April 16, 1977: Apple II heralds the age of the home computer
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had built the first Apple computer a year earlier, but the hand-built Apple I only ever sold in tiny numbers. Its successor, with a moulded plastic case, built-in keyboard and expansion slots, moved Apple into the computing mainstream. According to Paul E Ceruzzi in A History of Modern Computing:
For my thirty-second birthday, in October of 1977, I drove with my friend, Ron Sprague, to the computer store on Northwestern Highway and Inkster Road in Detroit to buy my Apple II. It cost $1190. I made $1090 per month as a GM industrial engineer. The check was damp with sweat when I wrote it. I got a sixteen k Apple II. Hard drives would not arrive for two more years on that model. Take them out of the picture above. Take the monitor out too. I paid $300 for a color television to hook to mine. A month later, I bought 16k more of memory for an additional $300. I was set to go.
On the October day, I took my computer home, set it up and listened to that heroic song from the beginning of "Star Wars" , I knew a new age had begun. It's been quite a ride. I believe I had the first computer in my town of Vassar, Michigan. I would like to hear of anyone before me.
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