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Working Apple 1 from 1976 to go on auction in Germany for $318K

Working Apple 1 from 1976 to go on auction in Germany for $318K

With only eight surviving Apple 1 computers left worldwide, at least among the ones in working order, the chances of bumping into an original 1976 Apple 1, assembled by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak themselves, are next to zero.

One such machine has been spotted and put up for auction in Cologne, Germany, this weekend.

Much like other Apple 1 computers from the same batch, this particular model was sold with a $666,66 price tag, which, contrary to what some believed, was due to Wozniak’s predilection for repeating numbers.

This weekend, the unit will auction for an asking price of $317,693, making this the second most expensive Apple 1 computer sold in an auction, the first being an Apple 1 motherboard, which was purchased for $374.5K by Sotheby’s, in 2014.

The factors that set a high price for these computers are, among the most important, the percentage of original components versus aftermarket, replacement parts. Next, the working conditions of the unit, which must be able to turn on and operate within acceptable standards of the era in which it was first manufactured.

Finally, any additional documents, accessories, software, and other historical items accompanying the unit, contributing to raise the value of the kit, often substantially.

The machine in question is, as previously mentioned, a working Apple 1, original in every aspect, and largely untarnished, and extremely well preserved, whose conditions make it a true piece of modern history.

The set includes:

  • The original single motherboard, which, in 1976 was a break from the mold of assembling computers with multiple motherboards.
  • The power supply, one of the first built with an external transformer.
  • The cassette Interface, which was a relatively simple way to load software into the computer with tapes, in the same way as early game consoles like Commodore Vic-20, into the next decade.
  • A keyboard, which, however was never included at retail, which is consistent with this unit being one of the very first, and possibly used for testing by Jobs and Wozniak
  • A small TV display modified with a special interface capable to connect with the Apple 1. The screen was very slow, and capable of displaying only up to 60 characters per second.
  • A printed record of telephone conversations between Jobs and Wozniak.

The machine’s serial number shows as 01-0073, which appears to be the fourteenth of its kind. This model had only 8KB of memory, which, by today’s standards, is just enough to save a 1000 words document.

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