Steve Jobs – The Early Years

With the 24th February marking the birthday of Steve Jobs, we reflect on the early years of the life of this remarkable man, who would go on to be described at the Father of the Digital Revolution.


Steve Jobs was born in 1955, in San Francisco and was immediately adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs.  The family moved to the Mountain View area of California when Jobs was five and it was from his adopted Father that Jobs first became interested in electronics.  A carpenter and mechanic by trade, Jobs’ father taught his son how things worked and together they would rebuild electronic devices in their garage.  Jobs’ mother worked for Varian Associates in Accounts, a high-tech company based in what was later known as Silicon Valley.


It would be whilst attending Homestead High School that Jobs met Bill Fernandez, a fellow fan of electronics, and it was through Bill that Jobs was introduced to Steve Wozniak, who at the time was Bill’s neighbour.  Jobs graduated in 1972, but having enrolled at Reed College he dropped out after just six months.


Jobs secured a job as a Technician with Atari, and later travelled to India with Daniel Kottke in search of Neem Karoli Baba, the spiritual teacher and Hindu guru on a journey of enlightenment.  Having stayed in India for over 6 months, he would return to the US and work again for Atari.


An early successful venture would be with Wozniak who had created a blue box, which orchestrated free long distance calls through telephone networks.  Jobs worked with Wozniak to build and sell the boxes, and at this time the pair also began to take part in meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club which was based in Silicon Valley and brought together those with a keen interest in electronics and computing.  The Club would prove inspirational to Wozniak for the design of the Apple I, and would also see pioneers in computing and electronic engineering such as Adam Osbourne, George Morrow, Lee Felsenstein, Li-Chen Wang as well as John Draper regularly attending meetings.


In 1976 Wozniak and Jobs founded Apple Computing Company, together with Ronald Wayne who they had worked with at Atari, and who was responsible for the design of the first Apple Logo as well as writing the Apple I manual.  The trio originally worked out of the garage of Jobs’ parents in Los Altos, and from these humble beginnings the computer and consumer electronics giant was born.


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