Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Wooden fruit

Apple1_1Fake wood is very much in fashion these days.  Several of Dell's laptops can be outfitted with woodish panels, and enterprising do-it-yourselfers have started to churn out teak laptops, oak iPods and mahogany PDAs. Wooden bicycles can't be far behind.

None of these hold a candle to the original Apple 1 computer, Wozniak and Jobs' first crack at creating a true mainstream personal computer.

Their revolutionary approach involved placing everything onto a single circuit board, rather than in a huge box full of backplanes, connectors, and tangles of wire.  Only a few were made, but everything they learned from their first machine went into making the Apple II an earth-shattering success.  They chose not to use an Intel 8080 processor because, at $175 a piece, they couldn't afford it.  They went with the lowly 6502, available for a mere $25.  Wozniak was also hung up on the daft idea of including a keyboard instead of a good, solid panel of switches and blinky lights.  Computers have never been the same since. Loaded with 4K of memory, it hit the market on April 1, 1976 priced at $666.66 (I'm not making this stuff up!)  Amusingly, most of them didn't work properly.

These days, the Apple I is a priceless collectors item.  Have no fear, h4x0rs!  Tom Owad and John Greco have written Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage. This 416 page how-to guide leads you through the process of building and programming your very own Apple I replica.  I can't see many people actually going through with it, but picking up a copy to understand the innards of a simple microcomputer can't hurt.  Now if only you could hook a PlayStation controller up to this thing...

Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage (Available on Amazon from Syngress Publishing)


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