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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
A friend of Killian’s had bought an Altair, and Killian had carefully studied it, but that wasn’t enough. External examination was fine, Killian said, but he really needed to get inside the thing and dismantle it. His friend liked his Altair as it was, intact. Millard phoned Paul Terrell, whose nearby Byte Shop was one of the few Altair dealerships in the country. Millard ordered some Altairs for dissection. Over the next few months, Killian would tear the computers apart, figure out how they were made, and replicate them. * * * Figure 26. Paul Terrell Terrell supplied Bill Millard with the Altairs that Joe Killian disassembled to learn how to replicate and improve the design. (Courtesy of Paul Terrell) The Salesmen Millard’s team was beginning to grow. Killian had worked many late nights on another project, and Millard gave him a much-needed vacation in February 1975. In Killian’s absence, Millard advertised for a programmer to take his place.
* * * 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. 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.
Like many of the personal-computer pioneers, Heiser had broken new ground through his unflagging enthusiasm for the technology. Even in retailing, the hobbyist ideal led the way. But unlike computer design, which can be done for love or for money, retailing is necessarily a commercial venture. 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.
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
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.
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
Then he challenged them with a question: How much would people be willing to pay for such a wonderful machine? He was trying to get them to see the amazing value of the Apple. It was a rhetorical flourish he would use at product presentations over the ensuing decades. The audience was not very impressed. 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.
Jobs tried to borrow more from a bank in Los Altos, but the manager looked at him and, not surprisingly, declined. He went to Haltek Supply and offered an equity stake in Apple in return for the parts, but the owner decided they were “a couple of young, scruffy-looking guys,” and declined. Alcorn at Atari would sell them chips only if they paid cash up front. 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.
However, the SOL-20 was better looking. It had a sleek metal case, a keyboard, a power supply, and cables. It looked as if it had been produced by grown-ups. The Apple I, on the other hand, appeared as scruffy as its creators. CHAPTER SIX THE APPLE II Dawn of a New Age An Integrated Package As Jobs walked the floor of the Personal Computer Festival, he came to the realization that Paul Terrell of the Byte Shop had been right: Personal computers should come in a complete package. The next Apple, he decided, needed to have a great case and a built-in keyboard, and be integrated end to end, from the power supply to the software. “My vision was to create the first fully packaged computer,” he recalled. “We were no longer aiming for the handful of hobbyists who liked to assemble their own computers, who knew how to buy transformers and keyboards.
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
Jobs began to cry and told Steve Wozniak that he was willing to call off the partnership. “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.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I want to thank the people who gave me interviews and provided information, including Bob Albrecht, Al Alcorn, Marc Andreessen, Tim Berners-Lee, Stewart Brand, Dan Bricklin, Larry Brilliant, John Seeley Brown, Nolan Bushnell, Jean Case, Steve Case, Vint Cerf, Wes Clark, Steve Crocker, Lee Felsenstein, Bob Frankston, Bob Kahn, Alan Kay, Bill Gates, Al Gore, Andy Grove, Justin Hall, Bill Joy, Jim Kimsey, Leonard Kleinrock, Tracy Licklider, Liza Loop, David McQueeney, Gordon Moore, John Negroponte, Larry Page, Howard Rheingold, Larry Roberts, Arthur Rock, Virginia Rometty, Ben Rosen, Steve Russell, Eric Schmidt, Bob Taylor, Paul Terrell, Jimmy Wales, Evan Williams, and Steve Wozniak. I’m also grateful to people who gave useful advice along the way, including Ken Auletta, Larry Cohen, David Derbes, John Doerr, John Hollar, John Markoff, Lynda Resnick, Joe Zeff, and Michael Moritz. Rahul Mehta at the University of Chicago and Danny Z. Wilson at Harvard read an early draft to fix any math or engineering mistakes; no doubt I snuck a few in when they weren’t looking, so they shouldn’t be blamed for any lapses.
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.
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
“Once we became aware of the information gap that we are now focusing on filling, it took a coupla weeks or more to gather together a staff and organize a full-scale magazine production effort.” Warren was no coder, nor was he the next Henry Luce, but as editor of Dr. 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.
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.
What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry by John Markoff
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, back-to-the-land, beat the dealer, Bill Duvall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Buckminster Fuller, California gold rush, card file, computer age, computer vision, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, different worldview, Donald Knuth, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, general-purpose programming language, Golden Gate Park, Hacker Ethic, hypertext link, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, Jeff Rulifson, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Paul Terrell, popular electronics, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Robert X Cringely, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Hackers Conference, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, union organizing, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
The spirit of sharing with which he founded Homebrew left its mark on the industry that grew up around the club. That spirit, in turn, foreshadowed the chasm that has come to divide the digital world, underscoring all of the struggles that today are reshaping both the consumer and business computing worlds from Napster to open source. The chasm first appeared when the MITSmobile arrived in Palo Alto as a result of the efforts of a marketing-savvy sales representative named Paul Terrell. Terrell had approached MITS about the possibility of distributing their new Altair computer. Although the company was planning on selling the machines by mail order, Terrell met with MITS’s founder Ed Roberts at the National Computer Conference in Anaheim, California, in 1975 and reached an agreement where he would promote Altairs in northern California and in return receive a commission on the machines sold in the region.
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
Through the years, Steve would be the beneficiary of a fair amount of luck, some of it outrageously good, and of course some of it mortally bad. 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.