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under occasional adult supervision from
an ex-Intel manager named Mike Markkula,
Woz & Jobs finished the Apple II and ordered a local factory
to build 1000 machines.
Two years passed between the Altair and the Apple 2.
And in that time a lot of things changed.
We went from a computer that was designed for hobbyists and
engineers and certainly looked like a piece of test equipment
to a computer that looked like a piece of consumer electronics
and we can thank Steve Jobs for that - his sense of design
demanded that this structural foam case be used for the Apple 2
the first case of its type on a personal computer.
And not that there wasn't good engineering inside either.
The Apple 2 was a model of efficient engineering,
here's the floppy disk drive controller for example. There are eight chips
here where previously there would have been thirty-five.
This is an amazing bit of engineering that we can attribute to
Steve Wozniak
who is certainly the Mozart of digital design and all told it turned
the Apple 2 into a sensation.
The Apple II was launched at Jim Warren's West Coast Computer Faire,
one of the first big microcomputer shows.
The 1978 show drew thousands of attendees and dozens of exhibitors
many of them members of the Homebrew Computer Club,
which spawned most of the early microcomputer companies.
But there was only one company showing something
that looked like a modern personal computer.
Right by the entrance, in a prime spot negotiated by Steve Jobs,
sat the Apple II.
It mesmerized all who saw it.
My recollection is we stole the show,
and a lot of dealers and distributors started lining up and we were off
and running.
- How old were you?
Twenty-one.
Following the West Coast Computer Faire, the next two years were
ones of explosive growth for Apple,
with thousands of customers literally arriving on the doorstep
of the tiny office in Cupertino, California.
Sales and profits grew so quickly that Apple had more money than
the company could spend.
And the company was very young.
The founders were in their twenties and some employees were
even younger, like 14 year-old Chris Espinosa, who never left.
He still works at Apple, almost 20 years later.
And there would be public demonstrations of our product every
Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at 3 o'clock
and that was good because it was after school.
So I would get out of my, you know sophomore-junior year
of high school,
I would ride my little moped down to the Apple offices and at 3 oclock
I'd give the demonstrations of the Apple 2.
When we were in the office it was hey jokes and we were wiring up
people's phones to do weird things,
ust every one of us I mean there wasn't a person in Apple I don't think
for a couple of years that was you know super serious.
We were lucky, we had like the hot product of its day.
And some of the people that I did original demos to came up to me
years later and said:
"you know I founded a hundred million dollar chain of computer stores"
based on the demo you showed me one Tuesday afternoon at Apple.
It was really fun.
It went so successful that all of a sudden Steve and I wouldn't have to
worry about work for the rest of our lives.
And then it got even more successful and more successful after that,
and eh it was sort of a shock.
The Apple II set a new standard for personal computers
and showed there was some real money to be made.
Rival companies popped-up all over, but the market was still hobbyists
guys with big beards who thought a good use for their computer was
controlling a model train set.
But for microcomputers to be taken seriously, they had to start
doing things that needed doing,
functions that were useful, not just for fun.
The enthusiast had its limits. To reach the rest of us the Apple 2
needed what nerds call a killer application.
Software that's so useful that people will buy computers just to run it.
For the Apple II, this application was called

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