The date: April 1, 1976 -A whopping 42 years ago-; the site: the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California; the device presented: the Apple-1, a personal computer designed and created by hand by Steve WozniakUltimately one of the fathers of the personal-use PC revolution, but at the time an unknown engineer who had created the Apple 1 for personal use.
But a friend of his convinced him that they could sell it and start a business. That man was Steve Jobs, and that’s where Apple was born. And to help finance the production of Apple 1, Jobs sold his VolksWagen Microbus, while Wozniak sold his HP-65 calculator for $ 500.
The first of its kind
The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 with the curious price of $ 666.66 because Wozniak liked the repeated digits and because they originally sold it to a local store for $ 500 and added a third of the profit margin. 200 units were manufactured. Unlike other hobbyist computers of the day, which were sold in kits, the Apple I was a fully assembled circuit board containing 62 chips.
However, to make a functional computer, users still had to add a housing, a power supply transformer, the power switch, an ASCII keyboard, and a composite video display. An option card that provided an interface for storage cassettes was later marketed at a cost of $ 75.
Of the 200 models manufactured at the time, according to experts there are around 60-70 units left worldwide. And of that number, there are believed to be only about 20 that can still function. And given that we are talking about an absolute relic in the history of Computing – the Apple 1 is not only the first thing that Apple did, but the first PC that combined a microprocessor with a connection for keyboard and monitor -, the prices for getting this piece Apple history and Technology history are not low …
An Apple 1 at auction
An original Apple computer built by company co-founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in 1976 has fetched a price of $ 400,000 (350,000 euros) at an auction in the United States. The computer has only had two owners, a university professor and his student, to whom he sold the machine for $ 650, said John Moran Auctioneers in California.
The sale It included Apple’s user manuals and software on two cassette tapes. Of course, the auctioned machine is not the most profitable Apple-1 computer: that distinction corresponds to a working version that was sold for $ 905,000 at a Bonhams auction in New York in 2014.
“This is kind of a holy grail for collectors of vintage electronics and computer technology,” Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen told the Los Angeles Times ahead of Tuesday’s auction in the town of Monrovia, near Los Angeles. “That makes it really exciting for a lot of people.”
Yes, at least for those who can spend such a large amount of money on a piece that is pure computer science history.