75 years of Innovators: Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs

Jan. 8, 2004
In 1976, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs (right) invented the first ready-made personal computer. They built the prototype Apple I in a garage.

In the 75 years since Machine Design began publication, here are some of the people who have changed the way we live.

Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs
Energizing the personal computer revolution
Steve Wozniak 1950-
Steve Jobs 1955-

To fund their company, the duo sold their most valuable possessions. For Wozniak, it was his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator, for Jobs it was his Volkswagen microbus, raising $1,300.

The Apple I was the first single-board computer with a built-in video interface and onboard ROM. It sold for $666. Sales of Apple I earned Wozniak and Jobs $774,000. The Apple II had built-in circuitry letting it interface directly to a color video monitor, and earned a whopping $139,000,000 in three years of sales. The subsequent Apple III, however, was a flop partly due to its recall in 1981.

In 1984, the Macintosh was the company's comeback kid, featuring 128 k of memory, twice that of a PC, expandable up to 192 k. The Mac's 32-bit microprocessor outperformed the PC's 16-bit CPU. But its real strength was its graphic user interface, flexibility, and adaptability to perform creative work. In 1985 Wozniak and Jobs received the National Technology Medal from President Reagan.

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