Paul Jobs suspended his sideline of repairing old cars so that the Apple team could have the whole garage. He put in a long old workbench, hung a schematic of the computer on the new plasterboard wall he built, and set up rows of labeled drawers for the components. He also built a burn box bathed in heat lamps so
the computer boards could be tested by running overnight at high temperatures. When there was the occasional eruption of temper, an occurrence not uncommon around his son, Paul would impart some of his calm. “What’s the matter?” he would say. “You got a feather up your ass?” In return he
occasionally asked to borrow back the TV set so he could watch the end of a football game. During some of these breaks, Jobs and Kottke would go outside and play guitar on the lawn.
soldering chips. “Most I did well, but I got flux on a few of them,” she recalled. This didn’t please Jobs. “We don’t have a chip to spare,” he railed, correctly. He shifted her to bookkeeping and paperwork at the kitchen table, and he did the soldering himself. When they completed a board, they would hand it off to
Wozniak. “I would plug each assembled board into the TV and keyboard to test it to see if it worked,” he said. “If it did, I put it in a box. If it didn’t, I’d figure what pin hadn’t gotten into the socket right.”
Jobs knew how to appeal to Wozniak. He didn’t argue that they were sure to make money, but instead that they would have a fun adventure. “Even if we lose our money, we’ll have a company,” said Jobs as they were driving in his Volkswagen bus. “For
once in our lives, we’ll have a company.” This was enticing to Wozniak, even more than any prospect of getting rich. He recalled, “I was excited to think about us like
that. To be two best friends starting a company. Wow. I knew right then that I’d do it. How could I not?”
In order to raise the money they needed, Wozniak sold his HP 65 calculator for $500, though the buyer ended up stiffing him for half of that. For his part, Jobs sold
his Volkswagen bus for $1,500. But the person who bought it came to find him two weeks later and said the engine had broken down, and Jobs agreed to pay for half of the repairs. Despite these little setbacks, they now had, with their own small
savings thrown in, about $1,300 in working capital, the design for a product, and a plan. They would start their own computer company.
Apple Is Born
Now that they had decided to start a business, they needed a name. Jobs had gone for another visit to the All One Farm, where he had been pruning the Gravenstein apple trees, and Wozniak picked him up at the airport. On the ride down to Los
Altos, they bandied around options. They considered some typical tech words, such as Matrix, and some neologisms, such as Executek, and some straightforward
boring names, like Personal Computers Inc. The deadline for deciding was the next day, when Jobs wanted to start filing the papers. Finally Jobs proposed Apple
Computer. “I was on one of my fruitarian diets,” he explained. “I had just come back from the apple farm. It sounded fun, spirited, and not intimidating. Apple took the edge off the word ‘computer.’ Plus, it would get us ahead of Atari in the phone book.” He told Wozniak that if a better name
did not hit them by
the next afternoon,
they would just stick with
Apple. And they did.