Apple I personal computer
ManufacturerApple Computer Inc
DimensionsW: 320mm H: 450mm D: 105mm
RelationshipsThe Three Phases Of Adoption
Steve Wozniak (1950 -), a computer hobbyist, was dabbling in computer design from high school. While working for Hewlett-Packard in the mid-1970s he built himself a computer using the new MOS technology 8-bit 6502 microprocessor and an old design for a video terminal for mainframe remote access.
In an environment dominated by computer kits with cumbersome input and output devices, Wozniak’s computer represented a significant step towards a marketable personal computer. The design for what would become the Apple I employed an elegant economy of component architecture to perform the tasks of processing, generating video output and refreshing memory simultaneously, and it was easily connected to a keyboard. These differences made his computer simpler to use and cheaper to produce and sell than other kits available at the time.
Wozniak was showing off his design at a Homebrew computer club meeting in California and handing out schematics to people interested in building one when he ran into Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011), who suggested they sell it and within weeks he had an order for 100 kits from a local computer parts shop4. The production run for the Apple I was approximately 200. There are about 50 surviving examples in public and private collections worldwide. This is one of them.
The Blue Box was the first ‘product’ designed, produced and sold by Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who was then an employee of Hewlett-Packard. It allowed the user make free telephone calls to anywhere in the world by generating telephone companies’ ‘secret’ audio frequency tones. This early endeavour by the two Steves from 1972 heralded the beginnings of a partnership that was to later blossom in the development of Apple’s early products.