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Steve Wozniak Blue Box

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In 1973, Jobs was working for arcade game company Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California. He was assigned to create a circuit board for the arcade video game Breakout. According to Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Atari offered $100 (equivalent to $564 in 2018) for each chip that was eliminated in the machine. Jobs had little knowledge of circuit board design and made a deal with Wozniak to split the fee evenly between them if Wozniak could minimize the number of chips. Wozniak reduced the number of chips by 50, by using RAM for the brick representation. Too complex to be fully comprehended at the time, the fact that this prototype also had no scoring or coin mechanisms meant Woz's prototype could not be used. Jobs was paid the full bonus regardless. Jobs told Wozniak that Atari gave them only $700 and that Wozniak's share was thus $350 (equivalent to $1,975 in 2018). (pp147–148, 180) Wozniak did not learn about the actual $5,000 bonus (equivalent to $28,220 in 2018) until ten years later, but said that if Jobs had told him about it and had said he needed the money, Wozniak would have given it to him. (pp104–107)



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