Happy 31st birthday, Apple Computer!

Apple Computer, Inc. is 31 years old today! Time Magazine’s 80th anniversary issue featured a look back over 80 years in a piece titled “80 Days That Changed the World,” published on March 31, 2003. Lev Grossman wrote about one such day that changed the world, the founding of Apple Computer, Inc. on April 1, 1976:

They were two guys named Steve, so Steve Jobs was called Steve and Steve Wozniak went by Woz. At 25, Wozniak was the technical brains. Jobs, 21, was the dreamer with a knack for getting others to dream along with him. They had gone to the same high school, and in the hazy years after graduation (both were college dropouts) a shared interest in electronics brought them together. Jobs didn’t yet have his own place, so when their formal partnership began, the decision was made in a bedroom at his parents’ ranch house in Los Altos, Calif.

Most computers in 1976 were room-size machines with Defense Department-size price tags, but Wozniak had been tinkering with a new design, and his computer was different. It wasn’t much to look at – just a bunch of chips screwed to a piece of plywood – but it was small, cheap and easy to use, and Jobs had noticed the stir it caused when they took it to a local computer club. “He said, ‘We’ll make it for 20 bucks, sell it for 40 bucks!'” Wozniak remembers. “I kind of didn’t think we’d do it.” Jobs came up with the name, inspired by an orchard in Oregon where he had worked with some friends: Apple Computer. “When we started the little partnership, it was just like, Oh, this will be fun,” Wozniak says. “We won’t make any money, but it’ll be fun.”

They didn’t go out and celebrate that day. Woz wouldn’t even quit his day job designing chips for calculators at Hewlett-Packard until months later, after Jobs had sold his Volkswagen bus for seed money. Nobody, not even Jobs, saw what was coming next: that Apple would create the look and feel of every desktop in the world and start our love affair with the personal computer.

Full article here.

24 Comments

  1. Oh come on! If Microsoft hadn’t demoed it, Apple couldn’t have copied it and brought out the first commercial, widely accepted, GUI interface on the first Mac in 1984.

    The only reason Microsoft wasn’t first and it took until Windows 95 for them to gain wide acceptance for their Windows GUI interface was that they were working on security issues before they released their wonderful creation.

    You Mac Fanboiz n’ Fangrlz make me sick.

  2. “Oh come on! If Microsoft hadn’t demoed it, Apple couldn’t have copied it and brought out the first commercial, widely accepted, GUI interface on the first Mac in 1984.

    The only reason Microsoft wasn’t first and it took until Windows 95 for them to gain wide acceptance for their Windows GUI interface was that they were working on security issues before they released their wonderful creation.

    You Mac Fanboiz n’ Fangrlz make me sick.”

    You have to be joking!!! You really need to read up on some history. Apple had GUI a long time before Microsoft Demoed it. I can’t believe how stupid you are.

    Get you facts straight before you open your mouth.

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