August 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Steve Wozniak

Born on this day in 1950, little Stevie probably was the apple of his mother's eye, but he grew up to be the apple of everyone's eye! With Steve Jobs, Wozniak worked in basements and garages to invent a little thing called the first Apple computer.

Which means that Woz was a huge part of the microcomputer revolution.

This California boy left the University of California, Berkeley, to design most of the hardware and to write most of the software for the Apple I and Apple II computers (which were released in 1976 and 1977). When their company went public in 1980, both Woz and Jobs became multimillionaires.

Wozniak later returned to the university and finished up his degree (under a false name, so that he wouldn't attract too much attention).

I owned a very early Apple!

I bought my first computer, an Apple II, in the late 1970s. It was incredibly primitive by today's standards and had an incredibly small memory – again, according to today's whiz-machines. But I was definitely the only one on the block who had a home computer – maybe the only one in the whole town! – and my house was very much the focus of much interest and early computer game play. That so-simple computer also helped me revolutionize my work as an editor at an educational publishing company! It was an exciting time!

That first Apple II computer cost around $3000, even thought I didn't buy a monitor (we hooked it up to a large [27-inch?] TV). The computer only had a memory of 64 K, which is about one six-hundred-millionth of the memory on a good hard drive from Apple Computer today! Yikes-y!

Learn how computers work.

You might want to start here or here.

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