HP-65 helped founding Apple


Just read about Steve Wozniak's autobiography "iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It" (a really long title ;-).

There I found the following detail:

On starting Apple

We were in (Steve Jobs') car and he said -- and I can remember him saying this like it was yesterday, "Well, even if we lose our money, we'll have a company. For once in our lives, we'll have a company."

To come up with the $1,000 we thought we'd need ... I sold my HP 65 calculator for $500. The guy who bought it only paid me half though, and never paid me the rest. I didn't feel too bad because I knew HP's next-generation calculator, the HP 67, was coming out in a month and would cost me only $370 with the employee discount.

And Steve sold his VW van for another few hundred dollars. He figured he could ride around on his bicycle if he had to. That was it. We were in business.


The memories section of this museum also contains a story about the two Steves.

Edit:: memory #51 is the one I am referring to

Edited: 28 Nov 2006, 5:15 a.m.


I wonder:

 * what that $250 is worth in 2006 dollars, and
* what his HP-65 would go for today?


I once read that $395 (the HP-35 price tag) in 1972 were equivalent to $1,900 in 2005 (considering just the inflation). Assuming that HP-65 was sold in 1976, those $250 should be now $1,090.47, if I have used the right formula. Anyway, this is a job for the Business Analysts around here :-)

An ordinary HP-65 would sell for much less today, even if my calculation is wrong. Woz's 65 would sell for a little more, but only if they had succeeded in founding Apple without this sale... He's got no reason to complain :-)


Your inflation numbers seem pretty close. They work out to 4.9% per annum average which seems reasonable. (Double digits in the 70s and very low during the 90s averaging out).

Real estate has been appreciating at around 5% over that same period.

All this is in U.S. of course.

Edited: 28 Nov 2006, 3:59 p.m.


According to this CPI calculator that I use when such calculations are needed, $250 in 1976 would be equivalent to $886.20 today. A run-of-the-mill HP-65 would go for far less than that, but if you could find the actual HP-65 that Steve Wozniak sold to found Apple, it might be worth a little more.


Y'know, someone who frequents this Forum may well be the holder of that particular calculator.

But unless Wozniak remembers the serial # (or H-P releases some archived sales records), we won't likely ever know.

Or, maybe Woz etched his driver's license number in the back case with a soldering iron -- like I did with my first HP-21. (Kids -- Do NOT try this at home!)

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