Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sold for 90,000 Euros.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Milestone-Proposal:Introduction of the Apple I Computer: 1976

I've been corresponding with Brian Berg, who was involved in overseeing the milestone-proposals for the first Mac, the Apple 1, and the Apple II.

See the milestone-proposal document for the Apple I here.

Brian Berg has been a data storage technologist for over 30 years through his Berg Software Design consultancy. His current specialty is flash memory as used in consumer electronics and enterprise applications, and he works extensively with patents and intellectual property. Brian is Technical Chair of Flash Memory Summit, and he has organized, chaired and spoken at over 100 technology conferences and events including at the Computer History Museum.

Brian has a long record as an IEEE officer and volunteer in the Santa Clara Valley Section, including as Section Chair as well as Chair of the IEEE Consultants’ Network of Silicon Valley. As IEEE Milestone Coordinator for the western US, he has secured Milestones for the EEPROM/Flash Memory, the Apple Macintosh and SHAKEY, and he helped oversee Milestones for CP/M, Moore’s Law, and the Apple I and II. He is a CHM Core Member, has a Bachelors in Mathematics from Pacific Lutheran University, and has been a Computer Engineering graduate student at Stanford University.

Monday, May 8, 2017


I owe great gratitude to the following people who have helped me in my research, especially Steve Wozniak, who has painstakingly taken the time to answer my questions over the years.

If you have contributed, and you are not on the list, please contact me - John Calande, or comment on this post.

Steve Wozniak  (Woz) - early history in detail, and providing me with contact info with the early Apple engineers, and others.
Steve Jobs - early history
Daniel Kottke - early history
Mike Willegal - hardware hacking, late night debugging and history. Mike also had produced a run of beautiful Apple 1 clone PCB/Kits - known as the "Mimeo 1", and also cloned my Datanetics keyboard. Thanks Mike!
Corey Cohen - hardware hacking and history
Steve Galby - hardware hacking - created the first clone - from "Obtronix"
Allen Baum - early history
Randy Wigginton - early history
Alice Robertson - (Wozs' former wife) early history
Brian Berg (IEEE) - early history - info on Hewlett Packard, where Woz worked, and informed me of the Milestone-Proposals for the Apple 1.
Bill Fernandez - early history
Dan Sokol - early history
John Draper - early history
Stan Mintz - early history
John Gott - early history
Wendell Sander - early history, hardware hacking, and providing me with his design for the keyboard interface which I used on all 3 of my clones.  Wendell designed the Apple III, and also worked closely with Woz on the Apple II.
Fred McCann - for providing links to current articles on early history (many still incorrect)
Lisa Reynolds Marshall - my former wife, and mother of my 2 beautiful children, who put up with all of my late night hacking

I have made some great friends, and wonderful acquaintances along the way.
Thank you all so much!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

This is a video from some of the guys that started the Homebrew Compuer Club.  The club was started on March 5, 1975, but this date is questionable, as mentioned in the video.

Let's take a closer look where Steve Wozniak designed, built and hand-wired the VERY FIRST Apple-1.

Villa Serra Apartments
20800 Homestead Rd, Apt 16K
Cupertino, CA 95014
Phone number(408) 257-1060

When Steve Wozniak lived in the apartments at the above address, the name of the complex was known as:

Villa Serra Apartments

Apparently, the complex had an overhaul, and was later renamed:

The Markham Apartments

I asked Woz if he remembered the apartment number, and this is his response:

I don’t remember the apartment number.

I had a lower apartment early on at that complex but very soon moved to an upstairs one…something like 22L or 24L I think but I have no reason to think that, especially the number. I might be able to find the exact apartment location in person.

I’d say that maybe half of the design and conception and most of the software work was done in that apartment, but the real prototype construction was done in my cubicle at HP, mostly at night. I’d go home from work, eat a tv-dinner, watch Star Trek, and often head back to the building. I sometimes worked on HP stuff at night but usually my own fun constructions.

There are people who may have old address books with my apartment number. I have too many artifacts in too much storage to find it myself, although I’ll keep an eye out. You might also consider HP records. The APD division is now in Corvalliis, Oregon.

Actually, I may have been in the upstairs apartment at first and then moved. I do remember that it was the upstairs apartment where I ran at least part of dial-a-joke, which was ahead of the Apple stuff.

ʞɐıuzoʍ ǝʌǝʇs 

Per Brian Berg (IEEE):
BTW, it would be nice to add that the HP facility to which Woz refers is the one on Pruneridge Ave in Cupertino - where Apple Park is now, interestingly!

This is the VERY FIRST Apple-1 ever built, in Steve Wozniak's apartment, and after hours at HP.  It is hand-wired, and soldered underneath.  The wooden case was built by Randy Wigginton's father.  I asked Woz where this computer is, he said it may be in storage.  At one point it was on display, I believe at Apple Computer, Inc.

UPDATE:  Sun May 7, 2017 - Randy Wigginton's memory recollects that the Apple-1 was built in apartment #16K, on the second floor:

Hi John,

Yeah, I would know it if I went there in person; it might be 16K, for some reason that feels right.  I do know that his phone number back then was 408-255-6666. When he built the Apple I he was in an upstairs apartment; I never visited him in a downstairs apartment.  He drove the worst car in the world - a Fiat :)
Next time I am down that way I will drive to the complex and take a look - I'm curious myself now.

After informing Woz, here's his response:


16K feels very correct to me…strong enough that I’m very sure it’s right. 2nd floor.
ʞɐıuzoʍ ǝʌǝʇs 

I checked the above number 255-6666 and verified that this was the number that Woz asked for, for his dial-a-joke biz  (reference, page 130, "iWoz" book, published in 2006).

Micro Switch Keyboard used on the Apple-1
(image obtained from

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wow!  This is the first 2519B shift register from Signetics I've ever seen on ebay (2 available) $110 And all of us who have had to shop around know that they are very hard to find!
Date code 1974.  (I found 11 in Germany and had to purchase the whole tube!)

By the way - the seller is the same guy I purchased my Datanetics keyboard  from years ago (serial number 10, stamped May 1976)   ( A few years ago, Mike Willegal cloned my keyboard I don't know if Mike has any kits left - from what I recall he had a relatively small production run)  Anyway, the seller generally has pretty fair prices - but he knows this chip is rare.

This one looks to be plastic, I believe mine are ceramic, I'd have to double check.

And there's another one on ebay here  (plastic) - 3 available, $120 each

Interview with Steve Wozniak at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. (January 11, 2011)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

 "Steve Jobs’ custom Apple I and other historic machines are on display at Seattle museum
Long before the iPhone or even the Mac, Apple was a handful of people working in an industry that was only just beginning to take the idea of personal computing seriously. In the earliest days of those early days, Steves Wozniak and Jobs made their first device together: the Apple I. Few of these were sold, and fewer still survive — but the Living Computers museum in Seattle managed to get three. And one of them was Jobs’ personal machine.
Paul Allen, the museum’s founder and patron, has caused to be assembled quite an impressive collection of devices from Apple’s history, many of which have been restored to working condition. The public will be able to tinker with a NeXT Cube as well as early Macs, but the pride and joy of the collection must be the Apple Is.
The new exhibit, which highlights the collaboration and competition between Apple and Microsoft over the years as the companies grew, is open today.
The Apple I, you may or may not remember, wasn’t much of a hit. Only 200 were made — by hand — and it wasn’t long before the company put its hopes in the Apple II, which would go on to be more popular by far. One of the Is, however, Jobs kept in his office as a demo machine for industry people.
When Jobs left in 1985 he left in a hurry, and this I was left behind on a shelf. Don Hutmacher, one of the company’s first employees, grabbed it and it stayed in his possession until he passed away last year. His wife generously allowed the museum to take care of it, and you can imagine their gratitude.
The team had their suspicious, but a tag inside the metal chassis — and the fact that it had a chassis at all, since Apple Is came just as boards — suggested it was more than a rare Apple I; it was the rarest. It’s signed “BF,” which would have been employee number one, Bill Fernandez. This was definitely, the team decided, Jobs’ custom machine.
Because the Apple I didn’t have a ROM, and Jobs didn’t want to have to program it from scratch any time someone wanted to see it in action, he had a custom EPROM attached to it that initialized the computer with BASIC when it started up. Its RAM, the engineering team suspects, was also augmented so it didn’t run out and crash during the demo.

The team at the museum read the contents of this EPROM and used it to set up a second, less historic Apple I. That one, which has had its power components modified to be a little less prone to catching fire or warping the circuit board, will now be available in this primed state for anyone to play with. Yes, anyone — the only operational Apple I on the planet right now, and your kid can type “butts” on it with fingers still greasy from the sandwich they got across the street.
That’s the mission of the museum, though: the Apple I, along with dozens of other ancient computers, from Altairs to mainframes from the 60’s, are deliberately there to be touched and, if not truly understood (few kids know BASIC these days), at least experienced.
Ahead of the exhibit’s opening, a small reunion was held for a handful of people who had a hand in the early days of Apple, Microsoft, and the home computer industry. Steve Wozniak and Paul Allen met — for the first time, amazingly — and chatted over an Apple II. And it wasn’t until someone took stock of the situation that they realized that the entire original team that built the Apple I in Steve Jobs’ garage — minus the departed Steve — were together again for the first time in decades:
The museum has also been working with the University of Washington to compile an oral history of this era of computing, and many of the people who figured in the creation of the Apple I.
Now that the exhibit is open, feel free to drop by the museum and touch a few pieces of computing history — though you may need to brush up on your BASIC."

Notified of this article by Fred McCann

 (per John Calande)- Unfortunately, this article is plastered all over the internet now.  Anyway, there are some good pics here  (Living Computer Museum + Labs) I'm extremely surprised that the museum is going to allow the general public to play with such a delicate piece of Apple history.  This computer belongs in the Smithsonian.

Some of us know that parts of the above article are completely false. I've done my best on my BLOG to correct false statements about about Apple history by going directly to the horses mouth (Woz), yet false information continues to appear, to this day, as above.

1. This is not the only original, functional Apple-1 in existence.  After checking the Living Computers website, I think what the author meant to say, the only functional Apple-1 that would be available for use by the general public. 

2. Apple-1 PCB assembly that took place in Steve Jobs' garage - Per Woz:

"The Apple I boards were manufactured and populated with components (sockets for the chips) and wave soldered at some company in Santa Clara. Those boards were driven to the house, and later the garage, where we inserted the chips and tested them. We did no soldering there.

3. The very first hand-wired Apple-1, per Woz:
My development work was all done in my apartment in the Villa Serra complex on Homestead Road, between Mary and Stelling. Also, much was done in my cubicle at HP's calculator division (APD) which was then in Cupertino, on Pruneridge Avenue (19925?) slightly East of Wolfe Road."

 At some point, Woz told me that Steve Jobs didn't know about the Apple-1 until after Woz started his design for the Apple II

3. I didn't know that an EPROM existed for an Apple-1 until seeing this article, I thought I was the first one in the world to design and build a peripheral card for The BASIC. My schematic and pics are here on my BLOG, and I have a video to show that it works.

Here is the schematic for my design, and other info (note that I found a bug in one of the BASIC files, so be careful which file you download if you are going to take on this project) 

4. The events that took place in Steve Jobs' garage were "stuffing" the printed circuit boards with chips, and debugging bad boards - according to Woz, the most common problem was bent pins.