Tavis Smiley interviews Apple Computer co-founder Woz

Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak explains why he became a philanthropist, talks about Apple, his plane crash and subsequent memory loss, and more on PBS’s Tavis Smiley program:

“So thirty years ago, Steve Wozniak came up with an idea that must have seemed like a hair-brained idea at the time. Take a regular typewriter keyboard and combine it with computer circuitry and a video monitor. Of course, that silly idea turned into the personal computer, perhaps the single most important invention of the entire twentieth century.” – Tavis Smiley

Read the transcript of the show here.

Listen to the interview (via RealPlayer): http://media.pbs.org/ramgen/tavissmiley/tavisaudio20061117_36.rm

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Scarbro” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
How the Woz shaped Apple – December 20, 2006
Guy Kawasaki speaks to Woz in hour-long video interview – December 01, 2006
Woz visits Microsoft, speaks to overflow crowd – October 07, 2006
Stephen Colbert interviews Woz – September 29, 2006
Woz and former Apple execs buy Jazz Semiconductor – September 27, 2006
The Wall Street Journal interviews Apple co-founder Woz – September 26, 2006
iWoz autobiography hits bookstores – September 26, 2006
Woz to speak at Philadelphia Library on September 30th – September 14, 2006
Woz’s new autobiography coming in September – August 25, 2006
Woz plans 2007 Hummer ride to South Pole with Buzz Aldrin, James Cameron to film in 3D – August 04, 2006
Video: Woz playing Segway polo (and bonking pedestrian on head) – July 08, 2006
Apple CEO Steve Jobs declines to write foreword for Woz’s autobiography – April 14, 2006
Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak autobiography ‘I, Woz’ coming this fall – April 11, 2006


  1. On the other hand, Tavis Smiley did a great interview. He didn’t obsess about race during the interview, didn’t even mention it actually. That was appropriate, because…not everything is about race.
    Kind of pathetic that some of the others on this thread are so quick to imply that TheloniusMac is a racist, with zero evidence. Not surprising, but still pathetic.

  2. TheloniousMac is your name a derivative of Thelonious Monk? Cause if it is may I suggest you take up a new nom de plum? As we all know the great Thelonious Monk probably witness first hand what you refer to as the “plight of the so called African-American”. That “plight” being the remnants of slavery, racism and racial segregation that still permeate American society today. You’re post is case in point that racism can be subtle, and I for one would hope that if you’re going to use the name of a great African-American, who’s ancestors, like my father’s,came as slaves to this country you’ll do so with honor, and not like a jack ass; as your post demonstrates that later.

    Tavis Smiley is an author, political commentator, and talk show host who subject matter tends to be geared towards his main audience African-Americans. Being that he is an African-American. I, for one hope, that he does get into a discussion with Woz about serious issues like the digital divide; which is one of the “plights” that face socio-economicly disadvantaged Americans regardless of skin color. I’m certain that Woz will have very interesting things to say to address that issue, as well as suggest ways to encourage African-Americans, no all Americans, to transcend and transverse racism through technology. Much like Thelonious Monk did through music.

    To you sir, I say the next time you sign off using TheloniousMac you reflect on the life of the great Thelonious Monk, and reflect on your own internalized racist attitudes; as you use the name of one of the greatest African-Americans this country has ever known.

  3. Dave – it’s only all about race because people like you make it so. If it possible, try reading Thelonius’ post without being a racist yourself and see that his comment is not about the plight of the African American race in the usa, but is a belief that Tavis Smiley can’t write an article without making it about race.

    “You bet your sweet, scrawny, pimply white ass it’s all about race.” – without knowing Thelonius’ race how can you make this assesment? Also, to what profit does it help by you spewing this kind of hatred here?

    The only one spewing hate on this site is you. You’re the racist here. So maybe, just maybe, you should calm down, and learn to debate someone on what they actually wrote and not what you filtered through your anger.

    And before you get you panties all in a wad, I already walk around this country with black skin on.

    It’s only all about race to people who make it so – White or Black.

  4. listened to the interview, and at no point did tavis mention, discuss, or comment on what theloniousmac suggests is his m.o. “the plight of the ‘so-callled’ african-american.” they did however discuss his philanthropic work, and aspects of his life related to apple, technology, and his home town.

    what i’d like to know is why theloniousmac used the words “so-called”? to do so suggests prejudice, at the very least, towards tavis smiley, and quite possible towards american’s of african decent who refer to themselves as african-american. as compared to the various other terms used throughout the history of this country towards black people.

    had thelonious not have used those words, or the statement in general this discussion wouldn’t have veered towards race, and the racism that at times erupts on this board.

    do we know thelonious’ race? no, unless you know him personally. did he race bate this discussion? imho, yes, read the statement “plight of the” so called “African-American.” explain to me what this means, if it doesn’t suggest race bating.

    i for one am glad that woz lowered himself to tavis’ level. the level of “the youngest african-american to ever have a professional school and center named after him on a college or university campus.” can theloniousmac say that about himself? i know i can’t say that about myself, but if it’s lowering oneself to have such an achievement or to be such a role model than i’m all for it. for woz and smiley both did the same thing, they came from modest backgrounds and with the use of technology (woz with apples, tavis with radio and tv) to achieve greatness. we should all be so fortunate.

  5. Hmmmm, I disagree with you i’ve never seen, or heard, Tavis perpetuate the idea of victimization. My experience from watching him on BET, or PBS, or as a commentator, is that Tavis wants black folk to get over the idea that racism from “the man” is keeping us down. We keep ourselves down by not valuing education over a pair of sneakers. Tavis does point out that racism does exist in this country, but we as a people are greater than it and can overcome it through education.

    The man supported giving Rosa Parks for the Congressional Gold Medal. Are you going to tell me that that is bullshit? And if so, how does that reflect on her legacy?

    And if you want to start tossin’ color in I’m also Black! My mother happens to be Korean, and i’ve seen racism directed towards me from both Black folk and other Koreans. My mother’s Korean family disowned her for marrying a Black man. My father’s family won’t have anything to do with my mother, brother, or I because my daddy didn’t marry a Black woman. That is racism. My father, born in 1933, grew up in Houston’s 5th Ward, was told that wanting to go to college is the “white man’s dream”. That is racism.

    A good example of plight of institutionalized racism is when people like Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed want to mortgage off elderly Tigua Indians and Black folk to pay for government lobbying. That Sir, is the plight that I see people like Tavis Smiley are addressing that affect the “so-called ‘African-American'”. Oh, I’m sorry Blacks.

  6. Kate & and then again, with all due respect, pull your heads out of your butts.

    What exactly do you think Thelonious meant when he said, “so called” African Americans??? That is a directly racist comment, and it was not directed at Tavis Smiley- it was directed at every person of color in this nation.

    Did you even read his post? How exactly does a show about a computer geek trigger Thelonious’ rant about black people? I simply responded in kind to his blatant provocation.

    Please, people, get a clue. Anyone who thinks there is not still a deep undercurrent of racism in this country, is seriously deluding themselves.

    Have you already forgotten the images of those thousands of people crammed into the New Orleans Dome, begging for help, trapped for a week with no food, water, or working toilets??? Thousands of people forced to wallow in filth and dying like flies?

    “We” let that happen, all of us. And lots of us have found it very convenient to forget.

    Sorry guys, not me. If it makes you uncomfortable- stick your head back in the sand.

  7. Dave –

    Your racism doesn’t combat anything thelonuis said, it’s just racist all on it’s own. “You bet your sweet, scrawny, pimply white ass it’s all about race. Then, shut the f*&k up, you piece of crap” Are you arguing that your words are not racist in return? Are you arguing that racism directed at white people is not racism?

    More racism doesn’t solve anything. I don’t see Thelonuis’ remarks as inherently racist, but I would agree with “no plight here” that his/her remarks were certainly race baiting.

    Look at it this way. If your statement would have been “You bet your sweet, scrawny, pimply BLACK ass it’s all about race” it would have been seen as racist.

    As far as I can tell, no one said or implied on this thread that their isn’t a “deep undercurrent of racism in this country”. Your arguments that people are thinking that, and bringing up the pain and anguish of the debacle in New Orleans as proof of a larger problem that isn’t being discussed on this board only proves that your response is based on an agenda other than what is going on in front of you, or you are trying to diffuse the issue of your own racism.

    Just because you hijack a thread and accuse people of having their heads in the sand doesn’t mean it is so, but it is evidence that you might have anger issues and other problems taking ownership of your own areas of growth.

    Your original response was over the top. Your second response was weak and self serving. Frankly, you are the kind of person who thinks he’s doing good when actually you are hurting the cause of racial healing and understanding. We call people who act like you “well intentioned dragons.”

    Until you learn to respond to hate without hate, please don’t respond. You’re not helping.

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