Apple Computers Launched
The 1st of April 1976 AD
Silicon Valley was to the latter part of the 20th century what the Californian Gold Rush was to the middle of the 19th. In Silicon Valley fortunes were made almost overnight; men and women seeking their chance in the booming new world of high-tech flocked to the area as their forerunners had made their way to San Francisco a century earlier. But in the case of the founders of Apple Computer Inc, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, they already live there.
The two men met in 1970, and became friends; both later belonged to the Homebrew Computer Club, founded in 1975, and it was there in February 1976 that Wozniak first demonstrated the simplified computer he had built in his spare time. Jobs was impressed, and persuaded his friend they should go into business to market the machine. They raised $1300 to fund it by selling Jobs’ old VW van and Wozniak’s scientific calculator, and on April 1 1976 formed a partnership with Ronald Wayne, an acquaintance of Jobs’ from his time at Atari, and someone with more life experience and a track-record in running a business. Wayne designed the Apple logo, wrote the partnership agreement, and put the manual together for the new machine. Sadly for him Wayne was concerned that the partnership threatened his financial security, as he was the only one with significant assets, liable to losing them should the partnership bomb: he sold his 10 per cent share of the business for $800 a matter of days after it came into being.
Wozniak and Jobs hand-built the Apple I machines (in fact just the printed-circuit board element of a computer) in a bedroom then a garage, selling the first 50 to a new computer store in Mountain View California. The two men were on their way to becoming billionaires.
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