I'm reading David Weiss's blog (he's a developer with MS's MacBU) and he has some quick notes from hearing Woz speak at Microsoft... One thing caught my attention, how Woz says he could "build anything for free." Back in those days, you literally could replicate chips yourself, using transistors and breadboard kits, because there were so few transistors on the chips!
Funnier still, it makes me think of Bill and Paul, slogging away with that Intel manual, building it themselves too (software this time, of course)... All those guys wanted their own computers too, and conspired to make it happen.
Their drive and sense of fun and wonder is what made them successful. Well, timing didn't hurt. But I tried to impart this to my students. Many came from difficult backgrounds-- either poverty, family issues, personal problems, whatever. Despite this, many made it through, and the common factor? Those same qualities: drive, curiosity, and a sense of fun. Cuz it's all a game folks. ;-)
one man's journey into creating gibblybits