It is hard to believe that Le Trung Viet is in his seventieth, a veteran of Vietnamese Technology journalism. He is still wise, sharp, and flexible.
Le Trung Viet admitted that he was never trained as a journalist, neither he was trained to be an editor, but the love for computers dragged him in and turned a former computer engineer into an editor of a magazine.
“I was never trained as a journalist. I was trained in USSR as a computer engineer, and my first work at Vietnam was to be in a lab room for computers,” he reminded his history as a computer engineer. “When I arrived back at Vietnam, personal computers were a trend back then, but the information for them was lacked of as Vietnam was isolated by the Western European nation.”
“I and my colleagues with the first wish of bringing in more information for the computers users started to write few first articles about computers … That magazine is infamously known as PC World,” he added.
In the total of 25 years developing the PC World magazine, Le observed so many renovations happened to the computers world. From floppy disk computer to hard disk and hard drive computers, he summarized that what he has seen in the last 25 years with one meaningful “overwhelming”.
That change of computers in more than two decades is overwhelming, perhaps for the journalists and editors whom write about them. But Le never said he was exhausted by it.
“Even right now, when I am already retired, I am still looking at the computers world, watching it from distance, and following the trendy revolution of it,” he said. “When I joined TechTimes Editors’ choice, I think I am recalling myself of the good old days.”
The veteran journalist was a little bit shaking when he said those words. His eyes were about to burst into tears, nearly cried but he controlled it and manage not to let that thing happen. Then he continued to say about the award of TechTimes.
“The Editors’ Choice of TechTimes helped me feel like I am younger. It gives me a chance to work hard,” Le said.
He said that Editors Choice was not alike to his assumption, thinking that the award would be solely created for the Editors Team. But when he recognizes the fact that this award serves the social purpose, he confessed that he was glad.
We talked about this award for about 5 minutes, and then he changed our topic back to his career. I asked him. “What computer is the most appealing to you in the total of 25 years of your career as a journalist?”
He chose iMac at the first place and he explained that he picked that computer of Apple as it is the strong machine and has an attractive model. However, he does not highly rate computer that much compared to smartphones and smartwatches. He is never a fan of strong machines, but a fan of attractive and unique structured devices.
“Young people might go out there and buy a random devices just because it is the latest version or the newest one, nothing so special about that type of purchase,” he said. “Phones nowadays all kind of look the same, perhaps the only difference is the 5G connection, and I am not sure what so special about buying a new phone … I used my phone and my computer for like 4 or 5 years, and they still operate properly.”
When we dived deeper into the tech world, Le talked more about his impression of unique devices that he has used beforehand. There was a device he mentioned that I could not even catch the name of it (a Russian brand).
Then he shared about the memory of those good old days when the floppy disk computers were trending. Working in lab and then moving to a journalism department was a big decision, but after all, life often gives people such a choice.
He never imagined that he could become a journalist and as he has said, he was never trained to be a journalist. It was the computer passion that walked this man into the PC World. When he recalled those days, he said “it was passion.”
“Honestly, what keeps me with the journalism is lots of passion,” he said. “And passion is developing, even now I am retired, I am still following the tech world from the outside, following closely.”
Those emotional words from his mouth makes me remember the day when I was in the U.S., living far from family and studying journalism with a hope of convincing my family to trust in me.
I was alike to Mr. Le, trained as an economist and lawyer before shifting straight to journalism. And when I heard that common words from the mouth of him, I found the strong bond between two of us. We then talked and shared with pleasing tone. The conversation was set for only 30 minutes expanded to 1 hour and could even be longer.
What is so impressive about him is that in a hour, he could literally speak about tech without any filters or even dead seconds. But the thing he said much about was about computer.
He loves computer and loves to learn about the tech world. And that desire revolutionized a person like him. But after all, he ended his career 4 years ago, shut down one of the most impactful magazine of the tech world, PC World.
He confessed what probably made him want to quit is the lack of passion.
“Perhaps, I am older and the passion is not the same like when I was at a young age,” Le said. “I don’t mean that I am out of passion, but the desire to work and to contribute for journalism changed.”
That desire changed, but the passionate heart of him told himself that this guy has some value to contribute for the award. We were wrapping up our conversation with a question related to TechTimes Editors’ Choice. “Did you believed that your experience will be a key selling point for you when you participate in TechTimes award?” I asked.
“For sure!” he claimed.
That man then said thank you tot the whole team, shaking hands each of us, putting on our shoulders a touch of belief and whispered “the future of journalism belongs to you all, youngsters.”
I was nearly in tears immediately after that sentence of him. A veteran like him said that such a struggling guy like me will be the future of journalism. Such an honor!