Thirty-five years ago, on April 16 and 17, 1977, more than twelve
thousand proto-geeks flooded into San Francisco’s Civic
Auditorium. They were there to attend a new event called the West
Coast Computer Faire, and the room brimmed with excitement over a
new, futuristic gizmo known as the “personal computer.” The
throngs packed the aisles, marveling at microcomputers and related
gizmos from tiny startups such as Cromemco, IMSAI, Northstar, Ohio
Scientific and Parasitic Engineering.
One of the tiny startups benefited from having an especially slick
booth located in prime real estate near the entrance. The company
was called Apple Computer, and a handful of its employees,
including founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, were demoing an
unreleased machine they called the Apple II.