Chapter 12 

Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution

Woz or Steve Wozniak was a hardware hacker since high school. Along with another friend he went to the first Homebrew meeting and was happy to have found people with similar interests in hardware and computers. He was working for Hewlett-Packard at the time he built his own computer based on the MOS Technology 6502 microprocessor. He was able to build a machine with fewer chips by thinking about problems in clever and different ways.

Wozniak was friends with Steve Jobs, who worked for Atari at the time. Jobs was interested in the computer Wozniak had built and thought they should make more of these machines and sell them. Wozniak had to ask HP for permission because he worked for them, but they did so because they did not believe that it was marketable.

They decided to call their company Apple and sell their machines for $666.66. Their software and diagrams were available to others for free or for a minimal cost. They soon followed their first computer with the Apple II that would spark a revolution in the computer industry. They built their company out of their garages with Steve Jobs taking care of managing the company, while Steve Wozniak hacked at the hardware. At the Homebrew club their machine was hailed by some, while others felt that the Sol machine was more adequate since it used more “standard” parts and software.