Monday, August 18, 2014

Vintage Computers - Paul Terrell - Helps with information about Apple 1 computer in wooden case.

Click on Photo to enlarge
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Searching for source of this
 wooden case on my 
Apple 1 Computer
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Museum Bugs with
Apple 1 computer 
I received the email below from Paul Terrell 7/4/13 in my hunt to find out where the wooded case on my Apple 1 computer may have originated. Paul started Byte Shop in December 1975 and purchased the first 50 Apple 1 computers from Jobs and Woz. This large purchase played a very important part of the success of the Apple Company start up. Without this purchase and marketing by Byte Shop the Apple Company we know today may not exist.  Paul grew his stores into a franchise operation that reached from the United States to Japan. He also began manufacturing the  "Byte 8" computer for sale in his Byte Shop stores. Paul had a really great idea with his Byte Shop stores. I gleaned  some of this information from Wikipedia - take a look you will find Paul's story a very interesting and an important part of the Personal Computer revolution.

Here is the email from Paul Terrell:
Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Paul Terrell
This is from Steve Williams who worked at the Byte Shop in Palo Alto and one of their customers made the wooden cases and sold them to the store managers and owners. I am not sure of the actual wood used but I do remember putting one together myself in the Byte Shop Mt. View (Original store where I bought the first 50 from jobs and Woz) and the wood of that case was not shinny and didn't have any grain to speak of. It could have been Koa . Bob Moody the manager of the Palo Alto store might have a better recollection .

This must have been written by Steve Williams.
The Apple 1 pictured wasn't sold by Steve Jobs at the Byte Shop. Rather, Jobs and Woz sold the Apple 1s to the Byte Shop chain as bare boards, and the Byte Shop chased down keyboards and power supplies, and hired somebody to make the wooden cases pictured. In the photo, the really innovative, bare board computer that Jobs and Woz produced is hidden inside the case.

Photo of Apple 1 with keyboard in wood case.

The Byte Shops had bought the Apple 1s during the year prior to my arrival. By the time I got there, the Apple 1s were an annoyance. Most of them didn't work, they weren't selling, and Apple wasn't being very responsive. The wooden cases were really crappy, too. And the surplus keyboards were expensive and in short supply.
One of my first tasks was to carry a whole stack of bad Apple 1 boards back to Apple. My boss gave me directions to a little one-story office mall in Cupertino. I found it modern, but Apple's offices were pretty bare. I arrived bearing my stack of boards, and the four or five Apple people went and retrieved Jobs. He seemed unfazed that a stack of Apple 1 boards had failed. "So, what do you think of the Apple 1?" he asked. I didn't know anything about it, having worked only on SWTPC 6800 micros and the big computers at BYU. I said something like, "I don't know, but my boss thinks they're not very reliable." He wasn't pleased, but breezed off to dazzle the next visitor. He was pretty famous, in a small way, even then.
It was only a few months later that the Apple II became available. It was hotly anticipated by the hobbyists of the time. The first Apple II delivered to a customer was through our store. Someone from Apple drove up from Cupertino and dropped it off at the store. We set it up on a table in the front of the store and called a bunch of our customers to come in and see it. By the time the buyer arrived, there was an SRO crowd trying to see it draw abstract images (in color!) on a TV set we used as a monitor. (That's about all it did, since no software was available for it.) The buyer scooped it up and took it home, and we didn't see another for weeks.
bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Early Byte Shop Store

I tried to contact Bob Moody the manager of the original Byte Shop Palo Alto store with no luck so far.

Thank you Paul Terrell for this information.

David Larsen
David Larsen KK4WW
I still am not sure of the origin of the wooden case on the Apple 1 computer I purchased from John Burch about 25 years ago. The case is well made and beautiful as you can see from the photo in upper left of this post. I would be delighted to hear from anyone with knowledge of these wooden cases.

."by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector Historian   
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1 comment:

  1. Yes the case used for this Apple 1 computer is just beautiful. I only wish I had more information from the person I purchased this Apple 1 from. He may have made the case himself because to told me he purchase the Apple 1 from Wozniak and Jobs directly at one of the club meetings out of the back of their car. I never heard of Jobs and Woz selling a computer in a case. This could be an exception.


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