Apple I. History - detailed and with photos.

Original author: Tom Hormby
  • Transfer
Responding to the wishes of karguine in the commentary on my yesterday's topic Apple I or the Mother of All Apple Motherboards - a more detailed history of the creation of Apple I.
By 1975, microprocessors were already widespread - but there were no computers and software that would allow them to be implemented opportunities.
The first widely available personal computer was Altair, which used an Intel 8080 processor. It was so primitive by today's standards that it did not even have built-in keyboard and monitor support. The user entered his program using 16 switches on the front panel, and the results were displayed with flashing lights. It was possible to buy a teletype interface, but it was very expensive, slow and loud.

Apple was created out of a desire to provide users with truly convenient and affordable personal computers. The company was founded by two Californians, Steve Jobs (he was then 21 years old) and 26-year-old Steve Wozniak.
Jobs worked at Atari, the video game manufacturer that dominated at that time, and Steve Wozniak at Hewlett-Packard, who produced minicomputers and calculators (some of the calculators were not inferior in complexity and power to the first personal computers). The guys were friends. Wozniak helped Jobs create the most popular Atari video game Breakout.

Steve Wozniak had long wanted to have a personal computer, but the Motorola and Intel processors available at that time were too expensive. When the designers who left Motorola released the 6502 processor for only $ 20, which was eight times less than the Intel 8080 and Motorola 6800, Wozniak immediately appreciated the opportunities.
He developed the BASIC language for 6502 and a simple computer to work with it. Jobs, impressed by what he saw, convinced Wozniak to bring the prototype to a computer that could be sold. Wozniak agreed. That's how Apple I was born.
Even before the machine was ready for sale, Jobs told Paul Terrell, the owner of the Byte Shop, about the computer. He appreciated the idea and made an order for 50 computers.

Apple I was an extremely innovative machine. It was one of the first computers to come assembled. It was only necessary to add a case, and the buyers of Paul Terrel received a case made to order by a local carpenter. Buyers of other computers usually had to assemble them on their own.
Apple I did not use the usual teletype terminal at the time. Instead, it included a TV interface that was fast compared to displays on other personal computers that ran at 60 characters per second.
Apple I had one very big flaw - there was no way to store information. If you wrote a 3,000-line program on BASIC, you had to re-enter it every time you turned on the computer.
Paul Terrell asked Wozniak to find a solution, and a solution was found. Wozniak designed the adapter, allowing Apple I to use tape coils as memory. Terrel sold this adapter for $ 75 along with the Star Wars game written in BASIC.
The idea was interesting, but not very workable, because to record tape that a computer could read, you needed a recording device of very high quality.
The solution was again found by Steve Wozniak. The first floppy drive was designed and assembled by hand in June 1978. It connected to the Apple II. But that's another story…

Also popular now: