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Non-functioning Apple I to be auctioned off in October, expected to net $127K

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Christie's on Tuesday announced it will be putting a rare Apple I motherboard on the block at an upcoming sale in October, expecting the piece of personal computing history to fetch up to $127,000.

The non-working motherboard, from the estate of former Apple employee Joe Copson, bears the serial number 22 and is expected to fetch between ?50,000 and ?80,000 ($79,180 to $126,694 at current rates), notes The Mac Observer.

While in good aesthetic condition, the motherboard represents the first piece of hardware built by Apple in 1976. Conceived by former company cofounder Steve Wozniak with help from the late Steve Jobs, the hand-built Apple I is widely credited as being one of the world's first and most significant personal computers.

It is estimated that 200 copies of the Apple I were produced, though only six of the about 50 left intact are known to be in working condition. At the time it first went on sale, the completed motherboard commanded a price of $666.66 without power supply, display, keyboard or housing.

According to James Hyslop, Christie?s Scientific Specialist, ?This is the computer that started Apple, now recognized as the most valuable company in the world; its significance in making computer technology accessible for all cannot be undervalued.?

Apple I
Apple I to be sold by Christie's in October. | Source: Christie's


The auction house sold a another Apple I in November 2010, managing to get $174,000 ($213,600 after taxes) for the rare example.

Christie's latest Apple I auction is part of the Travel, science and natural history sale and is scheduled for Oct. 9.
post #2 of 22
The Apple I was hardly the first working personal computer. The Altair generally is credited with this honor though other "personal computers" did exist at the time.
post #3 of 22
If I had the spare coin, I'd buy it, take it to the Apple Store and ask them to fix it under warranty.
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post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by randyhyde@me.com View Post

The Apple I was hardly the first working personal computer. The Altair generally is credited with this honor though other "personal computers" did exist at the time.

The apple 1 was the first relevant PC, pretty much as you said, there was the altair (which we all know what a great piece of tech that was) and all the rest are in the "others" category.

post #5 of 22
The MITS Altair 8800 is widely credited as the first personal computer, though far less capable than the Apple 1.

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post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by xRCx View Post

The apple 1 was the first relevant PC, pretty much as you said, there was the altair (which we all know what a great piece of tech that was) and all the rest are in the "others" category.

Relevant in what way? There were only about 200 of them that were ever sold. There were far more popular computers at the time (and I was there, this is first-hand knowledge). 

 

"The MITS Altair 8800 is widely credited as the first personal computer, though far less capable than the Apple 1."

 

Uh, the Altair was quite a bit more capable than the Apple I, being expandable (S-100 bus) and having lots of peripheral support. 

 

Granted, the initial kit wasn't too capable, but you could turn the thing into a formidable computer (far more powerful than the Apple I) if you were willing to spend the money.

 

When the Apple // came along, that was another story.

post #7 of 22
I wanna know how the house ended up with more money after taxes. Sales tax goes to the state not the house.
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post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by xRCx View Post

The apple 1 was the first relevant PC, pretty much as you said, there was the altair (which we all know what a great piece of tech that was) and all the rest are in the "others" category.

 

It was not really was not the first relevant personal computer.   Almost nobody bought it.  It only made minor news.  The first relevant batch of computers was the Commodore PET, Apple II and TRS-80 with the Apple II being the most important one though everyone of them played a role in early computer history.  The Apple II set the standard for the beginning of ordinary people (though mostly upper middle class) purchasing computers. 

 

The Apple I has the distintion of being:

A) Very rare

B) Handmade by Steve and the Woz

C) From a company that is still in business and therefore drawing attention to the brands original offerings

post #9 of 22
It'd be awesome if Woz bought it back, repaired it to working condition, then sold it for MORE money, and gave the proceeds to charity.

He was there when the thing was made after all!

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

The MITS Altair 8800 is widely credited as the first personal computer, though far less capable than the Apple 1.

I guess it might depend on your opinion of the definition...here's another one:

 

http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml

 

(so, you're where? Santa Barbara?  South Boston?)

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

Uh, the Altair was quite a bit more capable than the Apple I, being expandable (S-100 bus) and having lots of peripheral support. 

 

Granted, the initial kit wasn't too capable, but you could turn the thing into a formidable computer (far more powerful than the Apple I) if you were willing to spend the money.

 

I stand corrected!

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post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

I guess it might depend on your opinion of the definition...here's another one:

 

http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml

 

(so, you're where? Santa Barbara?  South Boston?)


Your first guess was best - Santa Barbara.

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post #13 of 22
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post
It'd be awesome if Woz bought it back, repaired it to working condition, then sold it for MORE money, and gave the proceeds to charity.
He was there when the thing was made after all!

 

I was gonna say exactly the same thing: I bet Woz can fix it up! It'd give him something meaningful to do, at least.

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post #14 of 22

If I was a filthy rich man I would buy this and take it to a remote village in africa and trade it for a beautiful woman and then bring her back to the states and let her lose on all the african american men.

An Apple man since 1977
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post #15 of 22
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post
If I was a filthy rich man I would buy this and take it to a remote village in africa and trade it for a beautiful woman and then bring her back to the states and let her lose on all the african american men.

Originally Posted by asdasd

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post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I was gonna say exactly the same thing: I bet Woz can fix it up! It'd give him something meaningful to do, at least.

 

I just like the idea that an Apple I could be restored, like a Model-T.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I was wondering who would reply to this.  I had to laugh.  I laughed so hard I cried.  I bet the people in africa would hang it on the wall and pray to it.

An Apple man since 1977
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post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh my god I can't stop laughing.

An Apple man since 1977
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post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You would never see this sort of thing on the Mac Rumors web site.  They banned me from there.  Not really my sort of place anyway.  TallestSkill is a real cool guy to watch here and he doesn't get so mad he wants to ban some one.  It takes quite a bit to get banned here.  Thanks for putting up with my eccentric nature.

An Apple man since 1977
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post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by boredumb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

The MITS Altair 8800 is widely credited as the first personal computer, though far less capable than the Apple 1.

I guess it might depend on your opinion of the definition...here's another one:

 

http://www.blinkenlights.com/pc.shtml

 

(so, you're where? Santa Barbara?  South Boston?)

 

The Apple 1 description on that site is good enough for me...

 

 

 

Quote:
The Apple 1 signaled the end of toggle switches and blinkenlights, and launched the interactive graphical microcomputer as a new class of machine.
post #21 of 22

Non-functioning? So it is just used for souvenir items?

post #22 of 22

I wonder what a good NeXT collection is going to cost in a few years time. After all, that was, like, a (not the) foundation of the re-birth of Apple.

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