Apple 1: A Home-brew Computer

Here’s an interesting bit of computer history: the Apple 1 home computer.  This was the brain child of Steve Wozniac, who later became the co-founder of the Apple Computer Company.  But that came later.

Steve Jobs (left in image above) and Steve Wozniak both worked for Atari at the time and met in a friend’s garage in the late 1960s.  The two of them bonded over their shared interest in electronics and practical jokes.  Wozniak was a wizard at designing compact, efficient circuitry.  Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs debuted their prototype Apple 1 at the Homebrew Computer Club in 1976.

Homebrew Computer Club debut of Apple 1For $666.66, buyers received a simple single-board computer with 4K of RAM.  A cassette-based BASIC programming language simplified interaction.

Users had to add a power supply, keyboard, data storage system (cassette tape player), and a display to build a fully-functioning computer.


Apple 1 portableHere you see an Apple 1 portable computer!  The first laptop?  Maybe!

The original Apple logo was a piece of art drawn by co-founder Ronald Wayne.  apple 1 logoThe logo features Sir Isaac Newton sitting under the apple tree where he supposedly discovered gravity.

Twelve days after the trio founded the Apple Computer Company, Wayne sold his share of the company to Jobs and Wozniak for $800.00.  He claimed Jobs was arrogant and narcissistic, and he could not work with Jobs.

When the Apple Computer Company was formed, Jobs changed the logo to the iconic apple symbol.  First in a rainbow of colors, then the simple monochrome logo.  Graphic artist Rob Janoff, the designer of the new Apple logo, created it in 1977.  Mr. Janoff said he included the bite “for scale, so people get that it was an apple not a cherry.  Also it was kind of iconic about taking a bite out of an apple.”  It is said that there was a hidden pun here as well, a play on the words “bite” and “byte”.

When you watch the video below, note the current value of a working Apple 1 computer.

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