You’ve heard of early adopters. But what about ultra late adopters? I’m not talking about someone finally relenting and purchasing the iPhone 4 or even 3GS from a friend… I’m talking about someone who really really really wants to be sure their computer is supported by absolutely every last piece of software available. How far back would you think someone is willing to go? To the year 2001? 1991? What about 1976?
That’s the year Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started selling the Apple I for about $666.66 out of their rented garage. The much-fabled story involved intrigue and lots of money but that’s not what’s important right now. What is important is how much that Apple I is going for on auction.
The Apple I is expected to fetch a price somewhere between$161,600 – $242,400 at a Christie’s auction. Interested in buying this piece of hardware?
Here’s what you get for your money:
- An Apple-1 motherboard, number 82, printed label to reverse
- A 6502 microprocessor, labeled R6502P R6502-11 8145
- printed circuit board with 4 rows A-D and columns 1-18
- Three capacitors
- A heat sink
- Cassette board connector
- 8K bytes of RAM
- Keyboard interface
- Firmware in PROMS
- Low-profile sockets on all integrated circuits
- Video terminal
- Breadboard area with slightly later connector, with later soldering,
- Wires and electrical tape to reverse, printed to obverse Apple Computer 1 Palo Alto. Ca. Copyright 1976
If you’re wondering if this baby can play DVDs, blu-ray discs, or Crysis then you might be a bit sad. Computerworld says the early computer didn’t have a disk drive:
“Like many personal computers of its day, the Apple-1 lacked a floppy drive, but instead loaded programs into memory from cassette tapes. One tape, complete with a typewritten label of ‘BASIC,’ is included with the Christie’s computer, and was used to load that programming language into the Apple-1.”
This early PC was an assembly-required device. The motherboard was built by Apple, but the user had to provide the keyboard, casing, power supply and monitor. The Apple I will be on the auction block on November 23, as part of a lot of several items that includes the fully assembled Apple I motherboard, instruction manuals, cassette interface and basic tape, official documentation and a letter from Steve Jobs.