My wife and I invested $5,000 in one of the first 3000 Apple II computers back in 1978 (about $20,000 in 2011 dollars).
<< Magazine ad shows Apple II using a TV set as a display, as we did. The inset photo shows Steve Wozniak, the self-taught computer engineer, and Steve Jobs, the visionary, with one of the first Apple II computers.
This year, I paid a fraction of that for my Apple iPad2.
<< Me with my Apple iPad2 (photo taken with the very same iPad2). Steve Jobs in one of his last appearances announcing future developments for the iPad tablet computers.
Our 1978 investment brought fantastic rewards. As a result of our Apple II, Vi became interested in computers, earned a Masters Degree in Computer Science, taught at Binghamton University for a year, and then had a very successful professional career as a team leader for Special Forces helicopter software at IBM and Lockheed Martin.
I brought my Apple II (in a good-size suitcase) to IBM and used it while teaching a course there.
As a result, when the original IBM PC1 was introduced, I got the first one delivered to the IBM facility in Owego and introduced it to the other engineers. I have written thousands of lines of computer code for the Apple II and the IBM PC, and, although IBM never paid me for writing code, I believe that my Apple II and IBM PC computer expertise was largely responsible for my success in conceptualizing advanced automation for avionics systems.
As the life and contributions of Steve Jobs were being celebrated on all the TV news programs and newspapers today, I could not help but add my thanks to this American Original. Every time I use my iPad2, I marvel at the concept and the execution of a wonderful product no one knew we needed a couple years ago. It has become my constant companion. I use it as a camera, web surfer, email communicator, video viewer, book reader, game player, and so, so much more.
So, Steve Jobs - rest in peace. And THANKS! Your contributions changed the world - and my life - and will be remembered forever.
PS: Had we invested that $5,000 in Apple stock in 1978, what would it have been worth today? OY!