Yesterday marked a big day for Apple. No, it wasn’t a release of a next-generation iOS device, but rather 35 years since the company introduced a huge game-changer, the Apple II. Back in 1977 when it first debuted, the world’s first truly accessible personal computer was almost overlooked at the West Coast Computer Faire. But the tiny startup that was called Apple Computer lucked out by having a pretty slick booth located near the entrance. Founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak demoed the machine.
The most basic model cost $1300 (or something close to $5000 in 2012 dollars) and it started shipping in the summer of 1977. The basic model included only 4KB of memory and didn’t include the cost of a monitor. A truly well-equipped II, with a color monitor, 48KB of RAM and two drives cost several thousand dollars. But the end of the year, it became one of a trio of consumer-friendly, ready-to-use systems that were taking the personal computer beyond its hobbyist origins. The Apple II became the forefather of Apple’s most popular products, including the iPhone, iPad and many more.