NEW YORK, Sep 27 (Reuters) There was excited chatter as the revolutionaries met in a nondescript garage in Menlo Park, California, but in the beginning few of them really knew how they would change the world.
And yet within a year of that first meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club on March 5, 1975, a computer was in the hands of consumers for just a few hundred dollars and the personal computer revolution was under way.
Steve Wozniak says that meeting inspired him to design and build the first Apple computer, but he almost didn't show up. ''I was shy and felt that I knew little about the newest developments in computers,'' he recalls.
Shyness is a theme for Wozniak. He is ''the other Steve'' in the duo behind Apple Computer Inc. , the self-effacing engineer to Steve Jobs' brash marketing whiz.
While Jobs, now presiding over the success of Apple's iPod, is almost a household name, the other Steve has been content to stay out of the limelight, until now.
In a book titled ''iWoz'' published this week, Wozniak seeks to tell the engineer's side of the story and set a few things in the record straight.
For him, the day that defined the personal computer was June 29, 1975, the first time he typed a character on a keyboard and saw it show up on the screen right in front of him.
''Every computer before the 'Apple I' had that front panel of switches and lights. Every computer since has had a keyboard and a screen,'' he writes.
TELLING HIS STORY Wozniak, variously known as ''Woz'' and the ''Wizard of Woz,'' put together circuit boards for what would be called the Apple I, and Jobs sold them for 0 each to a new computer store, the Byte Shop in Mountain View, California.
''There are stories that Steve (Jobs) and I engineered those first computers together,'' he writes. ''I did them alone.'' By 1977, the pair had introduced the Apple II, still recognizable as a personal computer even today, and sold 2 million by the time it was superseded by the Macintosh.
As Apple grew into a huge company, Wozniak shunned management positions and worked in a cubicle alongside other engineers, even though he was a co-founder.
More Reuters DKB RS1016