Report: Woz tells Paul Allen to stop trolling

Reports of the Apple co-founder's remarks to a Silicon Valley Conference suggest that he tells the Microsoft co-founder to stop getting in bed with lawyers.

It's like Batman's Robin getting upset with Holmes' Dr. Watson.

For it seems that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak isn't entirely happy with the behavior of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and decided to tell him so. Not to his face, it seems. But almost.

The Register reports that Wozniak dedicated some pointed, if not poignant, remarks toward Allen at the Embedded System Conference Silicon Valley in San Jose, Calif., last week.

He reportedly declared: "That patent-troll thing...the other night Paul Allen was speaking at the Computer History Museum and I had four tickets. And I decided at the last minute not to go, because I remembered he's suing all these companies like Apple and Google--but he's not suing Microsoft--because he bought all these patents."

So is one to understand that when he got his tickets, Wozniak had forgotten about some of Allen's patent-hugging activities and then, at the prospect of going to the museum to see him, he suddenly remembered?

I wasn't aware that such diva-esque behavior could be so publicly on display among the left-brained. And yet, these were reportedly not the last of Wozniak's critical offerings.

Steve Wozniak, troll fighter. CC Koeln.de/Flickr

For he is said to have continued: "Well heck, Paul Allen should be out there investing in companies that are doing something, making products, actually making a new future for the world, and not 'I'm...going to sue people, and get in bed with the lawyers to make my money.' That's not the right way."

Well, heck, indeed. It's not as if either of them need the money. And there is surely a certain decorum to be followed by those who co-founded famous companies and then branched out into other worlds by means as various as spaceships and Segways. How could Allen not be aware of that?

Woz is reportedly irked that so many clever engineers spend their time trolling for patents, buying them up, and cuddling them to their bosom until they can turn them into cash. I know some of these engineers. They are strange but sometimes lovable people. Yet it might be true that they are not making the most of their talents.

The Apple co-founder reportedly went on to tell his own story about how every Apple II sold made five dollars for RCA, as that company had taken out a very early patent on a character generator that wasn't even remotely real at the time.

There again, Allen surely has his own motivations for doing what he does. It's not as if he has spent his whole life post-Microsoft merely patent-trolling. His recent appearance on "60 Minutes" showed him to be a man of many parts, jamming at least as often as he is trolling.

Still, you might be wondering what Wozniak did instead of going to see Allen at the Computer History Museum. He reportedly wandered off with some friends to Marie Callender's. Not so much because he loves the pies, but because he loves the split-pea soup with ham.

I wonder if Marie has patented the recipe.

 

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