steve jobs

Wayback Wednesday: Apple Computers 1976

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Apple Computer Image One
Designed by Ronald Wayne
Isaac Newton under an apple tree.
Image Credit: wikimedia.org & wikipedia.org

Forty-four years ago, today, the Apple Computer Company was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, though Wayne sold his share back within 12 days. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, it grew from the “two Steves” into a multinational company. Jobs and Wozniak met in 1971 via mutual friend Bill Fernandez. Their partnership began with autodidact Wozniak’s blue boxes build and Jobs salesmanship. Jobs split the blue box profits with Wozniak.

Wozniak designed a video terminal and, new microcomputers, such as the Altair 8800 and the IMSAI, inspired [him] to build a microprocessor into his video terminal and have a complete computer. [He] designed computers on paper, waiting for the day he could afford a CPU. When MOS Technology released its 6502 chip in 1976, Wozniak wrote a version of BASIC for it, then began to design a computer for it to run on. When Jobs saw Wozniak’s computer, which would later become known as the Apple I, he was immediately interested in its commercial potential.

Blue Box Image Two
Wozniak’s Blue Box
Computer History Museum
Photo Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

Initially, Wozniak intended to share schematics of the machine for free but, Jobs insisted that they should, instead, build and sell bare printed circuit boards for the computer. Jobs eventually convinced Wozniak to go into business together and start a new company of their own. According to Wozniak, Jobs proposed the name “Apple Computer” when he had just come back from Robert Friedland’s All-One Farm in Oregon. Jobs told Walter Isaacson that he was “…on one of my fruitarian diets…” when he conceived of the name and thought “…it sounded fun, spirited and not intimidating…plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book.”

The information on Apple, Jobs & Wozniak is extensive. This post is a mere highlight of its beginnings. I won’t be reinventing the wheel, here. I will say, though, that the very first computer I ever programmed on in 1983, using BASIC, was an Apple II. ~Vic

Wayback Wednesday: Apple iTunes & iPhones

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Steve Jobs iTunes Photo
Photo Credit: computerweekly.com

January 9 has been a very special day to Apple, Inc. On this day in 2001, Apple announced iTunes at MacWorld San Francisco, an application for Internet radio, music playing, ripping music from CDs and maintaining a library. The software ran on MacOS and Windows and, in 2003, you could download media from the iTunes Store. In 2005, Apple extended functionality for video and podcasts…University lectures in 2007 and, books in 2010. iTunes Radio, free music streaming, came in 2013 followed by Apple Music, paid music streaming, in 2015.

iTunes Logos Image
Image Credit: themusicsite.com

Apple has come under criticism for its digital rights management (DRM) encryption FairPlay. The protection of the music greatly limited what devices could play the files and brought about a movement to remove the restrictions. Steve Jobs penned an open letter to the music industry in February 2007. By April, non-DRM music appeared for download and the entire music catalog was DRM-free in January 2009.

1st Generation iPhone Image
Image Credit: igotoffer.com

On this day in 2007, Apple announced their first smartphone…again, at the MacWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Quote from Steve Jobs:

“This is a day that I have been looking forward to for two and a half years. Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone.”

From Wikipedia:
Apple created the device during a secretive and unprecedented collaboration with AT&T, formerly Cingular Wireless. The development cost of the collaboration was estimated to have been $150 million over a thirty-month period. Apple rejected the “design by committee” approach that had yielded the Motorola ROKR E1, a largely unsuccessful collaboration with Motorola. Instead, Cingular Wireless gave Apple the liberty to develop the iPhone’s hardware and software in-house. The whole effort was called Project Purple 2 and began in 2005. Six weeks before the iPhone was to be released, the plastic screen was replaced with a glass one, after Jobs was upset that the screen of the prototype he was carrying in his pocket had been scratched by his keys.

With the iPhone X costing $1,000 dollars, Apple rules the world.