I just closed it and put it away, or rather, I put in on a table with some notion that I’d probably find another place for it later. So, what is “it”? My MacBook.
Where All Memories Go
I’m not the most organized person on the planet. I have magazines piled everywhere, chargers coiling in the corners, and my phone seems to hate me and hide in the farthest nook possible. I could probably lose an elephant in my sitting room. They really should invent something so that your phone could answer your call, for when it’s lost and “here kitty-kitty” doesn’t work. However, they invented the fitness wristband instead, of all things!
When cleaning up my apartment, I would just scoop my old MacBook up with everything else and shove it away onto the window sill or into the armchair. It’s not that it weighs a ton, I just had no place for it. Every time I caught a glimpse of my old MacBook, I promised, I’d do something with it. I had trusted the laptop with my photos, emails, and shopping needs. I had trusted it with pieces of my life, memories frozen in time, a glimpse here, a snap there, and then I completely forgot about it.
My sad and forgotten MacBook is outdated, has scrapes and scratches, and I’ve lost the Lightning cable somewhere. But my gran has picture albums, and my mom has piles of DVDs and boxes full of VHS tapes stacked somewhere in the attic. (Where you could lose an elephant and a tiger, by the way.) I’ve got an account on iTunes and iCloud, and this old MacBook. It’s not like I’m going to pass it on to my grandkids. They’ll have had brain implants by the time I leave this world.
But, that’s not the point. My point is: would I be giving away more than an old laptop? Or am I just imagining things?
Foundation of Apple…
SSteve Jobs met Syeve Wozniak at the Homebrew Computer Club, in a garage in California’s Menlo Park. Wozniak had seen his first MITS Altair there, and was inspired by MITS’ build-it-yourself approach to make something simpler for the rest of us.
So, he produced the first computer with a typewriter-like keyboard and the ability to connect to a regular TV. Later, he christened the Apple I. It was the archetype of every modern computer, but Wozniak wasn’t trying to change the world with what he’d produced – he just wanted to show off how much he’d managed to do with so few resources. Steve Wozniak explained that “When I built this Apple I… the first computer to say a computer should look like a typewriter – it should have a keyboard – and the output device is a TV set, it wasn’t really to show the world that here is the direction it should go in. It was to really show the people around me, to boast, to be clever, to get acknowledgement for having designed a very inexpensive computer.”
It almost didn’t happen, though. Wozniak told the Sydney Morning Herald, “I was shy and felt that I knew little about the newest developments in computers.” He came close to giving the Club a miss. But he didn’t. Then Steve Jobs saw the computer and recognized its brilliance. He sold his VW microbus to help fund its production. Wozniak sold his HP calculator, and together they founded Apple Computer Inc on April 1, 1976, alongside Ronald Wayne – now making Apple a 40 year old company!
By the way, the name caused Apple problems in later years, as it came uncomfortably close to the Beatles’ publisher, Apple Corps, but its genesis was innocent enough. Speaking to Byte magazine in December 1984, Wozniak credited Jobs with the idea. “He was working from time to time in the orchards up in Oregon. I thought that it might be because there were apples in the orchard or maybe just its fruitarian nature. Maybe the word just happened to occur to him. In any case, we both tried to come up with better names but neither one of us could think of anything better after Apple was mentioned.” Wozniak built each computer by hand, and wanted to sell them for little more than the cost of their parts – at a price that would recoup their outlay if they shipped 50 units.
But, Jobs priced the Apple I at $666.66, and inked a deal with the Byte Shop in Mountain View to supply it with 50 computers at $500 each. Byte Shop was going out on a limb, as the Apple I didn’t exist in any great numbers, and the nascent Apple Computer Inc didn’t have the resources to fulfill the order, nor could it acquire them. Atari, where Jobs worked, wanted cash for any components it sold him, a bank turned him down for a loan, and although he had an offer of $5,000 from a friend’s father, it wasn’t enough. In the end, it was Byte Shop’s purchase order that sealed the deal. Jobs took it to Cramer Electronics and, as Walter Isaacson explains in Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, he convinced Cramer’s manager to call Paul Terrell, owner of Byte Shop, to verify the order.
“Terrell was at a conference when he heard over a loudspeaker that he had an emergency call (Jobs had been persistent). The Cramer manager told him that two scruffy kids had just walked in waving an order from the Byte Shop. Was it real? Terrell confirmed that it was, and the store agreed to front Jobs the parts on thirty-day credit.””
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