this week, and he had a few words to say about a certain little computer. If you’re in the UK you can watch the programme on iPlayer for the next month. The bit we’re interested in starts at 2:19.
Since many of you aren’t in the UK (or may be coming to this late), I’ll transcribe the pertinent bits of the interview: namely the bits that had us smiling so widely we were a little worried that the lower parts of our faces might fall off.
Spencer Kelly: Do you think, then, that things have got better? Or do you think, with the return of the app…that we’re back to the days of the bedroom programmer – that any one person can be a success?
Woz: There are Arduino boards, and Raspberry Pi boards that young people can buy and learn about technology, and even drive motors and things: but there isn’t as much of it. It’s not as easy as it was back then. But the creative desires come out of a brain. (Gestures at head.) And the creative desires are coming out in other ways – thank god for the App Store! I’m so glad for that, that Apple didn’t say “No apps can come out except for ones that we write”; that would have been horrible.
(Spencer and Woz talk about the App store and Steve Jobs. Then:)
Spencer Kelly: You mentioned the Raspberry Pi. Are you a fan of getting real nuts-and-bolts engineering into schools as early as possible?
Woz: From a very young age on. You don’t need the high-level math of calculus or the stuff you get at university level. Any young child, even ten years old, can understand enough to learn to program, and the Raspberry Pi – you can hook wires to little motors, you can build devices that do things. What an incredible learning experience. Or sensors – you know, or when I say a certain word it’ll turn on the lights. Those are really fun projects for young people. And they are a growing step in developing the great technologists of the future, that build the devices we all live with.
As far as we at Raspberry Towers are concerned, Woz occupies the same bit of the pantheon as Merlin the Magician. We have now watched this clip about forty times, and it’s still not getting old. Thank you Woz. That absolutely made our day.