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This Week in Apple History
by Owen Linzmayer
& Bryan Chaffin

February 1-7: The Woz Leaves, Jobs Buys Pixar, Apple Gets A Grammy
February 6th, 2004

Steve Wozniak had a plane crash this week in 1981. The injuries from that accident lead to Mr. Wozniak taking a leave of absence from Apple. Four years later, Mr. Wozniak leaves Apple altogether because he felt the Apple II was getting short shrift because of the new Macintosh.

Jump ahead to 1986, and Steve Jobs buys Pixar from George Lucas for US$10 million. We all know how that worked out.

It was this week in 1996 that Gil Amelio replaced Michael Spindler as CEO of Apple. We also know how that worked out. It was a busy week for Apple CEOs, bcause in 1994, former Apple CEO John Sculley went to work for Spectrum Information Technologies, a relationship that didn't last.

This week in 2002, Apple won the "Technical Grammy" for its role in the recording industry.

On the negative side, it was one year ago this week that Apple found itself being sued by its supposed retail partners.

February 1-7

1981: Steve Wozniak and his fiancée are seriously injured after he crashes his Beechcraft Bonanza A36TC while taking off from the Sky Park Airport in Scotts Valley, California. Woz suffered a concussion that prevented him from forming new memories. Upon recovering, he took a leave of absence from Apple.

1985: Annoyed at Apple's focus on the Mac at the expense of the Apple II, Wozniak leaves the company again and sells the bulk of his stock. He uses some of the proceeds to fund CL9 (short for "cloud nine"), which eventually releases a programmable remote control. Less than two weeks after resigning from Apple, Wozniak and Jobs were jointly awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan.

1986: Having been forced out of Apple just months prior, Steve Jobs pays $10 million to George Lucas for a majority interest in Pixar, then a small computer division at Lucasfilm. When the company went public in 1995 on the strength of its first animated feature, Toy Story, Jobs' stake was worth $1.17 billion -- more than the value of his Apple stock at any time during his tenure in Cupertino.

1994: John Sculley resigns from Spectrum Information Technologies, where he had briefly been CEO after leaving Apple. Sculley sued Spectrum, and Spectrum quickly countersued, but both parties withdrew their lawsuits the following month.

1996: Board member Gilbert Amelio replaces embattled Michael Spindler as Apple CEO and chairman. Amelio promptly announces that Apple has finally licensed the Mac OS to Motorola.

1997: Apple's acquisition of NeXT is consummated, bringing Steve Jobs back to the company and providing Apple the technology and talent that would eventually create Mac OS X.

1998: Apple announces that CompUSA will be the company's exclusive national retailer of Macs. Apple also launches the popular Snail commercial lampooning Intel processors.

1999: Chancellor William Chandler rules against Apple in that company's lawsuit against erstwhile PowerPC processor maker Exponential.

2000: Apple is added to the Easdaq, one of Europe's stock boards, bringing the stock to the European trading market. Apple introduces the AppleCare Technician Training program, a program to certify Mac technicians.

2001: After a miserable two quarters that signaled the end of the dot-com boom, and the beginning of the dot-com bust, Fred Anderson and Steve Jobs promise that Apple will return to profitability this quarter. Former Apple CEO Gil Amelio begins new gig with called Advanced Communications Technologies, Inc., on the company's board.

2002: The Grammy Awards announces that Apple will receive the Technical Grammy award for the company's contributions to the art of recording music. Apple buys Nothing Real, the maker of filmmaking software Shake.

2003: Apple is sued by a number of retailers for what the retailers claim is preferential treatment of Apple's own Apple Store retail locations.

is the author of Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World’s Most Colorful Company, published by No Starch Press earlier this year (US$13.97 - Amazon).

is the editor of The Mac Observer, and was egged on, in-part, in his obsession with the Mac by Owen's first book, The Mac Bathroom Reader.

You can send your comments directly to Owen and Bryan, or you can also post your comments below.

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