Brave new frontiers for two university dropouts
By Mercedes Deutscher, News Editor
For Steve Jobs, experimenting with electronics has always been a passion.
Although he has not received any degree beyond high school, Jobs has been successful to date in a budding career in technology by working for Atari. Yet despite the excitement of working with video games, Jobs has his eyes on newer and better technologies with the help of his partner in innovation, Steve Wozniak.
Jobs and Wozniak met five years ago at a garage computer club, where members would often experiment by building MITS Altairs—ready-to-build electronic calculators that are small enough to fit on a desktop.
Wozniak has already found some small success in computer technology, having created a box that allows the user to make long-distance phone calls for free. The box stirred enough interest to sell a few hundred units.
Both of the young men then started work on a new technology, using the MITS Altairs as inspiration. Low on funds, Jobs sold his van in order to buy parts for the machine, while Wozniak parted with his HP calculator.
Using parts bought from local computer shops, Jobs and Wozniak created the Apple. The Apple works by connecting a typewriter-esque keyboard to a circuit board. From there, the keyboard can be connected to a television monitor in order to create a display.
Seeing potential in their creation, Jobs and Wozniak—along with another peer, Ronald Wayne—decided to start their own company by the name of Apple Computers Inc.
Now, Jobs, Wozniak, and Wayne are looking to send their creation to the market. They hope to sell 50 units of the Apple, all of which are crafted by hand. So far, Apple Computers has had offers from Atari, Byte Shop, and Cramer Electronics.
However, the Apple trio is uncertain how well their computer will sell, or who they will sell it to. Despite selling personal items and receiving a grant from a friend’s father to pay for the computer parts, money is scarce. Apple Computers has attempted to take out a loan to further fund the project with no success.
The uncertainty is enough to have Wayne reconsidering his part within Apple, although Jobs has stayed confident that they will reach a breakthrough somewhere, alluding to a potential deal with Byte Shop, who have reportedly offered Apple computers $500 each on up to 50 assembled machines.