Guy Kewney. He's Editor of NewsWireless. He's European Wireless Editor of eWeek.com. He does a regular back page column for IT Week, and the regular lead column for Personal Computer World. You wanted to know more about him?
Guy Kewney was not always Editor of NewsWireless.net, nor was he always one of the UK's best-known high-tech writers and pundits. There was even a time when he didn't make any money at all out of speaking at corporate "open day" events or seminars. Actually, he started out with the idea of being an engineer... but probably he should have done electronics, not civil engineering.
In the beginning was the silicon transistor which, unlike the germanium transistor, could be built in sixes. "Can you build a whole amplifier like that?" asked the schoolboy Kewney, back in the days of the Mullard 0C71 (germanium). Yes, said the physics expert. On the same bit of silicon, too. "Wow!"
In those days, there weren't such things as computers. Guy Kewney got his first job after leaving his Engineering course at University, by going into the brand new shiny world of mainframes in 1965, working for English Electric Leo Marconi Computers. EELM - you won't find many Google hits on that.
It would be pleasing to boast that he rapidly rose to become chief systems manager. No, nothing like that! - within a year, it was obvious to him that he would never make much of a living programming in Usercode or Cleo (a cut-down Cobol, and if you don't know what Cobol was, it's best not to ask) and he decided to follow his other obsession, creative writing.
Writing was rather more successful, but don't get excited about the early years of his career. A bit of civil engineering, a bit of underground engineering, commercial vehicles, toys, visible record computers and Volvo cars, not to mention motor racing, airline advertising, financial promotion - you get the idea? He didn't settle down till after he got married, left the airline business, and went back into journalism in 1970, writing freelance articles for advertising papers like Campaign and Adweek. And then, Dataweek got him back into high tech. And within a year of his joining Dataweek, it folded. Went bust. Died. Guy Kewney joined Electronics Weekly as Computer Correspondent in 1973/4 and immediately found himself in an argument.
In those days, anything made of silicon was a component. "But microprocessors are computers, and I'm going to cover the subject, because the components correspondent doesn't know how they work, and I do," he informed the Editor. The Editor wasn't sure. Guy was; he made sure he went to all the press announcements about the early 6800 and 8080 and names like Mostech, Intersil, Zilog, Fairchild, and oh, yes, Intel. And it was immediately obvious that the important news was not "how many pins does the chip have?" but "How do you program it, and what languages are available for it and how much memory can it address?" - computer questions.
Within three years, he was head-hunted to be Chief Reporter on Computing, then an up-and-coming young punk kid of a magazine. And during that time, he started moonlighting as Computer Consultant to New Scientist, and just for fun and a bit of beer money, started writing a column of news for a struggling startup magazine, Personal Computer World. That became a legend. The "Newsprint" column grew, and so did the PC industry. When Guy Kewney left PCW to launch PC Magazine's UK edition with Ziff-Davis at the beginning of the 90s, he had edited three other newspapers in his spare time - Datalink, MicroScope and PC Dealer. He had also done some more moonlighting as presenter and TV series consultant to Thames TV for "Database" for four years, and for Channel 4 for "4 Computer Buffs" for a year, plus the odd spot for the BBC - something he still does from time to time. He'd also been European editor of several US publications, starting with Creative Computing and Infoworld. At
Ziff-Davis, with the absurd title of Editorial Fellow (he claims it was a joke which the Americans took seriously) he wrote for PC Mag, PC Direct, Computer Life (it died) and IT Week as well as for the cheeky upstart, ZDNet - a job which took over his life. When ZD was swallowed by the economics engineering conglomerate of SoftBank, he escaped into ZDNet full time for two years, as their chief European commentator on all matters of high tech, from online porn to spam, from PCs to encryption... and into the dot-com bubble.
With the collapse of that bubble, Guy did the obvious thing. He started a dot-com company, AuthorIT Publishing Ltd.
Today, as part of AuthorIT, he runs NewsWireless - the focus on mobile IT, asking: "What's in IT for the mobile user?" and writes columns. You can find his trenchant and sometimes relevant opinions on the back page of IT week every week, inside PCW (still!) and as European Wireless Editor of eWeek.com - and of course, inside any other publication he gets offered the right fee to write for.
He's said to be excellent at after-dinner talks, keynotes, chairing round table debates. He does the odd bit of media training, teaching naive executives what it's like to deal with the press. He writes the odd White Paper. He has always done the occasional article for papers like the Guardian or the Independent or the Times or the Financial Times.