Byte Shop

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pages: 459 words: 140,010

Fire in the Valley: The Birth and Death of the Personal Computer by Michael Swaine, Paul Freiberger

1960s counterculture, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Google Chrome, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Jony Ive, Loma Prieta earthquake, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Tim Cook: Apple, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

Byte Shop The original Mountain View Byte Shop (Courtesy of Paul Terrell) It wasn’t long before David Bunnell, then MITS vice president of marketing, called to cancel Byte Shop’s Altair dealership. Terrell argued that MITS should regard Byte Shop as something like a stereo store that carried many different brands and could turn a profit for them all. Bunnell waffled. It was Roberts’s decision, he said. At the World Altair Computer Convention in March 1976, Terrell approached Roberts directly about his being dropped from the roster of MITS dealers. Roberts stood firm. Terrell was out. * * * Figure 52. Inside Byte Shop Paul Terrell opened Byte Shop in 1975 in Mountain View, CA. (Courtesy of Paul Terrell) At the time, Terrell was selling twice as many IMSAIs as Altairs, and he consoled himself with the fact that MITS’s policy of excommunicating the unfaithful would ultimately hurt Roberts more than his dealers.

Check in hand, Terrell would ask, “You want cash on the barrelhead, boys?” It was hardware war. Terrell had opened Byte Shop in December 1975. By January, people who wanted to open their own stores were approaching him. He signed dealership agreements with them in which he would take a percentage of their profits in exchange for the name and business guidance. Other Byte Shops soon appeared in Santa Clara, San Jose, Palo Alto, and Portland. In March 1976, Terrell incorporated as Byte, Inc. Terrell was part of the hobbyist community. He named his store after the leading hobbyist magazine, and he insisted that Byte Shop managers in the Northern California area attend meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club. A single Homebrew meeting might have a half-dozen Byte Shop managers in attendance. “If I had a store manager that didn’t attend the club meetings, he wasn’t going to be my store manager for long.

Computer retailing quickly attracted individuals more aggressive than Heiser, including Paul Terrell. Byte Shop Paul Terrell’s friends warned him that retailing computers would never work. Some people, Terrell mused, also said it never snowed in Silicon Valley. Terrell recalled his friends’ warnings as he watched snow drifting down on December 8, 1975—the day he opened his Mountain View Altair dealership, Byte Shop, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Like all the other Altair dealers, Terrell soon ran headlong into the MITS exclusivity policy, except that Terrell chose to ignore it. He was selling all the Altairs he could get, between 10 and 50 a month, plus anything else he could get from IMSAI and Proc Tech. The MITS edict, Terrell concluded, was not only pointless but, if he followed it, financially harmful as well. * * * Figure 51. Byte Shop The original Mountain View Byte Shop (Courtesy of Paul Terrell) It wasn’t long before David Bunnell, then MITS vice president of marketing, called to cancel Byte Shop’s Altair dealership.


pages: 615 words: 168,775

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

AltaVista, Apple II, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer age, discovery of DNA, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, Leonard Kleinrock, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, packet switching, Ralph Nader, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, union organizing, upwardly mobile, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

Early in 2016, he asserted, “I have never protested anything in my life.”3 But, he says of that day in the garage four decades ago, “What was there far overshadowed how they might be dressed.”4 Jobs and Wozniak had transformed the garage into a makeshift manufacturing line for the final assembly of the circuit boards for a computer they were calling the Apple I.IX Thus far they had sold 100 boards at $500 each to the Byte Shop, a tiny new store in a strip mall in Mountain View. The Byte Shop would add a keyboard and screen and resell the computer to customers, mostly young white guys whom one early visitor described as “a handful of geeks having technical conversations with each other.”5 Markkula, stepping carefully among the boxes of parts on the garage’s cement floor, had no interest in the Apple I.VIII The machine required that its users possess not only a monitor, keyboard, and tape drive from which to reload every bit of software every time the machine turned on, but also to have familiarity with hexadecimal code and a soldering iron.

There Are No Standards Yet  MIKE MARKKULA Even by the time Mike Markkula visited Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the garage in the fall of 1976, Apple was a profitable, albeit very small and very amateur, operation. The circuit boards sold to the Byte Shop for $500 each cost Apple about $220 to assemble.1 Before Markkula, however, Apple was a business by only the loosest definition. The family bedrooms and garage were rent free. The sales force was Jobs and Wozniak driving around to electronics stores and asking the owners if they wanted to sell Apple computers.2 The only two people being paid for their labor were Jobs’s sister and a friend, Dan Kottke, who earned $1 per board and $4 per hour, respectively, for their work. Jobs and Wozniak had come up with the $666.66 retail price for the Apple I by adding 30 percent to the $500 they were charging the Byte Shop and rounding so that the price would contain repeating digits—something that Wozniak enjoyed seeing.3 Markkula’s note card commitment had been to help promising entrepreneurs in any way he could one day per week.

As the weeks passed, Markkula realized that Jobs and Wozniak were never going to write a business plan. How could they? Wozniak had his job at Hewlett-Packard and no interest in starting a company. Had it been up to him, he would have given away his computer designs or sold them at cost.6 Jobs was ferociously interested in launching a business, but in the fall of 1976, that meant trying to deliver the boards that the Byte Shop had ordered and then using that income to buy supplies to build more boards. Twenty-one years old and with fifteen months’ experience in the corporate world (all of it working for Atari as a technician), Jobs could not have known how to answer the questions and make the estimates that Markkula requested.7 The only way Markkula was going to see a business plan, he realized, was to write it himself.


pages: 915 words: 232,883

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

air freight, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, big-box store, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, centre right, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, fixed income, game design, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Jony Ive, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, Paul Terrell, profit maximization, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Whole Earth Catalog

The Apple had a cut-rate microprocessor, not the Intel 8080. But one important person stayed behind to hear more. His name was Paul Terrell, and in 1975 he had opened a computer store, which he dubbed the Byte Shop, on Camino Real in Menlo Park. Now, a year later, he had three stores and visions of building a national chain. Jobs was thrilled to give him a private demo. “Take a look at this,” he said. “You’re going to like what you see.” Terrell was impressed enough to hand Jobs and Woz his card. “Keep in touch,” he said. “I’m keeping in touch,” Jobs announced the next day when he walked barefoot into the Byte Shop. He made the sale. Terrell agreed to order fifty computers. But there was a condition: He didn’t want just $50 printed circuit boards, for which customers would then have to buy all the chips and do the assembly.

Finally, Jobs was able to convince the manager of Cramer Electronics to call Paul Terrell to confirm that he had really committed to a $25,000 order. Terrell was at a conference when he heard over a loudspeaker that he had an emergency call (Jobs had been persistent). The Cramer manager told him that two scruffy kids had just walked in waving an order from the Byte Shop. Was it real? Terrell confirmed that it was, and the store agreed to front Jobs the parts on thirty-day credit. Garage Band The Jobs house in Los Altos became the assembly point for the fifty Apple I boards that had to be delivered to the Byte Shop within thirty days, when the payment for the parts would come due. All available hands were enlisted: Jobs and Wozniak, plus Daniel Kottke, his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Holmes (who had broken away from the cult she’d joined), and Jobs’s pregnant sister, Patty. Her vacated bedroom as well as the kitchen table and garage were commandeered as work space.

“She just wanted him to be healthy, and he would be making weird pronouncements like, ‘I’m a fruitarian and I will only eat leaves picked by virgins in the moonlight.’” After a dozen assembled boards had been approved by Wozniak, Jobs drove them over to the Byte Shop. Terrell was a bit taken aback. There was no power supply, case, monitor, or keyboard. He had expected something more finished. But Jobs stared him down, and he agreed to take delivery and pay. After thirty days Apple was on the verge of being profitable. “We were able to build the boards more cheaply than we thought, because I got a good deal on parts,” Jobs recalled. “So the fifty we sold to the Byte Shop almost paid for all the material we needed to make a hundred boards.” Now they could make a real profit by selling the remaining fifty to their friends and Homebrew compatriots. Elizabeth Holmes officially became the part-time bookkeeper at $4 an hour, driving down from San Francisco once a week and figuring out how to port Jobs’s checkbook into a ledger.


The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret O'Mara

"side hustle", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, Byte Shop, California gold rush, carried interest, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer age, continuous integration, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deindustrialization, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Frank Gehry, George Gilder, gig economy, Googley, Hacker Ethic, high net worth, Hush-A-Phone, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, means of production, mega-rich, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, old-boy network, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Paul Terrell, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, the market place, the new new thing, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K

Dobb’s he helped fill the gap between increased availability of computers and a lack of off-the-shelf software to go with it.10 Then there were retailers, who’d popped up on the scene as distributors of Altair kits, and quickly morphed into far more. Paul Terrell started the Byte Shop in Mountain View at the end of 1975, disregarding the advice of friends who thought he’d never find customers. When sixteen people showed up one day for a seminar at the store on “Introduction to Computers,” Terrell realized that computer courses needed to be a regular feature at the Byte Shop. How-to classes translated into sales, which were so brisk that Terrell opened a second location four months later, and had sixty stores nationwide by the end of 1977. Three other chains had grown up, as well as hundreds of independent outfits with names like Computer Shack and Kentucky Fried Computer (whose owner had to change the name after a cease-and-desist order from the fast-food giant).

The first logo, designed by Wayne, had the retro-hippie design beloved by techie newsletters like the PCC and Dr. Dobb’s. It featured Isaac Newton sitting under a tree, surrounded by words uttered not by Newton, but by William Wordsworth: “A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought—alone.” The inaugural sales flyer was similarly loopy, with a typo in the first sentence.7 Jobs persuaded Paul Terrell at the Byte Shop to buy fifty units of the Apple I, which Terrell agreed to do under one condition: no kits. The machines needed to be fully assembled. In a move that Apple’s marketers later made sure to burnish into company legend, Jobs sold his VW microbus and Woz sold two HP calculators to finance the start-up costs. After months of frenetic sixty-hour weeks, Apple ultimately produced and distributed 200 Apple Is.

“The truth is that one of the main problems—perhaps the main problem—of the time is that our world suffers from information overload, and can no longer handle it unaided,” wrote British futurist Christopher Evans in his prescient 1979 bestseller, The Micro Millennium. “The world needs computers now, and it will need them more in the future; and because it needs them, it will have them.”26 CHAPTER 12 Risky Business As hundreds crowded into Homebrew meetings, long lines formed outside Byte Shops and Computer Faire booths, as subscriptions soared to Byte and tens of thousands of copies of 101 BASIC Computer Games flew off bookstore shelves, it certainly felt like a revolution was on its way. But as 1977 rolled into 1978, few of the rangy little companies sprouting out of the computer-club world had managed to do what Apple had done: grab the outside funding and management expertise needed to turn a neophyte’s garage start-up into a scaled-up operation aimed at a broader consumer market.


pages: 197 words: 60,477

So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport

Apple II, bounce rate, business cycle, Byte Shop, Cal Newport, capital controls, cleantech, Community Supported Agriculture, deliberate practice, financial independence, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, information asymmetry, job satisfaction, job-hopping, knowledge worker, Mason jar, medical residency, new economy, passive income, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, renewable energy credits, Results Only Work Environment, Richard Bolles, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, winner-take-all economy

The initial plan was to make the boards for $25 apiece and sell them for $50. Jobs wanted to sell one hundred, total, which, after removing the costs of printing the boards, and a $1,500 fee for the initial board design, would leave them with a nice $1,000 profit. Neither Wozniak nor Jobs left their regular jobs: This was strictly a low-risk venture meant for their free time. From this point, however, the story quickly veers into legend. Steve arrived barefoot at the Byte Shop, Paul Terrell’s pioneering Mountain View computer store, and offered Terrell the circuit boards for sale. Terrell didn’t want to sell plain boards, but said he would buy fully assembled computers. He would pay $500 for each, and wanted fifty as soon as they could be delivered. Jobs jumped at the opportunity to make an even larger amount of money and began scrounging together start-up capital. It was in this unexpected windfall that Apple Computer was born.

Basic economic theory tells us that if you want something that’s both rare and valuable, you need something rare and valuable to offer in return—this is Supply and Demand 101. It follows that if you want a great job, you need something of great value to offer in return. If this is true, of course, we should see it in the stories of our trio of examples—and we do. Now that we know what to look for, this transactional interpretation of compelling careers becomes suddenly apparent. Consider Steve Jobs. When Jobs walked into Paul Terrell’s Byte Shop he was holding something that was literally rare and valuable: the circuit board for the Apple I, one of the more advanced personal computers in the fledgling market at the time. The money from selling a hundred units of that original design gave Jobs more control in his career, but in classic economic terms, to get even more valuable traits in his working life, he needed to increase the value of what he had to offer.


pages: 598 words: 183,531

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution - 25th Anniversary Edition by Steven Levy

air freight, Apple II, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, computer age, computer vision, corporate governance, Donald Knuth, El Camino Real, game design, Hacker Ethic, hacker house, Haight Ashbury, John Conway, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, Paul Graham, popular electronics, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, software patent, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Without computer access, Mark Duchaineau later said, “there would have been this big void . . . it would be like you didn’t have your sight, or hearing. The computer is like another sense or part of your being.” Coming to this discovery in the late seventies, Mark was able to get access to computers for his personal use and become a hacker of the Third Generation. While still in high school, he landed a job at the Byte Shop in Hayward. He loved working at the computer shop. He’d do some of everything—repairs, sales, and programming for the store owner as well as the customers who needed custom programs. The fact that he was getting no more than three dollars an hour didn’t bother him: working with computers was pay enough. He kept working at the shop while he attended Cal State at Hayward, where he zipped effortlessly through math and computer courses.

In fact, he found it virtually impossible to retain what he called “the little nitpicking things that I knew I’d never need” that were unfortunately essential for success in Berkeley’s computer science department. So like many Third-Generation hackers, he did not get the benefit of the high-level hacking that took place in universities. He dropped out for the freedom that personal computers would provide, and went back to the Byte Shop. An intense circle of pirates hung out at the shop. Some of them had even been interviewed in an article about software piracy in Esquire that made them seem like heroes. Actually, Mark considered them kind of random hackers. Mark, however, was interested in the kinds of discoveries that it took to break down copy protection and was fairly proficient at breaking copy-protected disks, though he really had no need for the programs on the disks.

Wizards Brand, Stewart, Every Man a God, Afterword: 2010 Brautigan, Richard, Revolt in 2100 Broken Flowers (movie), Afterword: 2010 Brotherhood (Brøderbund) Software, The Brotherhood, The Brotherhood, The Brotherhood, Frogger, Wizard vs. Wizards Buchanan, Bruce, Life Budge, Bill, Summer Camp Bueche, Chuck, Frogger, Applefest, Applefest Bug (robot) program, Winners and Losers, Winners and Losers Bunnell, David, Every Man a God Burnstein, Malcolm, Revolt in 2100 Burroughs computer, The Wizard and the Princess Byte (measurement), Every Man a God Byte magazine, Tiny BASIC, Tiny BASIC Byte Shop, Applefest C California Polytechnic, Pomona Campus, The Wizard and the Princess Call Computer service, Woz Cambridge urchins, The Tech Model Railroad Club Captain Crunch, Woz, Woz, Secrets, The Brotherhood, Applefest Carlston, Doug, The Brotherhood, The Brotherhood, Applefest Carlston, Gary, The Brotherhood, The Brotherhood Carmack, John, Afterword: 2010 Carnegie-Mellon University, Life, Life Carpetbaggers, The (Robbins), The Wizard and the Princess Cassette recorders, The Brotherhood CBS opening, Spacewar Charles Adams Associates, Greenblatt and Gosper, Greenblatt and Gosper Chat program, Woz Chess program, The Tech Model Railroad Club, The Hacker Ethic Chicken Hawk system, Every Man a God Chinese food, Greenblatt and Gosper Choplifter game, Frogger Christie, Agatha, The Wizard and the Princess Circle Algorithm hack, Spacewar CL 9, Afterword: 2010 Clements, Bob, The Midnight Computer Wiring Society Clue board game, The Wizard and the Princess Coarsegold, The Wizard and the Princess, The Third Generation Coats, Tracy, Wizard vs.


pages: 611 words: 188,732

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bob Noyce, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Byte Shop, cognitive dissonance, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Elon Musk, frictionless, glass ceiling, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pez dispenser, popular electronics, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, V2 rocket, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

Steve Jobs: I sold my Volkswagen bus and Steve sold his calculator, and we got enough money to pay a friend of ours to make the artwork to make a printed circuit board. And we made some printed circuit boards and we sold some to our friends. And I was trying to sell the rest of them so that we could get our microbus and calculator back. Steve Wozniak: And for a while we were getting the parts on thirty days’ credit with no money and we built the computers in ten days and sold them for cash at the Byte Shop. Trip Hawkins: The Byte Shop was the first of the chain computer stores. In the Byte Shop basically you’ve got a whole bunch of card tables set up that had a bunch of circuit boards on it, and a bunch of really smelly geeky people talking jargon. Steve Wozniak: So that was how we ran for, you know, a good year with the Apple I computer. Trip Hawkins: It was not really a commercial product. It was a kit. They only made maybe 150 of those.


pages: 464 words: 155,696

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli

Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Charles Lindbergh, computer age, corporate governance, El Camino Real, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, market design, McMansion, Menlo Park, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Tim Cook: Apple, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog

Pixar’s Ed Catmull likes to say that since you can’t control the luck itself, which is bound to come your way for better and for worse, what matters is your state of preparedness to deal with it. Steve had a kind of hyperawareness of his surroundings that allowed him to leap at opportunities that presented themselves. So when Paul Terrell, the owner of the Byte Shop computer store in nearby Mountain View, introduced himself to Steve and Woz after the presentation and let them know he was impressed enough to want to talk about doing some business together, Steve knew exactly what to do. The very next day he borrowed a car and drove over to the Byte Shop, Terrell’s humble little store on El Camino Real, Silicon Valley’s main thoroughfare. Terrell surprised him, saying that if the two Steves could deliver fifty fully assembled circuit boards with all the chips soldered into place by a certain date, he would pay them $500 a pop—in other words, ten times what Steve and Woz had been charging club members for the printed circuit boards alone.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Some of them, such as Byte and Popular Computing, followed in the tradition of the electronics hobby magazines, while others, such as the whimsically titled Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia, responded more to the computer-liberation culture. The magazines were important vehicles for selling computers by mail order, in the tradition of hobby electronics. Mail order was soon supplanted, however, by computer stores such as the Byte Shop and ComputerLand, which initially had the ambiance of an electronics hobby shop: full of dusty, government-surplus hardware and electronic gadgets. Within two years, ComputerLand would be transformed into a nationwide chain, stocking shrink-wrapped software and computers in colorful boxes. While it had taken the mainframe a decade to be transformed from laboratory instrument to business machine, the personal computer was transformed in just two years.

He quickly took up the new microprocessor technology and, within a few weeks, had thrown together a computer based on the MOS Technology 6502 chip. He and Jobs called it the “Apple,” for reasons that are now lost in time, but possibly as a nod to the Beatles’ record label. While Jobs never cared for the “nit-picking technical debates” of the Homebrew computer enthusiasts, he did recognize the latent market they represented. He therefore cajoled Wozniak into developing the Apple computer and marketing it, initially through the Byte Shop. The Apple was a very crude machine, consisting basically of a naked circuit board and lacking a case, a keyboard, a screen, or even a power supply. Eventually about two hundred were sold, each hand-assembled by Jobs and Wozniak in the garage of Jobs’s parents. In 1976 Apple was just one of dozens of computer firms competing for the dollars of the computer hobbyist. Jobs recognized before most, however, that the microcomputer had the potential to be a consumer product for a much broader market if it were appropriately packaged.


pages: 720 words: 197,129

The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson

1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Apple II, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Bob Noyce, Buckminster Fuller, Byte Shop, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Debian, desegregation, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Google Glasses, Grace Hopper, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, index card, Internet Archive, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Terrell, pirate software, popular electronics, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

“If we’re not 50-50,” Jobs said, “you can have the whole thing.” Wozniak, however, understood what Jobs contributed to their partnership, and it was worth at least 50 percent. If he had been on his own, Wozniak might not have progressed beyond handing out free schematics. After they demonstrated the computer at a Homebrew meeting, Jobs was approached by Paul Terrell, the owner of a small chain of computer stores called The Byte Shop. After they talked, Terrell said, “Keep in touch,” handing Jobs his card. The next day Jobs walked into his store barefoot and announced, “I’m keeping in touch.” By the time Jobs had finished his pitch, Terrell had agreed to order fifty of what became known as the Apple I computer. But he wanted them fully assembled, not just printed boards with a pile of components. It was another step in the evolution of personal computers.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies incorporate mathematically coded encryption techniques and other principles of cryptography to create a secure currency that is not centrally controlled. 43. In March 2003 blog as both a noun and a verb was admitted into the Oxford English Dictionary. 44. Tellingly, and laudably, Wikipedia’s entries on its own history and the roles of Wales and Sanger have turned out, after much fighting on the discussion boards, to be balanced and objective. 45. Created by the Byte Shop’s owner Paul Terrell, who had launched the Apple I by ordering the first fifty for his store. 46. The one written by Bill Gates. 47. Gates donated to computer buildings at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Carnegie Mellon. The one at Harvard, cofunded with Steve Ballmer, was named Maxwell Dworkin, after their mothers. 48. The Oxford English Dictionary added google as a verb in 2006. 49. A neuron is a nerve cell that transmits information using electrical or chemical signals.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business cycle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

C H A P T 3 E R Steve Wozniak Cofounder, Apple Computer If any one person can be said to have set off the personal computer revolution, it might be Steve Wozniak. He designed the machine that crystallized what a desktop computer was: the Apple II. Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer in 1976. Between Wozniak’s technical ability and Jobs’s mesmerizing energy, they were a powerful team. Woz first showed off his home-built computer, the Apple I, at Silicon Valley’s Homebrew Computer Club in 1976. After Jobs landed a contract with the Byte Shop, a local computer store, for 100 preassembled machines, Apple was launched on a rapid ascent. Woz soon followed with the machine that made the company: the Apple II. He single-handedly designed all its hardware and software—an extraordinary feat even for the time. And what’s more, he did it all while working at his day job at Hewlett-Packard. The Apple II was presented to the public at the first West Coast Computer Faire in 1977.

They made the PC boards, they stuffed the parts in, they wave-soldered it. Steve would drive down and then drive them back to his garage. We did use the garage at his place—we had a lab bench there and we would plug in the PC boards of the Apple Is and test them on a keyboard. If they worked, we’d put them in a box. If they didn’t work, we’d fix them and put them in a box. Eventually, Steve Steve Wozniak 45 would drive the boxes down to the Byte Shop in Mountain View or wherever and get paid, in cash. We had the parts on credit and we got paid in cash. That was the only way we could do the Apple Is. Livingston: So you’d keep self-funding? Wozniak: Yes, we kept self-funding and we probably built up a bank account of about $10,000. Not a huge amount, but it was enough to move into an office. Steve really wanted to make a company. Livingston: Where was the first office?


The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Apple II, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Donald Davies, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, experimental subject, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Haight Ashbury, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Rulifson, John von Neumann, Leonard Kleinrock, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert Metcalfe, Silicon Valley, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Turing machine, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Wiener process, zero-sum game

Not only were new brands of machines flooding the market by the dozens, if not by the hundreds, there were also users' groups for every microcomputer imaginable, as well as pan-micro groups such as the legendary Homebrew Computer Club, which held its first meeting in a Palo Alto garage in March 1975. There were magazines such as Byte, which debuted in August 1975, and the software periodical Dr. Dobbs Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia (motto: "Running Light without Over- byte"), which published its first issue in 1976. There were specialty stores like the Byte Shop and ComputerLand, the latter soon to be a nationwide chain. And increasingly there were young entrepreneurs who were beginning to imagine that consumers might want to use these machines-people who weren't hobbyists, who weren't technically sophisticated, and who had no desire to pick up a soldering iron. Maybe, just maybe, these micros might appeal to the mass market. At this late date it's impossible to say exactly where this notion came from, though a big part of it was undoubtedly the MIT vision of information utilities, plus the resulting computer-utilities boom.

., 68-69, 140 Babbage, Charles, 38, 103 backups, development of, 234 Backus,John, 165, 171n Backus-Naur form notation, 171n Ballistics Research Laboratory, 44,45,425 Balzer, Bob, 282 "Bandwagon, The" (Shannon), 94 Baran, Paul, 276, 278, 469 Barker, Ben, 299, 302 BASIC, 190, 292, 431 BasIc Input/Output System (BIOS), 435 INDEX 491 BasIc Operatmg System (BOS), 252 batch processing, 143-44, 154, 163,171,180,190,202,232, 233,246,254,292,318 Bateson, Gregory, 57, 83 Bausch and Lomb, 347 BCC 500, 346, 350, 364 Bechtolshelm, Andreas, 438n-39n behavlOnsm, 70-74, 96-97, 128, 130-32, 139 BehavIOrism (Watson), 70 Bell, Gordon, 248, 361, 439, 461 Belleville, Bob, 448, 449 Bell Systems TechmcalJournal, 74 Bell Telephone Laboratones, 34-35, 37, 43, 54, 75, 76, 77, 80,101, 118, 161n, 235,252, 253,295,315,417 Bennet, Joe, 107 Beranek, Leo, 13-14, 17, 105, 150,158,179,194,237 Berkeley, U mverslty of Califorma at,211,212,239,256,25 262,264,285,427 Berkeley Computer Corporation, 346 Berkeley System Distribution 4.2 Umx, 427 Berlin, Technical University of, 313 Berlm, Umverslty of, 41 Berlin Blockade, 93, 99 Berners-Lee, Tim, 465-66 Berry, Clifford, 37 Bethe, Hans, 42 Bigelow, JulIan, 54, 86-87 Bma, Enc, 466n bmary anthmetlc, 33, 34-36 binary choice, 32 bmary numbers, 36-37 BIOS (BasIc Input/Output Sys- tem), 435 Blrkenstock, James, 116 "bit," 81 bit-mapping, 366-68 Bitnet, 457 Bletchley Park, 80 Blue, AI, 266-67, 274, 396-97 Bobrow, Damel, 167, 354, 386, 451 Boggs, David, 375, 381-82, 386, 416 Bohr, Niels, 91 Bolt, Richard, 105, 150 Bolt Beranek and Newman, 3, 114, 150-57, 175, 179, 190, 194,237-38,314,320,360, 376,380,394 and ARPA network, 294-304 BOS (BasIc Operating System), 252 Boston Computer SOCiety, 436 Boston Herald, 20 bounded rationality, 134-37 Bowmar Brain, 428 Brand, Stewart, 388, 421 Bravo, 384, 409 Bncklm, Dan, 315 Bntlsh Postal Service, 275 Broca, Paul, 11 Brooks, Fred, 252 Brown, Gordon, 220 Brownstein, Chuck, 462 Bruner, Jerome, 139 "bug," 40 Bulletin of the Atomic Sczenllsts, 85 Burchard, John, 109, 126-27, 149 Burks, Arthur W., 87 Burmaster, David, 307-8, 316, 317n,455 Bush, Vannevar, 23, 24-31, 34, 46,76,82,185,465 desk library Idea of, 27-29 Differential Analyzer and, 25-26 Individual empowerment Idea of, 28-29 Wiener's Idea rejected by, 29-30 Buslcom, 339 "byte," 246-47 Byte, 433 Byte Shop, 433 C (language), 168,319,426 Califorma Network, 226 Cambndge ProJect, 315-17 Cambndge University, 100 Cape Cod System, 115 Card, Stuart, 346, 354, 363, 383 Carlson, Chester, 333 Carnegie Institution, 26-27 Carnegie Mellon U mverslty, 241, 258,340,361,438 Carnegie Tech, 134, 190,209, 239-41,313 cathode-ray tube, 87, 113, 242 Center for Cogmtlve Studies, 139-40 Central IntellIgence Agency (CIA), 316, 339 central processing umt (CPU), 60, 164 Cerf, Vinton, 282, 301, 302, 321, 322-23, 327, 328-29, 331, 375,378-80,381,398,41 420,456 CERN, 465 Ceruzzl, Paul, 429 chaos theory, 124 character generators, 362 Cheadle, Ed, 358, 359 Chomsky, Noam, 130-33, 138 chunklng, 130, 132, 138 Church, Alonzo, 52, 53, 172n CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), 316, 339 CircUits, electronic, 32-33 circuit sWitching, 272 CISCO Systems, 464 Clapp, Verner, 185 Clark, James, 419, 466n Clark, Wesley, 141, 143-45, 147, 149,152,173,188-90,218, 261, 262, 273-74, 337, 341, 343,345, 369n Clarke, Arthur C., 76 Cleven, Buck, 224-25, 256 Cltnton, BIll, 461 clocks, In computers, 234 coaxial cable, 374 Cobol, 168, 246 cognitive neurOSCience, 97, 139-40,181 COgrtlllve RevolutIOn m Psychology, The (Baars), 68 cognItive SCIence, 57, 96-97, 240 Cohen, Danny, 282 command and control systems, 176,200-203,207-8, 217-18,276 Commodore PET, 434 common sense, formaltzlng of, 162 commUnIcation, 23, 56, 76, 82, 184 architecture of, 77 channels of, 78, 79 five stages of, 77-78 see also Information theory communIcation englneenng, 82 CommumcatlOns of the ACM, 240, 426 compact discs, 79 Compaq, 441n Compatible Tlme-Shanng Sys- tem (CTSS), 190-91, 221-24,228-36,243,248, 319,414 as open system, 231 reltabIlIty of, 233-34 compilers, 165 Complex Computer, 35-36, 37 complex mformatlon processing, 136-37, 162 complex numbers, 35 compressIOn algonthms, 267 Compton, Karl, 18, 26, 103 CompuServe,424 492 INDEX "Computer as a CommUnIcation Device, The" (Llckltder and Taylor), 264 "Computer In the University, The" (Perils), 180 ComputerLand, 433 computers: analog, 25, 30, 101 business applications for, 188, 447-48 clocks In, 234 digital, 30, 31, 98, 103 emotional Impact of, 64 human symbiosIs with, 4-6, 147-50, 175-86, 194-95, 254,255,262,288,354,363 languages, see languages, com- puter laptop, 387 memory In, see memory, 10 computers microcomputers, 428-38, 452-53 minicomputers, 334, 365, 424, 425,431 notebook, 361-62, 367 open architecture of, 422-23 from operator-supervised to programmable, 37-40 perceptions of, 142-44 personal, 4-5, 116n, 188, 189, 257,261-62,343,358-59, 360,363-70,386,428-3 445-48 real-time, 101-5 and revolt agamst mamframe, 421-28 senal vs. parallel, 61 supercomputers, 425 theory of, 33-34, 47-48, 88-92 von Neumann's functIOnal units of, 60 Wiener's push for, 29-30 see also specific computers Computers and the World of the Future (Licklider), 180 computer SCience, 86 Computer SCIences Laboratory (CSL), 340, 344-45, 351-55, 363,368,370,387,401,444, 450-51 computer utIlities, 292-93, 343, 433 "Computing Machinery and Intelligence" (Tunng), 122 concept manIpulation, 215 Connection Machine, 419 control, Wiener's theory of, 23, 56, 82 Control Data Corporation, 249 Conway, Lynn, 419 Cooper, Robert, 457 cooperative modelIng, 184 Corbato, Fernando, 165-66, 173-75, 190-92, 207, 208, 221,228-30,233-36, 243-47, 249, 250, 251, 253, 25 268, 304,312-14,470 Cornerstone, 436 Corporation for NatIOnal Research InItiatives, 457 Cosmic Cube, 419 Couleur, John, 250 CouncIl on Library Resources, 185 Courant, Richard, 21 Courant Institute, 169 CP/M, 434-35 Crawford, Perry, 102 Cray, Seymour, 249, 425 Cnck, FrancIs, 89 Crocker, Steve, 282, 283-87, 300-303,321-22,372, 394-95,397 Crowther, WIll, 297, 298-301, 321 CRT displays, 347-48 CSL, see Computer SCIences Lab- oratory CSnet, 458-59 CTSS, see Compatible Tlme- Shanng System Curne, Malcolm, 398-99 Curry, Jim, 345 cybernetICs, 82-93, 98, 121-26, 160-61 Cybernetics (Wiener), 84, 91, 92, 121 response to, 95-96 Dahl, Ole-Johan, 357 DanIel, Stephen, 427 DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), 396 Dartmouth College, 138, 159-60, 167, 190, 292 Data General, 334, 365, 424, 431 DatamatIOn, 292 data vlsualtzatlon, 267 Davies, Donald, 275, 278 dBase, 435 D D R&E (duector of defense research and engmeenng), 198,402 Dealer Meetmgs, 353-54 Dealers of Llghtnmg (HIltzlk), 441 DEC (Digital EqUIpment Corpo- ratIOn), 147, 154-57, 175, 188,210,248,251,261,292, 313,334,350,416,421-24, 428, 431, 439-40, 440n-41n, 454 deCiban, 80 decldabtllty problem, 48-53, 58 decimal math, 34-36 DECnet,416 DECSYSTEM 10,434 DEC Systems Research Center, 451 Defender antiballIstic-missile program, 278 Defense Advanced Research Pro- Jects Agency (DARPA), 396 Defense CommunIcations Agency, 277, 406 Defense Department, U.S., 1-6, 101, 198, 199,224,266, 278-79,280-81 air defense and, 100, 104, 112, 115 Deltamax, 113-14 Dendral, 397-98 DennIs, Jack, 187, 221, 244, 250 Dertouzos, Michael, 412-13, 416-17,453 Descartes, Rene, 22 descnptlon copier, 88-89 desktop publIshmg, 392 Deutsch, Peter, 346 Differential Analyzer, 24, 25-26, 31,32,37,44,62 Digital Research, 434-35 direction centers, 117, 119 director of defense research and englOeenng (DDR&E), 198, 402 Disk Operatmg System (DOS), 252,435 Disney, Walt, 338 displays, 242, 359, 366, 402 desktop, 178-79 DNA, 89 Dr.


pages: 781 words: 226,928

Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall

Apple II, belly landing, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Byte Shop, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Firefox, game design, index card, inventory management, Isaac Newton, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, packet switching, pink-collar, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson

“In the early days, it was pure hackers and hobbyists. It wasn’t a mainstream magazine but it was published like one. It was big and thick on shiny stock but it was hardly polished. The early days were like the Wild West frontier.” In college, Yannes earned his tuition by assembling computers. “One of the things I would do to earn some money was to build computer kits for the science lab or the computer lab,” he recalls. “At a local Byte Shop, I built these systems and got them working. There were a lot of people coming in who wanted computers but they weren’t interested in building their own and particularly debugging it because a lot of them weren’t very reliable designs back then.” Using some of his earnings, Yannes purchased a more expensive synthesizer kit from PAiA. “I ended up getting one of their modular systems when I was in college,” he says.