Computer Science Illuminated, Third Edition

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From a Garage to the Fortune 500

The story of Apple Computer begins long before the incorporation of the partnership between Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. In high school, both boys were very interested in electronics, and were considered outsiders by most of their classmates. When they graduated from high school, Wozniak went to University of California, Berkeley, and Jobs ventured to Reed College in Oregon. Steve Wozniak aspired to be an engineer; he was fascinated by mathematics and actively applied his knowledge whenever he could. He loved inventing gadgets and tinkering with electronic devices. Wozniak decided to leave school in the mid 1970s, and began working for Hewlett Packard. Jobs likewise left school before finishing his degree. Atari hired Jobs, who in a few months had saved enough money to travel to India on a spiritual journey of sorts. His adventure eventually took him back to California where he soon reconnected with Wozniak and began attending Wozniak's "Homebrew Computer Club" meetings. Woz meanwhile was actively involved in the latest technology. He and John Draper created "blue boxes," devices that enabled phone hackers to make long distance calls for free.

Jobs recognized that Wozniak's skills in electronics were superior to his own, but Wozniak was developing technology for the simple joy of it, and Jobs saw a money-making opportunity. Jobs convinced the engineering whiz Wozniak to work with him to create a personal computer. In 1976, Wozniak developed the Apple I and Jobs took the lead in marketing the item. It was not until Apple II debuted in 1977, however, that the invention made a splash. Sales were increasing and soon gained momentum with the creation of the Apple Disk II in 1978. By 1980, Apple Computer had become and international company with thousands of employees. Today it stands as a principle player in computer technology, and "apple" is a household name.

Wozniak and Jobs capitalized on what they knew best: Wozniak used his talent as an engineer and his interest in gadgets to create and invent new technology, and Jobs utilized his entrepreneurial spirit and courage to take a great idea and make it available to millions of people.

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Apple Computer
Read more about the history of Apple Computer as well as its current endeavors on the Apple History website.

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