The fun and profits came to an end at a Sunnyvale pizza parlor.
Jobs and Wozniak were about to drive to Berkeley with a Blue Box they had just finished making.
Jobs needed money and was eager to sell, so he pitched the device to some guys at the next table.
They were interested, so Jobs went to a phone booth and demonstrated it with a call to Chicago. The prospects said they had to go to their car for money.
"So we walk over to the car, Woz and me, and I've got the Blue Box in my hand, and the guy gets in, reaches under the seat, and he pulls out a gun," Jobs recounted.
He had never been that close to a gun, and he was terrified.
"So he's pointing the gun right at my stomach, and he says, 'Hand it over, brother.' My mind raced.
There was the car door here, and I thought maybe I could slam it on his legs and we could run, but there was this high probability that he would shoot me.
So I slowly handed it to him, very carefully." It was a weird sort of robbery.
The guy who took the Blue Box actually gave Jobs a phone number and said he would try to pay for it if it worked.
When Jobs later called the number, the guy said he couldn't figure out how to use it.
So Jobs, in his felicitous way, convinced the guy to meet him and Wozniak at a public place.
But they ended up deciding not to have another encounter with the gunman, even on the off chance they could get their $150.
The partnership paved the way for what would be a bigger adventure together.
"If it hadn't been for the Blue Boxes, there wouldn't have been an Apple," Jobs later reflected.
"I'm 100% sure of that. Woz and I learned how to work together, and we gained the confidence that we could solve technical problems and actually put something into production."
They had created a device with a little circuit board that could control billions of dollars' worth of infrastructure.
"You cannot believe how much confidence that gave us." Woz came to the same conclusion:
"It was probably a bad idea selling them, but it gave us a taste of what we could do with my engineering skills and his vision."
The Blue Box adventure established a template for a partnership that would soon be born.
Wozniak would be the gentle wizard coming up with a neat invention that he would have been happy just to give away,
and Jobs would figure out how to make it user-friendly, put it together in a package, market it, and make a few bucks.