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Warning! This page is about really ancient stuff.

Bill Fernandez with the Cream Soda computer board in 1971.

The Cream Soda Computer was the first computer built by Steve Wozniak and Bill Fernandez in 1971, years before the Apple I.


The computer board was based around a simple 8-bit processor and two 4-bit arithmetic logic units. Punch cards were used because inputting code bit by bit was found not to be practical. 256 bytes of memory were stored in eight 32-byte static RAM chips from Intersil. 8 LEDs would display the result. There was no expansion bus.[1][2]

Fernandez and Wozniak were downing this stuff in 1971 before Jolt Cola ever existed.


Wozniak and Fernandez were classmates from Homestead High School in Cupertino, California. They began work on the project in the garage of Fernandez' father, also named Bill Fernandez, who was the mayor of Sunnyvale at the time. Wozniak obtained 20 sample TTL chips from a Tenet executive while Homestead classmate Bill Werner tried to help obtain other parts.[1][3][4] The computer was named after the Cragmont Cream Soda that was purchased from the local Safeway and consumed during the project.[5]

During a demonstration, a reporter from the Peninsula Times tripped over a power cord and destroyed the computer. However, the project led Fernandez to re-introduce Wozniak to future Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Wozniak's experience also influenced his design of the future Apple I.[1][6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Cream soda – The first computer by Shashwat Pradhan, Emberify Blog. 2014-10-01.
  2. Cream Soda Computer, el primer ordenador fabricado por Wozniak antes del Apple I (Spanish), Seguridad Apple. 2017-10-21.
  3. Great Garages by Michael S. Malone, Forbes. 2000-10-19.
  4. The Apple-1, Apple-1 Registry. Accessed 2020-05-19.
  5. This Week in Apple History: May 29 through June 3, MacNN. Archived 2016-05-30. Archived 2016-06-01.
  6. Apple's first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez by Jason Hiner, Tech Republic. 2014-12-05.

External links


  • Cream Soda Days by Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith, iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the personal computer, co-founded Apple, and had fun doing it p.75-92. W. W. Norton & Company. 2006.