We don’t normally write about old devices, unless it’s legendary like the Apple-1. True enough, Sotheby’s, considered as the world’s fourth oldest auction house, will be auctioning an Apple-1 personal computer, known to be one of only six working today. Two years ago, Christie’s sold an Apple-1 computer that included a letter signed by Steve Jobs for $213,000. Sotheby’s estimates that the computer will sell for up to $180,000 when it goes to auction. The computer will also include a cassette interface, cassette tapes, and several manuals including a rare BASIC user’s manual.
Mike Willegal, an engineer who works for a major technology company that has identified and indexed 41 Apple-1 computers, said that the unit still works and is fairly complete with documentation and original cassette interface. “It should draw a pretty good sum. But it doesn’t have a receipt with Jobs signature, so I don’t see it reaching the Christie’s number,” Willegal said. The Apple-1 features a circuit board hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Around 200 units were reportedly produced and it first went on sale on July 1976 for $666.66.
Also to be auctioned is a four-page memo on game design written by Jobs when he worked for Atari in 1974. The said memo was hand-written by Jobs and it was meant to improve the functionality and fun of the World Cup, a coin arcade game with four simple buttons and an evolution from Atari’s Pong game. It features three original circuit diagrams that Jobs drew using a pencil. Sotheby’s estimates the memo to go between $10,000 and $15,000. The bidding will transpire on June 15 in New York. So, if you’re interested, you might want to mark that calendar of yours.
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