I just returned from KansasFest, a yearly Apple II convention in Kansas City, MO — if you can believe such a thing exists — and guess who showed up as a surprise guest: Steve Wozniak, inventor of the Apple II, the computer that shaped pretty much my whole life (and everyone else’s, by popularizing the idea of the personal computer). It was a thrill and a half to meet him, and he couldn’t have been a nicer guy. He signed lots of autographs and, along with Randy Wigginton, Apple employee #6, told lots of entertaining stories about Apple’s early days. I was also pleased that he was in attendance for a session I presented.
Also remarkable was that an attendee showed up with an incredibly rare and valuable, and operational, Apple I computer — it was originally sold to hobbyists as a kit you had to assemble yourself. Only 200 were produced, and only 48 (according to Wikipedia) are known to still exist. Once Apple released the II, they were quick to get customers to exchange their original models, in part, Randy explained, because Woz was the only one who could support them, because he was the only one who knew how it worked. I got to actually try it out. You can’t even backspace on it!
Pictured is me, Randy (on the left) and Woz (on the right).