About Apple's history the visitor of this site might already know quite a few things. The gaming roots of this history are less known. Steve Jobs and Wozniak met in the 70s at Atari, while designing Breakout, the biggest hit of 1976. Wozniak went on to work for HP, after Atari told him that they didn't have the money to develop a home computer. At the Homebrew computer club they met again and developed the Apple I. after an investment made my Mike Markulla, they were able to set up a distributing channel through the Byte Computershop and it became an instant success.
It's successor could handle more graphics and memory, but more important was that it was the first 'polished and pre-built'-system, and thus Apple bore the first Personal Computer with the Apple II.
The computer was simple and stabile, and when the Apple II plus added built in roms and 48k of memory, the computer became a serious platform. It was a revelation to many small company. finally, there was a computer they could affort. They became even happier when the first Spreadsheet, Visicalc, was written for it, and Appleworks added integrated software.
Om the homecomputer market, the computer would be defeated by the Commodore 64, but it would remain a force in the educational market. Apple fired all Apple II staff on Black Wednesday in 1981, to focus on the innovative Mac. Still, in 1983 the most popular Apple II was launched, the Apple IIE
Finally, the company created the IIGS in 1986. This was an Apple II which allmost could measure up to 16bit computers like the Amiga and had a Mac-like operating system. This type remained popular until after 1990 in the US.
More on the Apple II history on Apple2history.org. All Apples are at Apple history.