Wayne  Ronald Gerald Wayne is the pretty much unknown co-founder of Apple Computer, quite rightly over-shadowed by the two Steves: Jobs and Wozniak. Wayne worked with Steve Jobs at Atari, and was a pivotal figure in Apple’s incorporation. He designed and drew Apple’s first logo (not the good one, the one showing Sir Isaac Newton under an apple tree), composed the original Apple partnership agreement, and wrote the Apple I manual. His principal duties were for Mechanical Engineering and Documentation.

Jobs was impressed that “amazing” Wayne had started his own company, selling slot machines, and wanted him to give Apple some “adult supervision”.

Twenty years older than Jobs, and so with more to lose, Wayne got cold feet when he realised he was jointly responsible for any company debts. After just 11 days he quit Apple, selling his 10 per cent stake in the company for a total of $2,300. Had he stayed on, his 10 per cent of Apple would have been worth many billions today.

“I made the best decision for me at the time,” he says now, without throwing up or weeping openly.

West Coast Computer Faire   This was one of the first technology expos, and its opening show in April 1977 featured the launch of the Apple II with the young Wozniak and Jobs dressed up in sharp new suits. There were only three Apple II computers actually in existence but ever-the-showman Jobs piled empty boxes around the prominent $5,000 show booth to make it appear many more were available. 

Windows   The other operating system that you can run on your Mac, Windows started life on 20 November 1985 as Microsoft’s copy of Apple’s Mac OS. Compared to the Mac OS, Windows was horribly inferior. Apple sued Microsoft for copyright infringement but lost every time it went to court to prove that Bill Gates and co had simply stolen its technology. 

Woolard   Ed Woolard served on Apple’s Board of Directors from 1996 to 2000, when he stepped down for “personal reasons”.

Woolard was brought onto the Apple board by then Apple CEO Gil Amelio. Amelio probably regretted it when Woolard was instrumental in his sacking, which allowed Steve Jobs to return to Apple’s top position. One of the first things Jobs did on his return was demand that all the Apple board members, except Woolard, resign.

“Woolard was one of the best board members I’ve ever see. He was a prince, one of the most supportive and wise people I’ve ever met,” said Jobs.

Woz   If Steve Jobs is the cold, hard, mercilessly evil genius co-founder of Apple then Steve Wozniak is the warm, cuddly, kind genius guy. Woz (even his nickname is rotundly cosy) is a major figure at the start of the Apple story but literally crashes out not long after.

Stephen Gary Wozniak was introduced to Jobs by fellow Homestead High School pupil Bill Fernandez. The two Steves briefly worked together at Hewlett-Packard, and Jobs roped Woz in to help him design the game Breakout at Atari. 

Outside of HP they attended the Homebrew Computer Club, where they showed off Woz’s Apple I computer. The Apple I wasn’t a PC as we know it but a fully assembled circuit board. Users had to buy or build the case and add power supply, keyboard and display. While Woz made the Apple I it was Jobs who proposed selling it. To finance the Apple I Jobs sold his VW van and Woz flogged his HP-65 calculator.

Together, with Ron Wayne, they founded Apple in April 1976, after Jobs had persuaded Wozniak to quit HP.

The company’s big success was Woz’s follow-up computer, the rather obviously named Apple II, which went on sale on 5 June 1977. 

This really was a personal computer, including neat plastic case, integrated keyboard and colour display. It was one of the most successful PCs ever made, selling six million units, and for years dominated the market.

After the Apple II Woz kind of disappears from the Apple story. He was working on developing the Apple II while Jobs was working on him to join the Mac team. But disaster struck in February 1981 when he crashed his plane taking off from the Santa Cruz Sky Park.

Woz was badly injured and lost all memory of the crash. He stopped showing up at Apple because he thought every day was a weekend. 

He was a multi-millionaire after Apple floated but lost a bunch through divorce and funding two giant music festivals, as well as giving some of his stock away to mid-level Apple staff when the company floated – see, he really is a nice guy! He re-enrolled at Berkeley to complete his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. 

In 1983 he did return to Apple, as a simple engineer but stopped in 1987. He remains an Apple employee but has worked on many personal projects, including designing a universal remote control and a wireless GPS.

In 2009 he appeared on the US TV series Dancing with the Stars, until he was eliminated for a poor Argentine Tango.

WWDC   Since 1983 Apple has hosted an annual Worldwide Developers Conference to showcase the latest innovations in Mac OS X and, increasingly, iOS, with 1,000 Apple engineers helping up to 5,000 mainly bearded developers keep up to date with the newest technologies. From 1998 to 2007 each WWDC was kicked off with a keynote from CEO Steve Jobs. It isn’t all serious tech talk, though. During 2002’s WWDC Apple held a mock funeral for Mac OS 9. Sometimes those guys crack me up!

Macworld's complete Apple A - Z - your total guide to the Cupertino-based company