Save 10% off Floppy Emu disk emulator hardware and accessories this week, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original West Coast Computer Faire! Use promo code FAIRE10 at the BMOW store to claim the discount, now through April 15.
The first West Coast Computer Faire in 1977 was a landmark event in the birth of the personal computer industry. Held April 15-17 in San Francisco, the show introduced kit and assembled computers to a general public audience of more than 10,000. WCC Faire was a key turning point in the evolution of computers from geeky curiosities into mainstream consumer products. The Apple II and Commodore PET both debuted at the event, along with hundreds of other exhibits of homebrew and commercial computer systems.
See original WCC Faire 1977 documents at DigiBarn.
Here’s an excerpt from a first-hand account of WCC Faire 1977 by David H. Ahl:
Ahl: You’ve got essentially what you call a black-box computer. Self-contained. You don’t really have to know anything except how to hit a switch. What type of market are you aiming at? Somebody that wants to do programming, play games, or what? Anything specific?
Markkula: All of the above and more. We really want to be the computer company, not the small-business computer company or something else – just the personal computer company! So that’s the reason you see a molded plastic case, BASIC in ROM, and so on. In fact we want to extend the whole concept to make it even easier to use.
Ahl: What’s the MPU chip in the Apple II?
Markkula: The 6502. It’s the most efficient chip for what we’re trying to do.
Ahl: What would a complete Apple II system require in terms of memory for the beginner?
Markkula: 4K is more than adequate. Remember the 4K that comes with a standard minimum system is all user space because the BASIC is in ROM. So almost all of the 4K RAM is available for programming and data.
Ahl: What would a system of that configuration cost?
Ahl: Is that assembled?
Markkula: Assembled, tested, complete with two game paddles and a complete carrying case so you can carry it around – all the cords and manuals and operation information.
Ahl: When do you start making deliveries?