Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Why aren't there more Aussie tech celebrities?

Why aren't there more Aussie tech celebrities?

Tags : 

Australia has punched above its weight in terms of contributions to the world IT industry — the CSIRO’s role in the invention of Wi-Fi being one of the more recent examples — and yet in terms of the world’s most prominent IT “faces”, we’re barely a blip on the radar.

I was reminded of this recently due to the sad passing of the head of local ISP Exetel, John Linton. Linton passed away rapidly following a stroke, and his passing was announced on Exetel’s customer-only web site.

Linton was a fascinating character who had been involved in the local technology industry for decades. His role at Exetel grabbed the local headlines, but he’d worked at IBM and then later (and more significantly, in terms of overall local impact) Linton was at the helm of Osborne computers, which was at one time the largest PC seller in the country. Osborne was, at one time, a massive force in the local industry with plenty of local presence even in smaller regional centres, a model that nobody’s been able to duplicate since. indeed, when Osborne folded I knew more than a few folks who lost regional work as a result, and in one of life’s little quirks, I worked for some time at the company that bought out Osborne, Gateway 2000 (later just Gateway).

Linton was an outspoken and often vitriolic CEO of both Osborne and Exetel, and certainly a man that could be described as a “character”, however one choses to take that term. In more recent years, he was a notable critic of the Federal government’s Internet Filtering and National Broadband Network initiatives. I didn’t personally agree with his anti-NBN stance, but taking on Linton as a journalist was always an interesting proposition; he was vehement in his views and not afraid to speak his mind, which always made for (at the very least) some interesting headlines. If Linton didn’t like you, you were an idiot — if you were lucky.

Linton’s passing is sad, but it also gave me pause for thought. Linton was a notable figure on the local technology scene, but there are relatively few Australians who have taken that kind of Australian determination to an international scale. IT is notably not particularly bound by national borders, especially in the Internet age, and yet, so far, we’ve virtually no IT “celebrities” to speak of. I’m not sure if that’s simply a matter of scale or opportunity.


Leave a Reply

Recent News


In terms of overall storage security, it’s generally tough to beat cloud-based backup, especially if your cloud provider of choice uses an array of storage locations. With the right provider, your files of choice can be backed up in multiple locations, so even if there’s a massive internet outage, or a fire or some other… More 


After starting out as a minor player, FttDP appears destined to play a key role in Australia’s National Broadband Network. The NBN has become a political football over the last few years, with the network design changing several times along the way. As a result it’s hard to know exactly what kind of connection will… More 


The changing of the seasons presents the perfect opportunity to get into good habits when it comes to keeping your business safe. We all have our annual rituals, like changing the batteries in the office smoke alarm when we adjust the clocks for daylight savings. Just like that smoke alarm, there are digital security issues… More 


The chances are pretty good that you’ve used the GPS (Global Positioning System) hardware at some point in the recent past, whether on a dedicated satellite navigation device such as a car-based system, or any of a number of GPS apps available for popular smartphone operating systems. It’s even the basis for popular gaming applications,… More