Best known as one of Apple's three co-founders (Ronald Wayne left the company in the early days before they made it big), Steve Wozniak, AKA Woz, is a sought after public speaker and is still heavily involved in the tech industry. And while he''s done all sorts of interesting things like spending almost a decade teaching kids about tech, playing Segway polo and being a co-founder of there EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), he's also well known for practical jokes.
I've read a lot about Woz over the years, both out of curiosity and as the former editor of Macworld Australia, but I learned something new about him last week. When her went back to school to complete his college degree, he used a false name to avoid attention.
During Splunk.conf last week in Orlando, Woz was asked what his proudest moments were. While he talked about a "magic ten-year period" during which Apple grew into a successful company, he said that at that time he still had a year of college left before he would receive his degree.
Always the prankster, Woz decided that a simple name wouldn't do.
"I went back to Berkeley under a fake name for one year. And my Berkeley diploma says 'Rocky Raccoon Clark'. My graduation is perhaps the proudest day of my life," he said.
Woz is perhaps one of the most interesting people in the tech industry. He has given away much of his wealth, with a huge chunk of the early Apple windfall given to employees who weren't eligible when the company went public as well donating his time for almost a decade to teach fifth grade students about tech and working on a number of not-for-profit boards. In fact, event hough he owns the domain woz.com, he uses woz.org as he says he's a "not for profit kind of guy".
For your contribution to the tech industry, thanks Rocky Raccoon Clark.
Anthony Caruana attended Splunk.conf in Orlando, Florida as a guest of Splunk.