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Woz Powers Up History San Jose's Apple 1

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Peter Jon Shuler/KQED News

Steve Wozniak, surrounded by Apple 1s, describes inventing Apple's first product at History San Jose.

History San Jose Museum can now boast one of the few working Apple 1s in the world.  And the inventor of Apple’s first product, Steve Wozniak, personally powered it up on Tuesday.
 
The Apple 1 is not much to look at – just a green motherboard with components.   The user had to supply everything else.  It came standard with 4 kilobytes of memory – about 2 typewritten pages. 
 
But for hobbyists in the 1970s it opened up a new world - and helped spark the personal computer revolution.  Steve Wozniak said his motivation as an inventor was pretty basic.
 
“If you want one for yourself, that’s the biggest motivation,” he said.  “That’s a lot better than a salary or a stock option.”
 
Only about 50 Apple 1s are known to exist.  And museums don’t normally fire up rare electronics. Engineers volunteered hours of time to get the machine in working order .  And some were on hand with their own working units  – much to Wozniak’s delight.
 
 “In personal computers, I think this is probably the most historic day ever,” he said.  “To have 5 Apple 1s on one table. I didn’t think of grabbing mine until just as I walked out the door.  Hey -- why not?"
 
History San Jose’s Apple 1 is now the 8th working model of the rare computer in the world.  Another working one recently commanded more than $670,000 at an auction.
 
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