Macintosh computer once owned by Steve Jobs goes up for auction
A Macintosh SE computer that was used by tech legend Steve Jobs is going on the auction block in New York on October 25 as part of Bonham's History of Science and Technology auction, where the unit is estimated to go for US$200,000 to $300,000.
With its then-novel all-in-one design, graphic user interface, and mouse, it's understandable why the Macintosh marked a turning point in the history of computers.
When it was conceived of in 1979, the Mac, as it is often called, was envisioned by Apple's Jef Raskin as an appliance computer aimed at the low-end of the personal computer market that would be easy to use, but nothing revolutionary. It would be Apple's answer to the other economical desktops that were entering the market at that time.
That changed when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was booted off of the ill-fated Lisa computer project, which resulted in a machine that incorporated many design features of the earlier Xerox Alto but ended up as a flawed, eye-wateringly expensive machine. Moved to the Macintosh project, Jobs used this as an opportunity to turn the Mac into an improved, cheaper version of the Lisa.
Debuting in 1984 in the wake of a Super Bowl commercial that is often cited as one of the greatest commercials of all time, Jobs saw the Macintosh as Apple's response to IBM's plan to move into and dominate the PC market, and to push forward Jobs's vision for the future of the computer industry. Due to insufficient memory, no hard drive, and software issues, it didn't start off as a runaway commercial success, but it did lead to a successful line of Apple computers and set the model for future computers.
The Macintosh up for bids was used by Jobs after he was forced out of Apple. In 1988, the Mac was in his office at NeXT, the company he founded after leaving Apple in 1985, and was given to the present owner in 1994.
The computer is still functional, though confidential and other data has been erased. It contained Jobs's personal Rolodex and still shows records of weekly tasks and travel itineraries, including a missed meeting with the then Prince of Wales. It may also have been used by Jobs' daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs because the email system and Microsoft Word are registered in her name. The machine was last used for a marketing project overseen by Jobs.
The Jobs Macintosh will go on sale in a live bidding in New York on October 22 beginning at 2:00 pm EDT.