Today is the 40th anniversary of the day Steve Wozniak sat down with his friend Steve Jobs and showed him a little project he was working on: A 1MHz computer with 4K of memory assembled out of $20 worth of parts. Wozniak had some thought of selling the designs at $40 a pop which is how most hobbyist computers were sold but Jobs saw an opportunity to make even more money by selling an assembled product.
The Apple Computer 1 (later known simply as the Apple I) debuted in 1976, distributed by the Byte Shop, one of the country’s first personal computer retailers. The Apple I was still very much a hobbyist product. IT HAD NO CASE! Essentially, what you were buying was this:
Only 200 units were created and very few still exist, in part because Apple encouraged people to trade them in for the Apple II when it went on sale in 1977, and promptly destroyed all of the boards.