Two guys working in a garage invented personal computing and it wasn’t Hewlett and Packard - it was Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. There, I’ve said it - forget Bill Gates or anyone else, it was these two guys and everyone else has been playing catch-up to Apple ever since.
Before them personal computing was for people willing to build a Heathkit or, even more daring, put it together from scratch, usually as part of some geeky computer club. That what they were doing but then they had the brilliant idea of pre-building them for other, less geeky souls.
The computer biggies - IBM, Digital, Wang, etc. were willing to let this fringe group do their thing. But then Apple came along soon followed by the TRS-80, Commodore, Kaypro (the precursor to laptops) and the like. Each of those has its own story and played a role in getting IBM, and their vendor Microsoft, in the game.
When IBM came out with their personal computer they should have run over these little guys. All the press, computer and clueless mainstream, predicted that would happen. But then Apple introduced the graphical desktop and changed the world yet again. It made IBM and everyone else (except maybe Commodore, the artists computer) look like computer cave dwellers.
All the various innovations out of Apple have been chronicled elsewhere but not the fact that they compelled everyone else to follow. There were MP3 players on the market before the iPod but Apple made it mainstream - everyone else (can yo say Zune) played catch-up.
These two guys should be in the inventors hall of fame (is there one?) along with Edison, Graham Bell and Ford. Like them they took existing technology and made it better, made it accessible and changed their world.