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Home > Learn More > Tech > The History of Apple

The History of Apple

Before Steve Wozniak was co-founder of Apple, he hacked electronics. As a child Wozniak became so enthralled with mathematical questions that his mother would shake him to bring him to reality. In  1975, Wozniak was working at Hewlett-Packard and helping his friend Steve Jobs to design Atari video games. Jobs and Wozniak had been friends for a long while, since 1971, when they were introduced by mutual friend Bill Fernandez.. In 1975 the pair had been purchasing computer time on a variety of minicomputers  Wozniak read a 1975 issue of Popular Electronics on how to build a computer and based on this Wozniak designed the Computer Converser, a 24-line by 40-column, uppercase-only video teletype that he could use to log onto the minicomputers.

The same year, Wozniak started to attend meetings at the Homebrew Computer Club. Microcomputers such as the Altair 8800 and the IMSAI were an inspiration to him and propelled him to build his own A local computer store called the Byte Shop approached by Jobs,  saying  that they would be interested in a machine if it were to come completely assembled. Paul Terrel, the owner of shop, added that he would be interested in purchasing many machines, fifty to be exact and he would be happy to pay them $500 a machine. Jobs contacted Cramer Electronics, a national electronic parts distributor, to order the components needed to assemble the Apple I computing system. Wozniak and Jobs, assisted by a small crew worked relentlessly day and night, night and day constructing the units. Thanks to the credit manager at Cramer Electronics the guys were able to produce their machines which launched their multi million dollar company, while maintaining complete ownership. Wozniak and Jobs were ever clear about the fact that they did not wish to lose  ownership of their product.

The first machine they made had a few features worth noting. One was the use of a television as the display screen, whereas other systems had no display at all. The Apple I also included bootstrap code on ROM, which made it simple to initialize.  At the request of Paul Terrell, a cassette interface for loading and saving programs was integrated, at the then-rapid pace of 1200 bit/s. Though the machine was relatively simple and limited in its complexity, using far fewer components than competitors earned Steve Wozniak a notable mention as a design master. Ronald Wayne joined the Steve’s in assisting with the building of the machines. The three used numerous methods, including borrowed space from family and friends. Jobs secured components needed for the production the units while Wozniak and Ronald assembled the machines.

As time passed and the early 1980’s came into focus, Apple Computer faced increasing competition from numerous companies. The Commodore was in fact the primary competitor for Apple. It was already an established computer company which was outselling Apple at that time. The Apple II was established already as a business-ready computing platform.  Later the Apple III was designed an order to challenge the IBM PC domination of the business environment. The Apple III was a conservative design for computers of that time. Steve Jobs was insistent that he wanted the system to not have a fan Instead he wanted the heat caused by the electronics to be discharged by way of the chassis. The constant evolution of Apple has proven that  Steve and Randy are savvy in their approach and undoubtedly will continue to forge ahead bringing new versions of the original design into play.

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