Technophile: ‘I still miss the Walkman I bought in 1979’

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Miles Flint, president and chief executive of Sony Ericsson, reveals his likes and dislikes.

True Love?
A Hasselblad XPan, a panoramic camera. Taking panoramic landscape photography is a passion of mine. The Xpan takes 35 millimetre film, but if you combine it with a scanner and Adobe Photoshop, you have a complete digital production system.

What’s in your pocket?
Always a prototype mobile phone. For the past month, it’s been an M600, a new type of e-mail-oriented phone. It’s rectangular, tablet-shaped and designed for “push” [automatically delivered] e-mail, while still being practical for calls.

First crush?
The original Sony Walkman. In 1979, when working at Babcock International in power station coal-mining equipment, I bought one on a business trip to Hong Kong. The managing director I was meeting in China couldn’t stop talking about it. But I lost it when I was burgled and still miss it.

Latest squeeze?
High-definition TV. Having seen it in the making, I’m really looking forward to watching rugby and drama on it this summer.

What makes you mad?
When people ring my personal assistant (PA) and say they know me. You can always tell when they don’t because they won’t say what the call is about. Sometimes I take the call, just so I can tell them not to disrespect my PA by trying to bypass her. The call usually ends there.

Embarrassing moment?
When I had just checked in my luggage at Narita airport and I bent over to put my passport back in my briefcase. My trousers ripped from my crotch to my knees and as I stood up, I saw the head of Sony Europe, approaching.

At the time, he was either my boss or my boss’s boss and as he invited me for coffee, I wondered how I was going to tape up my trousers for the flight home.

My spare pairs were already on an intricate journey through the baggage system.

What would you most love to see?
Right now: equal prize money for women at Wimbledon. The case for it is overwhelming.

If money was no object?
A Swan 66, a 66ft yacht – and the time to sail it properly. Sailing has been an obssession since I was a teenager.

PC or Mac?
Both. I use a Mac to edit digital photos, and a PC in the office. On boats, I use PCs because there is better navigation software available for them.

Linux or Windows?
Symbian, the mobile industry-backed operating system, is the best open operating system for mobile phones. Linux and Windows are often touted as alternatives.

Google or not?
I use Google for searching. We also have a tie-up with Google. This will enable people using the next Cyber-shot camera phones to blog [place] photos on a Google site with a single click.

How wrong have you been?
Ask my wife. She’s got a long list of things of things I never admit to. Not listening might be among them.

Company to watch?
Any company which consistently does something different with its branding and design. Duchamp for ties that stand out, Maserati for cars, Breguet for watches and Mulberry in luggage.

Left field technology
Technology that will enable you – even if you are on a trip to Tokyo – to call up the TV programme you recorded at home last night.

Transportable TV and film content is finally going to turn the dream of any content on any device at any time into a deliverable consumer proposition.

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