Did you know Apple co-founder and tech icon Steve Wozniak started a ballet company and has appeared in numerous ballets, plays, and musicals? The Woz said he’s into the arts in a big way during an interview with former New York Times columnist now with Yahoo, David Pogue.

“I say yes to everything,” Wozniak admitted.

“The Woz” developed a philosophy by age 20 that happiness was more important than money, fame or power and has happily followed it ever since he told a packed ballroom at the Internet Summit in Raleigh Thursday afternoon.

“At 20, I asked myself, ‘Do I want to be the guy who runs a company or one who tells jokes?'” He decided to focus on creating smiles, not frowns, he said, and stuck to that ever since.

In a talk full of humor, jokes and serious tech talk, Wozniak also talked about appearing on Dancing With the Stars, his youthful pranks, his relationship with the late Steve Jobs, the first Apple products he single-handedly designed, and more.

Wozniak said he enjoyed appearing on Dancing With the Stars, doing something he’d never done before. “I don’t watch TV,” he said. They came to him. Even dancing, he said, “You do something you’ve never done before and you find solutions.”

Remembering Steve Jobs

Finding solutions might be the true litany of his life. He met Steve Jobs when he was only 16 and still in high school and the two hit it off. “I showed him the liner notes on my Bob Dylan albums. We had a similar outlook. We played pranks together.”

Both loved playing long distance phone pranks back when long distance calling cost real money. Jobs, for instance, famously called the Pope. His dream, Wozniak said, “Was to be someone important in life.”

For the first five years they knew each other, “He would come into town and look at the stuff I built and find some way to turn it into money. Wozniak, at the time, was an engineer with Hewlett Packard, a position he loved. “I wanted to be an engineer for life,” he said. “I loved that company.”

But they turned down his idea to make a personal computer for five years. Eventually, although neither of them had any money, he hooked up with jobs and a marketing person who funded their first efforts at what would become Apple Computer.

At the time, Jobs’ personality “Was just forming,” Wozniak said. He soon got to the point where he didn’t want to discuss pranks and went into business mode.

After Wozniak designed the Apple I and the Apple II, the company’s innovations in the personal computer space came apace.

Wozniak, who is still an employee of Apple – the only one there from day one to now, said he maybe takes home $50 a week from his Apple paycheck. But he bristled a bit at the suggestion that Apple lost its innovation edge after Jobs left. “Innovations like the Apple II, the iPod and the iPbone happen rarely,” he says.

On Apple Payroll, an Apple Fan

He still thinks highly of Apple, although he’s not afraid to critizize it or any other tech company. He said he was recently quoted as saying the iPhone 6 was too late. “What I should have said was that “I wished they had done it three years ago. I wanted it three years ago.”

That doesn’t mean he’s afraid to chide his employer. He had Siri before Apple bought the tech and on a trip with his wife, wanted to know if a lake they visited was the largest in California. “Googled and Googled it,” he said, coming up empty. Finally, he tried Siri and “One, two, three, four, five,” it gave him the largest lakes in the state.

When Apple bought Siri and he tried the same query he got results such as the Lakeside diner and other commercial establishments. “It’s a little better now,” he added.

He said that Jobs always opted for closed technology while he’s more in favor of the open tech route, but “There is a place for closed.”

He talked about a plane crash that caused him temporary memory loss, going back to college and taking psychology to study memory and finding that “No one knew how the brain is wired.”

Many people don’t know that Wozniak is such a believer in education that he spent full days teaching 5th, 6th and 9th grade classes in computer use “With no press allowed.”

At Heart He’s Happy

Nowadays, he said, he travels so much he’s often only home one day a month.

“People in other countries want to know how to start their own Silicon Valley, so they ask me to talk about it.”

One thing he doesn’t think is going to happen is artificial intelligence that equals human consciousness because “We’re at the end of Moore’s law (how fast a computer can crunch data).

Wozniak said he still doesn’t “hide out” the way many businessmen do. His email is out there and answering people – he admits he can’t answer everyone – takes a lot of his time.

But The Woz basically a happy man, a fact that radiated from his presence, and he attributed it to that philosophical decision he made way back when he was a lad of 20.