|Date(s):||April 1976 to 1976|
|Location(s):||Santa Clara, California|
|Tag(s):||Apple Computer, Inc, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Computer, Apple, Silicon Valley|
|Course:||“U.S. History: 1812 - 1914,” Foothill College|
|Rating:||4.15 (155 votes)|
Apple Computer, Inc has not been around for very long, but for the time it has been around it has made significant progress. Many do not realize how it started or how new it still is. The company was founded by two men named Stephen Wozniak (Woz) and Steve Jobs who both live in the Silicon Valley in California. Wozniak was fascinated by computers in high school and dropped out of the engineering program at University of California, Berkeley to work for Hewlett-Packard (HP). At this time, Hewlett-Packard only made calculators and minicomputers. Wozniak attended a local club in Menlo Park, California, called the Homebrew Computing Club. This was where he first heard of minicomputers. Wozniak was only twenty-six years old in 1976 when he wrote a BASIC programming language for a new microprocessor. He was able to give his friends at Homebrew copies as he helped them with their own designs. Steve Jobs was only twenty-one and worked for Atari, Inc. He also shared the same interest in computers as Wozniak. They worked on a few electronic projects together. One project was making a video game called Breakout for Atari. Jobs believed Wozniak’s microprocessors could be marketed so, with the help of a friend, he sold them to other computer interested people. They started out on very little money; they each sold something so they could get a start. Jobs sold his Volkswagen van and Wozniak sold his programmable calculator. This gave them $1,350 dollars to begin production of the Apple I boards. The first computer made was called the Apple I. They purchased parts at a local electronic parts store called The Byte Shop and were able to establish credit. The first computer retail store ordered fifty Apple I computers: this was their first sale. Jobs and Wozniak started working out of Jobs' parents house in Cupertino, California. In their first year as Apple Computer, they moved from the garage to a room in Cupertino. Steve Wozniak remembers,“I had wanted a computer my whole life; that was the big thing in my life….All of a sudden I realized that microprocessors were cheap enough to let me build one myself. Steve (Jobs) went a little further. Steve saw it as a product that you could actually deliver and sell, and someone else could use.” Like many other of the first computers, the Apple I was made for other specialists who could put together and write their own programs. One may wonder where the name “Apple” came from, especially for a computer company. The idea of the name came from Jobs in 1976 when he visited friends that owned a farm that he visited often. Once he returned home, he told Wozniak about the idea. According to the Apple Museum, “Jobs probably was working on apple plantages. Or he just wanted their startup to be in front of Atari in the phone book. Or it was a tribute to Apple Records, the music label of the Beatles.” No matter where it really came from, Wozniak had a suspicion that they would get in trouble with Apple Records. Eventually, this did happen. In 1989, Apple Computer was sued by Apple Records for trademark violations. However, the name stuck and is today one of the most well-known names in electronics.