Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Actually this project started when I watched the movie "The Pirates of Silicon Valley" on TV several years ago.

Publicity photo for Pirates of Silicon Valley

I admit that I barely knew the story behind Apple, so this movie gave me the first idea of what there is behind Apple. In particular I was catched by the wooden prototype of the Apple-1 that Wozniak built in the movie. The story tells that he had a contract with HP and he had to submit all his inventions and works to his bosses, so the movie presented a very fun scene about the introduction of the computer that Wozniak designed. I suggest to watch this movie.

'The Pirates of Silicon Valley' Wozniak and his Apple-1 at the HP
Scene from 'The Pirates of Silicon Valley': Wozniak and his Apple-1 at the HP.

For the HP corporation this prototype didn't mean anything, it was the worst looking machine they have ever seen, and they believed that ordinary people didn't need a computer. I believe that for the story, the director of the movie asked to show something that looked incredibly weak, bad, and unprofessional.

Wozniak embarrassed and his Apple-1 at the HP
Scene from 'The Pirates of Silicon Valley': Wozniak embarrassed at the HP.

But what catched me was the spirit that probably moved Wozniak to invent that computer, to experiment with it, to build it and finally to create the case for it. Nowadays we call people like him "Makers" :) Anyway that computer remained in my memory and in my wish list as something I wanted to do "Someday".

A couple of years later I watched another movie about the story of Apple and Steve Jobs. This movie, "JOBS", presented that prototype in a different way.

Instead of underlining the look of it, the movie gave to it the right importance and meaning. It has shown the Apple-1 motherboard working, interacting with Jobs. The scene was really exciting because what Wozniak built shocked Jobs who was able to imagine the future of computers for ordinary people. Something more friendly compared to "business" machine. Basically something really incredible and professional available for ordinary people.

Scene from 'Jobs': Wozniak showing Jobs the prototype of the Apple-1.

At that point the memory of the "Wooden Apple-1" came back to my mind, and you know what? I wanted to feel that spirit. I wanted to build one immediately!