Functional Apple I computer to hit online auction block in September

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A fully operational Apple I computer built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976 is going up for auction through Charitybuzz next month, with all proceeds earmarked for charity.




Known as the Schoolsky Apple I, the computer is being put up for sale by former Virginia Tech professor David Larson, who bought the computer from Adam Schoolsky in 1994 for $3500. Schoolsky received the hardware from Wozniak, whom he was friends with alongside late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

According to Business Insider, the Apple I will hit the auction block on Sept. 12. All proceeds raised will go to the Foundation for Amateur International Radio Service, Ltd. (FAIRS), a Virginia non-profit that provides emergency radio equipment, education and other services to individuals, communities and governments in developing nations.

The listing has yet to be made public on the Charitybuzz website.

Along with the Apple I, the lot includes an Apple I cassette interface card and multiple documents speaking to the hardware's authenticity. For example, a letter Larson received from Schoolsky in 1994 is part of the auction.

Other miscellaneous items include Apple I and Apple II brochures, the first issue of early computer publication the Silicon Gulch Gazette and a copy of a flyer from the Zaltair hoax. In 1977, Wozniak and Schoolsky printed out thousands of fake ads for a nonexistent computer called the Zaltair -- a take on the MITS Altair -- and handed them out at that year's West Coast Computer Faire.

As with other Apple I units, the computer up for auction does not include a case, display, power supply or keyboard.

Charitybuzz has in the past put Apple I computers up for auction. Last year, the website sold what is believed to be the only prototype board ever offered in an auction. Dubbed the "Celebration" Apple I, the computer came complete with documentation, a period-correct power supply and cassette interface card with early Apple Basic cassettes. That auction brought in for $815,000, falling short of Charitybuzz's $1 million valuation.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    In the last few years I've seen about as many as these auctions as there were Apple Is built...

    I mean, how many 'functional' units can be left? Are they being re-auctioned?

    Jokes aside, supporting charity is a pretty good idea!
  • Reply 2 of 8
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    A fully operational Apple I computer built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976 is going up for auction through Charitybuzz next month, with all proceeds earmarked for charity.





    Look!  Everything is straight and lined up!
    ... Steve must have been looking over Woz's shoulder while he built it!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 8
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    In the last few years I've seen about as many as these auctions as there were Apple Is built...

    I mean, how many 'functional' units can be left? Are they being re-auctioned?

    Jokes aside, supporting charity is a pretty good idea!
    Yes, I must admit one has to start wondering if they are being made in China!  lol
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 8
    The first "computers" were bought by serious geeks/computer enthusiasts, and as we know geeks don't through ANYTHING away. I would imagine that of the original 600 or so Apple I sold most are still in somebody's garage.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 8
    There were 175 units Apple-1 sold.   Surviving is less than 70.  Working less than 15 or so.   Not all can be made operational again.  Some have enough damage from the hacking that you'd have to bypass most of the board to make it operate.  

    The reason why so many survive as a percentage of what was made is that the original owners were usually hardware hackers and they never threw anything away, just threw into a basement or closet incase they needed a part.  A lot of surviving Apple-1 were scavenged for parts or have cut traces with jumper wires all over.  

    The Apple-1 is the holy grail for vintage computer and vintage tech collectors.   They started to be collectible in the 1980's before any other personal computer artifact.  Most wind up in museums.  If someone is lucky enough to afford one for themselves they are really a piece of art when you look at them unlike many other machines built back then or today.  

  • Reply 6 of 8
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 760editor
    A fully operational Apple I computer built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976 is going up for auction through Charitybuzz next month, with all proceeds earmarked for charity.





    Look!  Everything is straight and lined up!
    ... Steve must have been looking over Woz's shoulder while he built it!
    Steve was looking over Woz's shoulder when it was being designed. He insisted on them being straight even though it wasn't the most efficient path, and caused Woz engineering headaches.

    This same behavior plagued the Macintosh 128k design, as Steve made it more difficult for them, too. 
  • Reply 7 of 8
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 760editor
    There were 175 units Apple-1 sold.   Surviving is less than 70.  Working less than 15 or so.   Not all can be made operational again.  Some have enough damage from the hacking that you'd have to bypass most of the board to make it operate.  

    The reason why so many survive as a percentage of what was made is that the original owners were usually hardware hackers and they never threw anything away, just threw into a basement or closet incase they needed a part.  A lot of surviving Apple-1 were scavenged for parts or have cut traces with jumper wires all over.  

    The Apple-1 is the holy grail for vintage computer and vintage tech collectors.   They started to be collectible in the 1980's before any other personal computer artifact.  Most wind up in museums.  If someone is lucky enough to afford one for themselves they are really a piece of art when you look at them unlike many other machines built back then or today.  
    http://www.applefritter.com/?q=apple1 has all the details and schematics. Both faithful and reimplementations exist.

    http://www.willegal.net/appleii/apple1.htm is a replica Apple 1.

    http://gizmodo.com/ben-heck-shows-you-how-to-build-an-apple-1-replica-from-1656803971
  • Reply 8 of 8
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 401member
    Instead of the cool kids buying classic cars, the nerds go for vintage Apple computers. They are the equivalent of the 1962 Ferrari GTO. 
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