Steve Wozniak and Apple Inc.

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“”Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.”” A quote from Stephen Gray “Woz” or Steve Wozniak. He was born on August 11, 1950 in San Jose, California. Woz is a man of many talents. “American electronics engineer, cofounder, with Steve Jobs of Apple computer, and designer of the first commercially successful personal computer” (Britannica, 2019).

Woz was a son of an electrical engineer of at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, CA, which would later be known as Silicon Valley. Intelligent, but an undisciplined student gifted in “mathematics and an interest in electronics, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for one year (1968-69) before dropping out. Returning back to California, Woz attended a community college and then the University of California, Berkeley” (Britannica, 2019). In 1971, he designed a “Blue Box” a device used to hack into the telephone networks without paying for long-distance calls. Woz and Steve Jobs (a former high school mate) began selling to other students. During the early 70’s Woz worked in small electronics firm in San Francisco Bay area before becoming employed with Hewlett-Packard Company in 1975 (Britannica, 2019). By this time, he had dropped out of UC.

Correspondingly, In San Francisco Bay area there was a group called Homebrew Computer Club. Their focus was directed to “the Altair 8800 microcomputer do-it-yourself kit, which was based on one of the world’s first microprocessors, the Intel Corporation 8080”, which was released in 1975 (Britannica, 2019). In 1976 Woz developed his microprocessor, while working at Hewlett Packard. Unfortunately, the company was not interested in developing his design. Jobs “(also a Homebrew member) showed much support and enthusiasm for Woz’s design that they decided to partner together, forming their own company, Apple Computer” (Britannica, 2019). Originally, the first essential “came from selling Jobs’s automobile” and Woz’s “programmable calculator, and they set up production in the Jobs family garage to build microcomputer circuit boards” (Britannica, 2019). The kit sales were promising, so they decided to produce a finishing product, the Apple ll; completed in 1977, which “included a built-in keyboard and support for a colour monitor” (Britannica, 2019). The Apple ll, a combination of Woz’s brilliant engineering and Jobs’ innovative “sense, was the first personal computer to appeal beyond hobbyist circle.” In 1980, the company went public, and the market value exceeded $1 billion; and, at the time the fastest rising milestone in corporate history. Not to mention, Woz’s “stock in the company made him an instant multimillionaire” (Britannica, 2019).

Consequently, Woz designed new hardware components, such as the 3.5-inch floppy disk drive for the Apple ll, and he was the brains behind many other Apple components, operating systems and its software applications. In 1981, tragically a small airplane crash forced him to go into sabbatical, and his work ended, due to him temporarily having traumatic amnesia (loss of memory for the present time), (Britannica, 2019). Shortly after Woz decided to return to UC, Berkeley under the alias of “Rocky Clark, in order to finish the computer science and electrical engineering courses needed to earn those degrees.” Once again Woz dropped out, “he eventually was given credit for his work at Apple, and the school awarded him a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1987” (Britannica, 2019).

In 1982 Woz returned to Apple, even though he resisted efforts that involved him in management. “He finally retired as an active employee in 1985, immediately after being awarded, along with Jobs, a National Medal of Technology by U.S President, Ronald W. Reagan” (Britannica, 2019). After retiring Woz spent his leisure time in philanthropic causes, especially involving the education of children, and in volunteer work teaching computer enrichment classes to preteens.

Contrarily, the original Apple Computer or Apple l, a personal computer which was released in 1976 was released by Apple Computer Company (present: Apple Inc.). Woz designed the computer and Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. They both scarified a position to finance the creation, Jobs sold his VW van and Woz sold his HP-65 calculator for $500. In July of 1976 the computer was demonstrated at Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, CA (Mac-history, 2019).

In July of 1976 Apple l went on sale at the price of US$666.66 because Woz “liked the repeating digits” and because they originally sold it for $500 an additional mark up for of one-third. They produced about 200 units of the computers. During this time most “hobbyist computers of its day, were sold as kits”, but the Apple l was fully assembled circuit board containing about 60+ chips. Rather, “to make a working computer, users still had to add a case, power supply transformers, power switch, ASCII keyboard, and composite video display”. Also, they could purchase “an optional board providing a cassette interface for storage which was later released at cost of $75” (Mac-history, 2019).

Furthermore, Apple l’s computers were distinctive from others as “all one needed was a keyboard and an inexpensive television set” (Mac-history, 2019). But for other completed “machines such as Altair 8800” “were programmed with front mounted toggle switches and used indicator lights (red LEDs, most commonly) for output, and had to be extended with separate hardware to allow connection to a computer terminal or teletypewriter machine” (Mac-history, 2019). The Apple l was an innovative machine for its time. In April of 1977 the price dropped to $475. That same month Apple ll was introduced and began shipping June of the same year, despite the fact that Apple l was continuing to be sold. Apple dropped Apple l from its price list by October 1977, and discontinued it (Mac-history, 2019).

In essence, because he designed built Apple l, Woz was the only person who could answer most customer service questions pertaining to the computer. As a result, “the company offered Apple l owners discounts and trade-ins for Apple ll to persuade them to return their computers” and to contribute to their scarcity (Mac-history, 2019). “In 1976 Concord High School Junior Wai Lee assembled one of the first 12 Apple l (no serial number), the first Apple Computer in an aluminum housing” (Mac-history, 2019).

In conclusion, this is a list of some of the accomplishments that Woz contributed to.

  • “Inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in September 2000” (Computerhope, 2019).
  • “An Apple I reportedly sold for $50,000 USD at auction in 1999” (Mac-history, 2019).
  • “A unit was sold in September 2009 for $17,000 on eBay” (Mac-history, 2019).
  • “A unit was sold on March 23, 2010 for $42,766 on eBay” (Mac-history, 2019).
  • “On June 15 2012, a working Apple I was sold at auction by Sotheby’s for a record $374,500, more than double the expected price” (Mac-history, 2019).
  • “In October 2012, another (very early – Serial number 22) Apple I in a Christie´s auction found no bidder who was willing to pay the starting price of 80.000 GBP” (Mac-history, 2019).
  • “On November 24, 2012, a working Apple I was sold at auction by Auction Team Breker for € 400,000” (Mac-history, 2019).

Work Cited

n.d. 8 March 2019.

n.d. 8 March 2019.

n.d. 8 March 2019.

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Steve Wozniak and Apple Inc.. (2019, Jan 19). Retrieved from

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