Tales of Silicon Valley: The computer that started a war
>> Silicon Valley is full of stories, some pretty, some not. This is one of those stories. Bruce Damer, curator of the DigiBarn, tells how the Sol-20 computer sparked Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to begin the real PC revolution.
>> Bruce Damer: This is the Sol-20 Terminal Computer, which is really the first packaged personal computer, which had a nice keyboard and nice case and whatever. It's called a Terminal Computer because it felt like a nice, mainframe terminal. But it was a full computer, designed by...
>> So this predated the Apple II?
>> Bruce Damer: Predated the Apple II. It was launched in the summer of 1976. And at that time, Wozniak [assumed spelling] and Jobs and Daniel Kottke and the rest were just marketing the Apple I. So everybody saw this in the Homebrew Club and elsewhere, and said we gotta get going, because this is a full package that somebody could buy. And it's nice. And we gotta get going and make our own. Make them. So the Apple II was motivated by that, and other machines. I thing they sold ten thousand of these.
>> And why did they name it the Sol?
>> Bruce Damer: It was named the Sol because the publisher of this magazine, a very important magazine in the day, was so moved by having it named after him -- his name was Les Solomon [assumed spelling] -- that he put it on the cover, which guaranteed you some good initial sales.
>> Look for more tales of Silicon Valley at cnettv.com.
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