Who are the people behind the technology that we love so much? We know the products, the websites, the online personalities but we want to learn more!
Every week here at MyMac.com, we will spotlight a company, developer or person that supports Apple users by creating solutions or entertainment for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and other platforms we all use and love by asking them to answer seven questions.
This week, we turn our attention to Ken Winograd from TinyBooks Pro
1 – How did you get your start in technology?
Hard to say, since I’ve always been into technology and electronics. I’m told my first word was “wire”! I built Heathkits as a kid, studied electronics, loved hardware, but then gravitated more to software.
2 – What is your favorite computer of all time?
Hey, that’s a tough question! Every computer I’ve had was my current favorite at the time. From punchcards on a room-filling IBM computer at MIT, to a single-board 6502-based Kim-1 (imagine a chess program in 1K of RAM!), and a Sym-1 were all such fun. But, I guess I really came into my own with the Apple II. Such power and what a fun machine. Then along came the Mac, and that’s where I’ve been ever since.
3 – Tell us about your latest product
At the moment, my website is all about a Mac program called TinyBooks Pro. TinyBooks Pro is an ultra-simple, single-entry, small business accounting program. I know everyone hates accounting, but I try to make TinyBooks Pro so easy to use that even people who hate accounting, love TinyBooks Pro. It’s not for everyone – many businesses are too big to use the program. But, if you’re really a small business, and the subset of accounting functions that TinyBooks Pro includes is sufficient for your business, there’s nothing simpler. That’s its niche.
4 – What was your first job?
My first job out of college was as a Quality Control Engineer at a company called Photon. They made computerized phototypesetters used by major newspapers. This was in the day before computer chips, and the “computer” was actually composed of hundreds of intricately wired NAND gates. The phototypesetters were huge, noisy beasts with bright focused lights and high-speed spinning font wheels and were just a ton of fun to work with.
5 – What advise would you give to younger people just getting into technology?
The easy answer would be to quote Joseph Campbell and just say, “Follow Your Bliss”…and how true that is. But, truth be told, things are moving so fast, technologically speaking, these days, instead of my giving advice to young people, I’d hope to get some ideas from them. Kids today grow up with technology so naturally, the new app ideas will more likely come from them than from me. I have a lot to learn!
6 – Who was your inspiration?
I’m a big fan of physicists, astronomers and more. I love reading about and thinking about the big questions. But, more down to earth, I’d name Steve Wozniak…just a real smart, dedicated, clever hacker (in the good sense of the word!). Designing hardware and software for the pure joy of it.
7 – Where can people follow you online, and what is your website?