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Early Apple computer goes on auction for £150,000

updated 03:55 pm EST, Thu November 11, 2010

Computer now extremely rare

Christie's of London is preparing to auction off one of the first Apple computers ever built, at a starting bid of £150,000, writes the Daily Mail. The system is an Apple I, of which about 200 were produced beginning in 1976. It originally sold for $666.66, and had just 8K of memory. No keyboard or video display was included, but support for either put it ahead of rival machines based on switches and LEDs.

The auction lot includes computer parts, instruction manuals and a signed letter by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The value of the collection is attributable to several factors. Aside from its connection to Jobs and the history of Apple, it represents one of the earliest personal computers, and also the first pre-assembled one. "Before the Apple I you would have to put together your own motherboard and would need soldering skills," according to Christie's Julian Wilson. In the letter, Jobs answers questions about which monitors and keyboards might be best to use.

More importantly the Apple I is now extremely rare, with roughly 50 left in existence. The auction bundle even includes the optional cassette interface, which added read/write support for an extra $75. "And finding one in this condition is unheard of," adds Wilson. The Christie's auction will take place in London on November 23rd.




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Comments

  1. Herod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007

    +12

    i wonder...

    does it support Flash?

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006

    +4

    No firewire or USB3?

    What were they thinking?

    And talk about an "Apple tax!" It costs 16 pounds for every byte of memory.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    yeah!

    "And finding one in this condition is unheard of," adds Wilson.

    Well, if I'm going to believe anyone about the quality of this purchase, it's going to be a representative of the auction house. They wouldn't lie, exaggerate or make stuff up!

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