Hugh Pickens writes: "Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is going back to work as chief scientist at Fusion-io, a start-up company that tweaks computers to let them tap vast amounts of storage at very quick rates. In the early days of Apple, Wozniak stood out as one of Silicon Valley's most creative engineers demonstrating a knack for elegant computer designs that made efficient use of components and combined many features into a cohesive package and Wozniak will do similar work at Fusion-io, although this time with larger server computers and storage systems rather than PCs. "I have a pretty quiet life, and I like to watch technology evolve," says Wozniak. "In this case, I like the people and the product, and said I would like some greater involvement." Fusion-io packs flash chips together on a module that gives quick access to data with performance comparable to DRAM and storage capacity on par with today's hard disks. A $10,000 module from Fusion-io can handle much of the work usually done by storage systems costing more than $100,000 sold by EMC, NetApp and others. The idea of eliminating a middleman — in this case, a storage maker — appealed to Wozniak's penchant for efficient hardware designs. "In my opinion, it's absolutely a game-changing product." Would Wozniak like to return to Apple someday? "I have thought about that in recent years, but it's not on my mind at all right now," he says. "I think I have a better place at smaller companies looking at new ideas.""
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