Steve jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak had withdrawn from Reed College and UC Berkeley to start a small business in Steve jobs’s garage. They sold computer chips in their small shop. At the time the only microcomputer CPUs generally available were the $179 Intel 8080, and the $170 Motorola 6800. Wozniak preferred the 6800,which was a lot of money at that time.
When MOS Technology released its $20 6502 chip in 1976, Wozniak wrote a version of BASIC for it, then began to design a computer for it to run on. Jobs saw the commercial potential in the small hobby machine and was able to persuade Wozniak to sell it.
Jobs approached a local computer store, The Byte Shop, who said they would be interested in the machine, but only if it came fully assembled. The owner, Paul Terrell, went further, saying he would order 50 of the machines and pay US $500 each on delivery. Jobs then took the purchase order that he had been given from the Byte Shop to Cramer Electronics, a national electronic parts distributor, and ordered the components he needed to assemble the Apple I Computer.
The two Steves and their small crew spent day and night building and testing the computers and delivered to Terrell on time to pay his suppliers and have a tidy profit left over for their celebration and next order. Steve Jobs had found a way to finance his soon-to-be multimillion-dollar company without giving away one share of stock or ownership.
The machine had only a few notable features. One was the use of a TV as the display system, whereas many machines had no display at all. This was not like the displays of later machines, however; text was displayed at a terribly slow 60 characters per second. However, this was still faster than the teleprinters used on contemporary machines of that era. The Apple I also included bootstrap code on ROM, which made it easier to start up. Finally, at the insistence of Paul Terrell, Wozniak also...