Rare Apple I computer headed for auction
A cybernetic pioneer in the form of a fully functional "Byte Shop"-style Apple I computer is going on the block at RR Auction. One of the most significant early personal computers of the 1970s, the restored original Apple I board with its components and accessories is estimated to fetch US$300,000 when it becomes the subject of a live-bid auction on September 25.
When the Apple I (or Apple 1) was introduced in 1976, its origins were legendarily humble. It was originally conceived by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs as a bare-board kit computer that would be sold to hobbyists, who would do the time-consuming task of actually assembling, soldering, and testing the electronics. The Apple Computer Company that marketed the computer was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, was based in Job's garage, and financed by selling Job's VW Microbus and Wozniak's HP65 calculator.
So far, this sound like a dozen other geeky computer ventures of the time that sprang up and faded into history, but this changed radically when Jobs tried to sell the Apple I to Paul Terrell's The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, one of the first personal computer stores in the world. Terrell bought 50 of them, but on the condition that the caseless boards were fully assembled – something that was rarely done with hobby computers in those days.
According to RR Auction, Wozniak and Jobs spent 10 months hand-assembling 200 Apple Is. They sold 175 of them before going on to create the phenomenally successful Apple II, which helped to introduce the PC into common use in businesses and homes and turned Apple into a major player in the computer industry.
Through component dates matching similar boards, the Apple I up for auction is classed as a later production Byte-Shop style version made between late 1976 and early 1977. Though it has been restored and tested, it has not been modified, as has been the case with other vintage Apple Is, and is marked "Apple Computer 1, Palo Alto, Ca. Copyright 1976."
The sale includes the Apple I board, the Apple Cassette Interface (ACI), the operation manual, a period surplus ASCII keyboard, an open frame Sanyo 4205 video monitor, a newer period power supply with original Apple-1 power cable and connector, and BS period cassette interface cables. It was restored by Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen, who operated it for eight hours under test conditions without a fault, and says that its condition is 8.5 out of 10.
RR Auction will accept pre-live bids starting on September 13, while the live-bid auction will commence on September 25, 2018 at 1:00 PM EST.
Source: RR Auction