The first Apple

The first Apple

When the Homebrew Computer Club came into existence, Wozniak began attending its meetings. As he later would recall, Homebrew was a revelation for him and changed his life. He met people who "shared his love for computers") and learned from them as well a s he encouraged them with his technical expertise. Others brought along their Altairs, which Wozniak was interested in but could not afford. He realized this computer resembled the Creme Soda Computer he had built some time ago.

Soon after, Chuck Peddle at MOS Tech released his new 6502 microprocessor chip for only $20, which was a sensation compared to the usual price of $400 for those chips then. Suddenly, Woz saw his chance and decided to write the first BASIC for it, which was the most spread programming language. After finishing with the BASIC, he made a computer for it to run on. The other hobbyists at Homebrew were impressed by Wozniak's kit, which actually was a board with chips and interfaces for a keyboard and a video mon itor.

Steve Jobs saw the opportunity of this machine, which they named Apple, and finally persuaded Wozniak to start a company in April 1976. The two raised the money for the prototype model with a printed circuit board by selling Jobs' VW microbus and Wozniak's HP calculators. With the Apple I, Steve Wozniak had designed a "technological wonder") and made his dream of owning a computer come true. His friend Steve Jobs played the role of a salesman and his ambitious promotion made the Apple I "a star in the tigh t world of computer freaks.")

The breakthrough for the two Steves came in July, when Paul Terrell ordered 50 Apples for his Byte Shop, however on condition the computers were fully assembled in a case and equipped with a cassette interface to enable external data storage.

Jobs could "obtain net 30 days credit") for the parts they needed for their computer. Working hard in Jobs parents' garage, they managed to construct the 50 Apples within those 30 days.

The Apple I was continuously refined by Wozniak, and its sales made the young company known, partly because the company's name appeared on top of computer lists, which were published by electronics magazines in alphabetical order.

Martin Groeger
Last modified: Mon Jul 8 05:41:11 PDT