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.


Recent News

Social media can be a huge force for change, and in these times where many of us are bouncing in and out of lockdowns, also a vital lifeline for communication on everything from important matters to the wildly trivial. We’re all allowed our personal obsessions, after all. However, many of us don’t think about the

Microsoft recently released its first public-facing beta version of the Windows 11 operating system that it will ship later this year. You’ve got to be signed up to its Windows Insider program to get it – and be willing to accept a little risk in terms of unstable operating systems – but then this is

Telstra recently announced that its 5G coverage for its mobile phone network covers around 75% of the Australian population. It’s also announced the “longest” (as in range) 5G phone call in the world, spanning some 113km in Gippsland. Meanwhile, rival telco Optus has claimed that it’s hit 300mbps upstream on trials of its emerging mmWave

Microsoft recently announced its next generation of the Windows operating system, Windows 11. If you’re thinking that seems odd given it did announce some years back that Windows 10 would be the “final” version of Windows, you’re not alone. For many years now, Microsoft’s simply provided Windows 10 updates rather than “new” versions of Windows,

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More