April 1st, 2007: Apple’s 31st Birthday

Happy Birthday AppleOn a more serious note, seeing as how we are all really into birthdays, don’t forget, Apple is celebrating their 31st birthday today – originally founded as Apple Computer, Inc, and now known (as of January 2007) as just Apple, Inc.

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, along with Mike Markkula (who co-signed on a $250,000 bank loan to help provide the startup funding) founded the company on April 1st, 1976. The Apple II was released in 1977 and the rest is history.

Wikipedia article:
Apple was founded on April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne (and later incorporated January 3, 1977) to sell the Apple I personal computer kit. They were hand-built in a garage of Jobs’ parents, and the Apple I was first shown to the public at the Homebrew Computer Club. Eventually 200 computers were built. The Apple I was sold as a motherboard (with CPU, RAM, and basic textual-video chips) — not what is today considered a complete personal computer. The user was required to provide two different AC input voltages (the manual recommended specific transformers), wire an ASCII keyboard (not provided with the computer) to a DIP connector (providing logic inverter and alpha lock chips in some cases), and to wire the video output pins to a monitor or to an RF modulator if a TV set was used.

Jobs approached a local computer store, The Byte Shop, which ordered fifty units and paid $500 for each unit after much persuasion from Jobs. Jobs then ordered components from Cramer Electronics, a national electronic parts distributor. Using a variety of methods, including borrowing space from friends and family and selling various items including a Volkswagen Type 2 bus, Jobs managed to secure the parts needed while Wozniak and Ronald Wayne assembled the Apple I.

The Apple II was introduced on April 16, 1977 at the first West Coast Computer Faire. Despite a price higher than competitors, it quickly pulled away from its two main rivals, the TRS-80 and Commodore PET, to become the market leader (and the symbol of the personal computing phenomenon) in the late 70s due to its color graphics, high build quality, and open architecture. While early models used ordinary cassette tapes as storage devices, this was quickly superseded by the introduction of a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive and interface, the Disk II…

Image: Wikimedia Commons