Even before the Apple I was a computer, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built a prototype: the Apple A. A computer manufactured in 1976 which represents one more piece (almost lost) of the history of the company based at 1 Apple Park Way in Cupertino.
There was another computer before the Apple I
En los tiempos del Apple I, la compañía, si es que podemos llamar así al equipo de Steve Jobs y Steve Wozniak, no contaba, ni de lejos, con ninguna tienda, ni menos con una tienda online (ni existía internet en aquel entonces) , for what the distribution was to be done in the stores
At the time, in the mid-1970s, Paul Terrell was the manager of the Byte Shop, one of first stores where computers were sold staff. The store where Jobs and Wozniak went to present their revolutionary new product.
The Apple I prototype was immortalized by Terrell’s Polaroid in the images we see in this article (via apple1registry.com). If we look carefully, the model name is Apple Computer A, therefore prior to the Apple I that we all place as the first computer in the company. The photos of this computer were already known, but since they did not have sufficient resolution, this interesting detail could not be appreciated.
“Paul Terrell (Founder of Byte Shop) recently gave Achim Baqué (Curator of the Apple-1 Registry) a list of all Apple-1 computers. Thanks to Paul’s support and his Polaroids of one of the first Apple -1, it was a big surprise zooming in on the 1976 photos. The photos were taken when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs first showed the Apple-1 to Paul at the Byte Shop. The Polaroids were already out in low resolution, but some features have not been noticed so far.”
Unanswered questions, but with photographic evidence
From Apple-1 Registry, they contacted several key people in the development of the Apple I. People like Steve Wozniak, Wendel Sander, Bill Fernandez, Chris Espinosa, Daniel Kottke and Paul Terrell, but none of them remember the prototype itself
- As we can see in the image above, instead of “Apple Computer 1” we see “Apple Computer A © 76”. It may have been marked like this to indicate it as a prototype or that this was the final name that would be used. Steve Wozniak does not recall the reason for the name change.
- The prototype has a different keyboard structure than the first Apple I. There are also other small changes, one of them being that some keys are the same as those used in the second batch of Apple I.
One fire in Steve Wozniak’s garage could have destroyed this prototype and others. Luckily, we have some pretty detailed photos of a virtually unknown product to date. One product, one Mac, the first Mac made by Apple.