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Apple co-founder offered first computer design to HP 5 times

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
During a guided tour of a newly renovated computer museum, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak highlighted the fact that he had offered his original design for the Apple I personal computer to his former employer, HP, 5 times, but was turned down each time.

Wozniak was invited last week by the soon-to-reopen Computer History Museum to give a guided tour to the press. During the tour, Wozniak waxed nostalgic on several early devices, including his own Apple I and Apple II designs, that were influential to the development of the personal computer and other modern devices, MarketWatch reports.

Reiterating comments he made in London at a recent auction of a rare Apple I computer in excellent condition, which sold for $174,000, Wozniak told reporters that he hadn't designed the original Apple I computer to "make a lot of money." "I gave away my designs for free," he said.

The Woz, as he has come to be known, sees the iPhone as the current culmination of computing progress. "As expensive as it looks," he said of an early adding machine, "we wouldn't have our iPhones today if we hadn't started with devices like this." "In our past, there were applications for computers that made an iPhone worth a trillion dollars, and those applications caused these machines to be built, which took us on the path that led to today's iPhone," Wozniak continued.

When asked what new device he expected to see in the Computer History Museum, Wozniak told All Things Digital, "We've got to approach the iPhone someday. That was really the start of smartphones done the right way."

During the tour, Wozniak related the story of one of his first collaborative projects with Apple CEO Steve Jobs. After Wozniak built his own version of Pong, one of the earliest video games, Jobs then took the game to Atari and got a job. "They had Steve working at night so he wouldn't be around other people," joked Wozniak.

"Then he got us a job," Wozniak continued, "I designed the first Breakout game for Atari. So I didn't really work there. They tried to hire me, but I said 'Never leave Hewlett Packard, I love my company, I'm loyal.'" Wozniak added that it took them 4 straight days and nights to design the game. "We both got the sleeping sickness, mononucleosis," said Wozniak.

His loyalty to Hewlett Packard made him reluctant to leave the company to start Apple with Jobs. Wozniak reminded reporters last week at the Computer History Museum that he had proposed his idea for the Apple I computer to Hewlett Packard, but they "turned him down 5 times."

According to a 2008 interview with The Telegraph, Wozniak originally thought he owed it to HP to stay, until Jobs persuaded Wozniak's family to convince him to do it.

Regarding the missed opportunity, HP co-founder Bill Hewlett reportedly said, "You win some, you lose some."
post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Regarding the missed opportunity, HP co-founder Bill Hewlett reportedly said, "You win some, you lose some.

But the "somes" are rarely equal.
post #3 of 29
Apple = success.

Steve Wozniak = failure.

But if you confuse the two long enough, and mix in a little news media, Steve Wozniak can ride the coat tails of Apple for the rest of his life...
post #4 of 29
Oh, Woz... is there anything you can't do?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Regarding the missed opportunity, HP co-founder Bill Hewlett reportedly said, "You win some, you lose some."

It happens. Harvard Business School rejected Warren Buffett.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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post #6 of 29
. . .
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #7 of 29
If things had gone differently, imagine the alternate world that might have happened: there could even have been HP iPods!
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

If things had gone differently, imagine the alternate world that might have happened: there could even have been HP iPods!

Nah, Carly and her predecessors would have buried it long ago, somewhere lost on her quest for Compaq. Give me one original consumer product produced during this time period from HP --- tick, tick, tick - buzz - time's up. Hewlett's hatred of Carly was spot-on, even if he failed to see (as so many did) the future of the PC, as envisioned by Jobs and Woz.

What's even funnier in this "alternate universe" is the HPiPhone (known widely as the PiP) that uses tiny HP Ink cartridges to print out your screen images, and HP makes a mint selling the stuff, while virtually giving away the phones.

(Hey - it ain't just razors and razor blades that apply here!)
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

If things had gone differently, imagine the alternate world that might have happened: there could even have been HP iPods!

But there was an HP iPod, designed and built by Apple.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

If things had gone differently, imagine the alternate world that might have happened: there could even have been HP iPods!

You could probably even buy them on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d.html/r...7?a=B0002OG6CA
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

Apple = success.

Steve Wozniak = failure.

But if you confuse the two long enough, and mix in a little news media, Steve Wozniak can ride the coat tails of Apple for the rest of his life...

Wow. Just wow.

People measure success in vastly different ways. Woz is a big teddy bear and is still kind of a kid, so he does things that are fun for him and (he hopes) for others. Who else gets to walk around the stage in the early street scene of The Nutcracker selling roasted chestnuts in front of an audience of kids? That's the kind of thing that Woz enjoys, and he never calls into question whether it represents a success or failure.

I'll take Woz' success any day over Bill Gates'. At least i'd be able to sleep well every night.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Wow. Just wow.

People measure success in vastly different ways. Woz is a big teddy bear and is still kind of a kid, so he does things that are fun for him and (he hopes) for others. Who else gets to walk around the stage in the early street scene of The Nutcracker selling roasted chestnuts in front of an audience of kids? That's the kind of thing that Woz enjoys, and he never calls into question whether it represents a success or failure.

I'll take Woz' success any day over Bill Gates'. At least i'd be able to sleep well every night.

I sooooo agree with what you said!
post #13 of 29
And now Apple has just bought HPs building...
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Wow. Just wow.


I'll take Woz' success any day over Bill Gates'. At least i'd be able to sleep well every night.


Bill Gates doesn't sleep at night, too busy saving millions of lives around the world and re-inventing US education system. Woz obviously content to play Segway Polo, while Jobs makes gadgets that will be electronic trash in 3 years.
post #15 of 29
Apple is the innovative company it is now because of the path it took. Had HP been involved, the powers that be likely would not have had the foresight to even continue development of these computers and even if they had, they would never have ended up the way they are now. The simple fact that HP didn't see value in these computers to begin with demonstrates how HP's thinking was different than Woz/Jobs.

There was never a missed opportunity because the opportunity wouldn't have been the same.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

Apple = success.

Steve Wozniak = failure.

But if you confuse the two long enough, and mix in a little news media, Steve Wozniak can ride the coat tails of Apple for the rest of his life...

Nice to know that you only care about money. I'll have to remember to ignore everything you say from now on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRRRRRR View Post

Bill Gates doesn't sleep at night, too busy saving millions of lives around the world and re-inventing US education system. Woz obviously content to play Segway Polo, while Jobs makes gadgets that will be electronic trash in 3 years.

That's good stuff; you should start a satirical blog or something.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRRRRRR View Post

Bill Gates doesn't sleep at night, too busy saving millions of lives around the world and re-inventing US education system. Woz obviously content to play Segway Polo, while Jobs makes gadgets that will be electronic trash in 3 years.

You forgot you "/sarcasm"

Bill Gates can't buy his way into heaven.

iPhone 4S 64GB, Black, soon to be sold in favor of a Nokia Lumia 920
Early 2010 MacBook Pro 2.4GHz, soon to be replaced with a Retina MacBook Pro, or an Asus U500

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iPhone 4S 64GB, Black, soon to be sold in favor of a Nokia Lumia 920
Early 2010 MacBook Pro 2.4GHz, soon to be replaced with a Retina MacBook Pro, or an Asus U500

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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post

Apple = success.

Steve Wozniak = failure.

But if you confuse the two long enough, and mix in a little news media, Steve Wozniak can ride the coat tails of Apple for the rest of his life...

that has to be the dumbest post ever.

there would be no Apple if not for wozniak you moron.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post

there would be no Apple if not for wozniak you moron.

There seem to be a lot of people who think that products are designed and developed by the abstract entity known as "a company". What's scarier though is when those people are actually running companies (into the ground).
 
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post #20 of 29
HP = Hopelessly Prehistoric
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansky View Post

HP = Hopelessly Prehistoric

Had Potential
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRRRRRR View Post

Bill Gates doesn't sleep at night, too busy saving millions of lives around the world and re-inventing US education system.

"Re-inventing US education system"? Grammar much?

Seriously, did Bill Gates invent charter schools in the same way that Al Gore invented the Internet?

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterRRRRRR View Post

Bill Gates doesn't sleep at night, too busy saving millions of lives around the world and re-inventing US education system. Woz obviously content to play Segway Polo, while Jobs makes gadgets that will be electronic trash in 3 years.

And thus is able to shelter most of his income from the IRS for modest (compared to his income and capital gains) charitable donation. While the work on health is admirable, he is no Andrew Carnegie.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by canucklehead View Post

Apple is the innovative company it is now because of the path it took. Had HP been involved, the powers that be likely would not have had the foresight to even continue development of these computers and even if they had, they would never have ended up the way they are now. The simple fact that HP didn't see value in these computers to begin with demonstrates how HP's thinking was different than Woz/Jobs.

There was never a missed opportunity because the opportunity wouldn't have been the same.

It does not surprise me at all that Woz would have felt such loyalty to HP. The HP of today is not the HP of those days. The company was built on engineering excellence by two engineers who displayed incredible vision and dedication to the highest standards. Woz would have fully appreciated this fact. Furthermore, this argument can be easily supported if one goes and searches out the HP Journal that they used to produce, in which their design philosophy was displayed. Anyone with an understanding of the art of those days would be blown away by the vision that they displayed. The Apple I design would understandably have seemed a mere distraction.

Have a look at the web site for Agilent, which is the company, spun off from HP, that more accurately represents what HP stood for in those days.

I've always believed that HP could have owned personal computing, however, they simply weren't in a position to take up the offer, the mindset was elsewhere (albeit, in a very happy, excellent place ). HP certainly pioneered modern concepts, such as just-in-time manufacturing that are important to Apple and most modern hardware companies and no doubt, inspired Woz to excellence.

I would have much preferred that Agilent had kept the HP name and the personal computer business had gone with a new name, however, by the time the split came, I guess it was too late to go that way.
Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #25 of 29
HP got its innovative stack designs from Burroughs, where the ideas of stacks and Reverse-Polish Notation (RPN) was introduced by Bob Barton:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_S._Barton

Thus HP and Woz have a lineage to Barton.

But not only that, but Alan Kay who did so much of the design at Xerox PARC that went into the Mac had been a student of Barton's. Steve Jobs saw the ideas and since Xerox didn't want to build and sell them offered to do it. Xerox could also say "you win some, you lose some". Alan Kay also had the idea of the Dynabook 30 years ago, which has finally made it in the iPad.

Burroughs could also say "you win some, you lose some", since Barton left them (to teach at Utah). However, apart from his ideas, Barton's designs (which still solve many of today's problems like security), still live on in the Unisys Clearpath MCP series.

http://www.coe.utah.edu/view_news/83
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

It does not surprise me at all that Woz would have felt such loyalty to HP. The HP of today is not the HP of those days. The company was built on engineering excellence by two engineers who displayed incredible vision and dedication to the highest standards. Woz would have fully appreciated this fact. Furthermore, this argument can be easily supported if one goes and searches out the HP Journal that they used to produce, in which their design philosophy was displayed. Anyone with an understanding of the art of those days would be blown away by the vision that they displayed. The Apple I design would understandably have seemed a mere distraction.

According to Woz, he was under contract as an HP employee. Anything Woz engineered was the property of HP first, hence pitch the Apple I idea to HP over and over and if they continue to refuse then Woz would be free to build and patent those refused products. In short Woz was and is an ethical guy, sue him for being a good employee and citizen. Funny they teach ethics, my guess is a guy like Woz would be bored in such a class.
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Please consider throwing extra cycles at better understanding Alzheimer's, Mad Cow (CJD), ALS, and Parkinson's disease go here <a href="http://folding.stanford.edu/" target="_blank">http://folding....
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post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by screamingfist View Post

that has to be the dumbest post ever.

there would be no Apple if not for wozniak you moron.

Woz was responsible for many designs that went into early Apple computers. Apple's name and reputation were built on their early machines. After Apple became a huge success, Woz left the company to pursue other things. Later, John Sculley fired Steve Jobs and then ran Apple into the ground. Eventually, Jobs returns and rebuilds the company.

Woz simply utilized the benefits of his early success to pursue his own personal goals. I don't see how Woz really failed in any way...
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dehildum View Post

And thus is able to shelter most of his income from the IRS for modest (compared to his income and capital gains) charitable donation. While the work on health is admirable, he is no Andrew Carnegie.

Gates thing was really more about trying to get other rich people to give generously, rather than doing it all himself. Thats why he would do stuff like that mosquito stunt...
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDBLACK View Post

Gates thing was really more about trying to get other rich people to give generously, rather than doing it all himself. Thats why he would do stuff like that mosquito stunt...

At a personal level, my perception of Bill Gates is that he is a most pleasant fellow. One wonders what Microsoft would have been if he and Paul Allen had not encumbered themselves with Steve Ballmer.
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