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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has thrown his support behind the growing right-to-repair movement, amid ongoing battles between tech giants and users of their products.
“I’m always totally supportive, and I totally think the people behind it are doing the right thing,” Wozniak said in a recent Cameo video. “We wouldn’t have an Apple had I not grown up in a very open technology world.”
The video was filmed in response to a question posed by right-to-repair advocate Louis Rossman.
The Woz alluded to his own experience as a young engineer and that open-source tech was instrumental to his ability to learn as an engineer.
“That aspect of self-repair is also the motivation and joy of just technical people … [of] knowing how to make the right kind of software and develop the right kind of hardware … doing these things just to prove to themselves, they’ve got a little special skill in the world and they can show it off to others. [It’s] very motivating for creative minds … that’s how I grew up,” he said.
He also pointed out being able to self-repair enabled him to manipulate the input on a TV and eventually show “the world the future of personal computers [was] going to be a keyboard and a TV”.
Wozniak continued saying that when the Apple II computer was released, it was shipped with full schematics designs, software, source listings, and code listings.
“The Apple II was modifiable and extendable to the maximum. People figured out how to convert the early display into having lowercase characters … and this product was the only source of profit for Apple for the first 10 years of the company; this was not a minor product …there were a lot of good things about that being so open that everyone could join the party,” he said.
“Sometimes when companies cooperate together with others, they can actually have better business than if they’re totally protective and monopolistic and not working with others just totally competitive,” Wozniak added.
As part of the video, he also took the opportunity to question why tech giants removed users’ right to repair.
“I believe that companies inhibited because…