A Silicon Valley fairy tale-- Apple at 30
Apple Computer Inc. turns 30 on April Fool's Day.
It was three decades ago when a pair of prank-loving college dropouts, who also shared an interest in electronics, created computer circuit boards in a Cupertino garage, named the product Apple I and sold it to a local computer store.
To get the fledgling business off the ground, Steve Jobs, the entrepreneur, sold his Volkswagen van, while Steve Wozniak, the engineer, peddled his prized Hewlett-Packard calculator to raise money for their operation.
Since then, Apple has had wild successes as well as utter failures. But there is little doubt about the far-reaching impact the company has had in many areas. Apple popularized the graphical user interface, bringing the mouse along with it. The company also championed desktop publishing. Most recently, it revolutionized the digital entertainment world with its combination of the iPod music player, iTunes software and online iTunes Music Store.
Steve Wozniak says he never intended to change the world. That was the other Steve, Steve Jobs.
He just wanted to build computers. Oh, and he really -- really -- wanted to spend his career as a Hewlett-Packard engineer, a position he reluctantly left.
Life turned out very differently for the self-trained electrical engineer. In 1976, he and Jobs started Apple Computer, which would help launch the personal computer revolution. Observers say Apple would never be what it is today without either Steve -- Jobs, the tech evangelist and visionary, and Wozniak, whose technical genius created computers for the masses.
``I didn't want to start this company,'' said Wozniak, known in Silicon Valley simply as ``Woz.'' ``My goal wasn't to make a ton of money. It was to build good computers. I only started the company when I realized I could be an engineer forever.''