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The Apple Garage

It resembles most homes in suburban Los Altos. But the modest ranch style house at 2066 Crist Drive is a historic place—and hallowed ground for any Apple Computer follower.

Edison had his lab; modern inventors Jobs and Wozniak started Apple in the garage of this Los Altos house.

This was the boyhood home of techno-genius Steve Jobs. It’s also where he and partner Steve Wozniak kick-started the global revolution in personal computing by inventing the first Apple computer in the garage of the California home in 1975.

The Home Business
The “Apple Garage,” as it’s commonly known, was actually the second place where the start-up made computers. The first fifty Apple 1 computers were constructed in a spare bedroom at the house (which had an original street address of 1161 Crist Drive, when Los Altos annexed the land from the county during the mid-80s, the address was changed).

Jobs and Wozniak set up shop in the garage after the first batch of Apple computers were purchased by Paul Jay Terrell’s Byte Shop (for $500 apiece). And just as the Apple Computer company was much simpler during those start-up days, so was the product Jobs and “Woz” were creating; the first Apple 1 was just a circuit board.

The computer had no case, no keyboard and no monitor—which were purchased separately. These were the days when people were just learning computer programming and what computers could do.

Jobs and Wozniak in the early days of Apple. Back then there were only three employees in the struggling company.

The original Apple company was not strictly a two-man enterprise. Both Jobs and Wozniak were working day jobs at the time—Wozniak at Hewlett-Packard and Jobs at Atari. Another Atari engineer, Ron Wayne, was the third employee.

Because Apple’s early days were rocky and required multiple loans to keep the struggling company afloat, Wayne eventually doubted the venture and resigned his 10% share for $800. (Had he kept his stock, it would have been worth over 36 billion dollars today.) Wayne told interviewers, “I have never had the slightest pangs of regret, because I made the best decision with the information available to me at the time.”

The rest of the story has become modern folklore, Apple moved to bigger quarters and started to build on it’s success in the 1980′s. Eventually Steve Jobs was driven out of the company he and Wozniak had created in 1985. Jobs eventually returned to Apple and lead it to its current glory as the most-admired manufacturing company in the world.

The first Apple 1 prototype, complete with homemade cabinet. Built in a humble garage…this unit now resides in the Smithsonian.

But once upon a time, it was only two guys working in a humble garage, trying to build a dream. “It was just the two of us, Woz and me,” Jobs recalled during a mid-90s return visit to 2066 Crist Drive. “We were the manufacturing department, the shipping department…everything.” It’s a story that’s sure to wow film audiences, just as it continues to inspire young peope who want to learn to create iPhone apps – or any technology for that matter.


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posted by DMA Jordan in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak: Remembering Steve Jobs

In 1975, Steve Jobs worked for Atari. That year, the up-and-coming tech wizard was assigned the project of designing a prototype for a video game called Breakout. That’s right. Believe it or not, Jobs played a part in the history and development of Breakout, one of Atari’s earliest classics.

Steve Jobs (left) and Steve Wozniak (right), at Atari (left photo) and a few years later at Apple Computer (right photo).

For the project, Jobs was asked to design the prototype. He was offered $750, with the incentive of an extra $100 for each chip that was worked out of the design. Jobs had four days to complete the task.

A Tech Breakout 
Jobs’ friend, Steve Wozniak (the other Steve), worked at Hewlett-Packard (HP) at the time. “Woz,” as Jobs called him, made compact designs with a small number of chips. Jobs thought the two could work together on the hardware design and split the $750. Wozniak got to work. But instead of sketching out a design (as was common for the time), Woz made his by interpreting the game simply from the description.

To save on parts, Wozniak  (who was way ahead of day) used tricks that most engineers couldn’t understand. But after not sleeping for 4 days and eliminating 50 chips from Jobs’ original design, Woz met the deadline. Although his design was ultimately not used because of its complexity, the project built the foundation for a working partnership that would change the world.

Creating Apple
On April 1, 1976, Steve JobsSteve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne formed Apple with an idea. They would create and sell a personal computer kit called the Apple 1. Wozniak built each Apple 1 by hand and the kits were later unveiled to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. But the very first Apple wasn’t even something you would consider as an “Apple Computer” by today’s standards. In fact, it was just a motherboard; it came with no keyboard or monitor.

The Apple I computer went on sale in July 1976 and was sold for $666.67 (that’s $2,572 in 2011 dollars). As he would later recall, Woz came up with that price, “Because I like repeating digits.”

Steve Wozniak speaks of his friend Steve Jobs’ passing and the early days of Apple.

Steve Woniak is still actively involved in the tech community – and even though he doesn’t work full time for Apple Inc., he still receives a paycheck from the company. In 2001, he co-founded  Wheels of Zeus (WoZ) to create wireless GPS technology that would, “Help everyday people find everyday things.” He had reconnected with Jobs in recent years and the two remained friends until Jobs’ death in October 2011.

Today, high school kids are learning app development with a mind toward creating the future. They’re the next generation of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniaks. And someday they may also look back fondly on the friendships and amazing memories they made over microchips.


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posted by DMA Jordan in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments