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Bill Fernandez 1978 Apple I+II prototype

Fernandez in 1978 with an Apple I board and an Apple II prototype.

William "Bill" Fernandez was the first employee to join Apple Computer, after its original co-founders.[1]


Fernandez attended Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, where he met future Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. He had also met Steve Jobs in Cupertino Junior High School. In 1969, he first introduced Jobs to Wozniak, while the latter was washing his car.[1] Fernandez's mother Bambi decorated the family home with shin-hanga, which influenced Jobs' interest in Japanese art.[2]

Bill Fernandez 1971 Cream Soda

Fernandez with the Cream Soda computer that he had built with Steve Wozniak in 1971.

In 1971, Wozniak and Fernandez worked together on their first computer board, called Cream Soda, which used punch cards, while consuming Cragmont Cream Soda.[3][4] The computer was built in the garage of the home of Fernandez' father, also named Bill Fernandez, who was the mayor of Sunnyvale at the time. The elder Fernandez later became a Superior Court Judge of the County of Santa Clara.[5][6]

Apple Computer[]

While the original Apple Computer Company was still based in the garage of Steve Jobs's parents in 1976, Fernandez was asked to help as an electronic technician on the Apple I.[1] After Apple Computer was incorporated in January 1977, he was assigned a badge as employee #4, after Wozniak, Jobs, and early investor Mike Markkula. Fernandez worked on the hardware of the Apple II and Macintosh. He was also involved in software projects such as classic Mac OS, HyperCard, and QuickTime. Fernandez remained with Apple until 1993.[7]

Media portrayals[]

Fernandez was portrayed by actor Victor Rasuk in the 2013 film dramatization Jobs.[8]

Video gallery[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Apple's first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez by Jason Hiner, Tech Republic. 2014-12-05.
  2. The beginning of Steve Jobs' lifelong love of shin-hanga by Saeki Kentaro, NHK. 2021-07-01.
  3. Cream soda – The first computer by Shashwat Pradhan, Emberify Blog. 2014-10-01.
  4. Cream Soda Computer, el primer ordenador fabricado por Wozniak antes del Apple I (Spanish), Seguridad Apple. 2017-10-21.
  5. Great Garages by Michael S. Malone, Forbes. 2000-10-19.
  6. Bill Fernandez honored by Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association, The Garden Island. 2019-06-12.
  7. Where are the first 10 Apple employees today? by Ben Gilbert, Business Insider. 2016-12-26.
  8. Jobs (2013): Full Cast & Crew, Internet Movie Database. Accessed 2022-10-06.

See also[]

External links[]

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