People nowadays cherish the Apple brand mostly because of Steve Jobs – a charismatic leader whose passion flows like a torrent through Apple’s veins even after his death. Few actually know that it was another Steve who made it equally possible for you to enjoy using an iPhone or an iPad today.
His name is Steve Wozniak, the guy who became friends with Jobs in the 70s and started the company Apple Computer based on the former’s technological breakthroughs – such as upgrading graphics to color using a one-dollar chip.
This and many other such tidbits can be found in a paper featured by InformationWeek: “System Description: The Apple-II by Stephen Wozniak”
Woz, as the Apple blogosphere calls him, thinks “a personal computer should be small, reliable, convenient to use and in expensive,” as he said in 1977.
“The Apple-I, my first video oriented single board computer, was designed late in 1975 and sold by word of mouth throughout California and later nationwide through retail computer stores,” he wrote.
“I think that the Apple-I computer was the first microprocessor system product on the market to completely integrate the display generation circuitry, microprocessor, memory and power supply on the same board.”
He explained in the original BYTE Magazine article that, thanks to these breakthroughs, this meant that owners could run the Apple BASIC interpreter with no hardware add-ons, other than the much-needed video monitor and, of course, a keyboard.
Woz further noted that his original Apple had been originally designed to work as “a television terminal product.”
The system could also be used “in a stand alone mode with out much in the way of memory, although it did have a processor, space for 8 K bytes of 4 K dynamic memory chips, and its shared video generation and dynamic memory refresh logic,” he wrote.
At five page-long, complete with imagery, Woz’s “system description” is sure not to disappoint any die-hard geek.