Steve Wozniak, computer programmer inventor, engineer and philanthropist, was born on August 8, 1950, in San Jose, CA. As many refer to him, “Woz” is the son of an engineer who worked at Lockheed.
From an early age, Wozniak showed interest in electronics, more so, the ham radio. He earned his ham operator license in sixth grade.
Woz attended the University of Colorado and the University of California in the 1970s. However, he didn’t complete his studies at the University as he dropped out to take up a job offer as a calculator designer at Hewlett-Packard.
At this point, Wozniak got to meet his future close friend and business partner, Steve Jobs. The two had a lot of things in common, with one being a love of pranks. At one point, the two built an electronic device, “blue box,” they use to make long-distance calls toll-free. According to Wozniak, the blue box led to the invention of the Apple computer. Speaking to Santa Clara Valley, Wozniak stated, “If we hadn’t built blue boxes, there would have been no Apple.”
The two friends then raised $1,300, which enabled them to create their first single-board Apple I personal computer kit. The duo also unveiled the device Palo Alto-based Homebrew Computer Club and began selling circuit boards that they built at night from their garage. Unfortunately, the boards weren’t leaving the shelves as expected until they received a $50,000 order from one of the local stores.
Wozniak, Jobs and Ronald Wayne created the first Apple computer on April 1, 1976. However, two weeks later, Wayne left the business selling his shares to these partners at $800. On January 3, 1977, they incorporated their company. On April 16, the same year, Apple II, also designed by Wozniak, was introduced.