PixelGene:::::::The Genetic Colors of Life- An Anish Achuthan Blog

Monday, January 09, 2006

xclusive:::::::The Making of Apple

The Making of the APPLE!
Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs had been friends in high school. They had both been interested in electronics, and both had been perceived as outsiders. They kept in touch after graduation, and both ended up dropping out of school and getting jobs working for companies in Silicon Valley. (Woz for Hewlett-Packard, Jobs for Atari)



Wozniak had been dabbling in computer-design for some time when, in 1976, he designed what would become the Apple I. Jobs, who had an eye for the future, insisted that he and Wozniak try to sell the machine, and on April 1, 1976, Apple Computer was born.
Hobbyists did not take the Apple I very seriously, and Apple did not begin to take off until 1977, when the Apple II debuted at a local computer trade show. The first personal computer to come in a plastic case and include color graphics, the Apple II was an impressive machine. Orders for Apple machines were multiplied by several times after its introduction. And with the introduction in early '78 of the Apple Disk II, the most inexpensive, easy to use floppy drive ever (at the time), Apple sales further increased.
With the increase in sales, however, came an increase in company size, and by 1980, when the Apple III was released, Apple had several thousand employees, and was beginning to sell computers abroad. Apple had taken on a number of more experienced mid-level managers and, more importantly, several new investors, who opted to take seats on the board of directors. Older, more conservative men, the new directors made sure that Apple became a "real company," much to the dismay of many of its original employees.
In 1981, things got a bit more difficult. A saturated market made it more difficult to sell computers, and in February. Apple was forced to lay off 40 employees. Wozniak was injured in a plane crash. He took a leave of absence and returned only briefly. Jobs became chairman of Apple computer in March.
Following the historic visit to Xerox PARC in 1979, Jobs and several other engineers began to develop the Lisa, which would redefine personal computing. Jobs, however, proved to be a poor project manager, and was taken off the Lisa by Mike Markkula, then president of Apple, and one of the major stockholders. Jobs, who owned only 11% of Apple, decided to take over someone else's project, and began working with the Macintosh--which had started as a $500 personal computer. Jobs made sure it was much more.
In 1981, IBM released its first PC. With the power of Big Blue behind it, the PC quickly began to dominate the playing field. Jobs' team would have to work very quickly if they hoped to compete with IBM in the personal computer market. Jobs began to realize that Apple would have to become a "grown-up" company, and realized he was not the man for the job.
In early 1983, Jobs began to court John Sculley, then president of Pepsi-Cola. In April, he was successful, and Sculley became president and CEO of Apple. Jobs believed Sculley would help Apple "grow up," but had no idea how right he would turn out to be. Eventually, it cost him his job.
Although a successful businessman, it soon became clear that Sculley did not know much about the computer industry. He and Jobs were at odds almost immediately. As the announcement of the Macintosh drew closer, Jobs went into hyperdrive. He worked hard to get developers to write programs for the upcoming machine--Jobs had realized that the Mac would ultimately be made or broken by the software industry.
On January 22nd, 1984, during the third quarter of the Super Bowl, Apple aired its infamous 60 second commercial (13.4 MB) introducing the Macintosh. Directed by Ridley Scott, the Orwellian scene depicted the IBM world being shattered by a new machine. Initially, the Mac sold very well, but by Christmas of 1984, people were becoming fed up with its small amount of RAM, and lack of hard drive connectivity.

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