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Home > News, Articles & Multimedia > Worth Points > Sotheby’s Offers Fully Functioning Apple I – Jobs & Wozniak’s First Computer

Sotheby’s Offers Fully Functioning Apple I – Jobs & Wozniak’s First Computer

by WorthPoint Staff (05/30/12).

A circuit board from the Apple 1 computer.

The computer comes with the operating manuals and a rare BASIC Users’ Manual

A rare report written by Steve Jobs in 1974 while he was working at Atari.

NEW YORK – Sotheby’s is to offer an Apple I—an exceptionally rare working example of the first Apple computer—with the original cassette interface, operating manuals and a rare BASIC Users’ Manual. The Apple 1 heralded the start of the personal computing revolution by allowing users to type letters on a keyboard rather than through a panel of lights and switches. The device will be included in the Books and Manuscripts sale on June 15, 2012, and is estimated to fetch between $120,000 and $180,000.

“The Apple Computer” was created by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 and presented to the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto the same year. It was dismissed by everyone except Paul Terrell, the owner of a chain of stores called Byte Shop, who ordered 50 for $500 each Terrell then offered to the public for $666.66.

Terrell insisted that the circuit boards come fully assembled rather than as kits, so Jobs and Wozniak built the 50 in just 30 days. When these were complete they continued working and produced another 150, which they sold to friends and other vendors for the retail price. Despite being the most complete device of its type available at the time, the Apple I did not come with the monitor, keyboard, power supply or case that constitute the modern computer. Of these original Apple Is, it is thought that fewer than 50 survive, with only six known to be in working condition.

The sale will also include a report written by Steve Jobs in 1974 while he was working at Atari (est. $10,000-$15,000). In the note to his supervisor, Stephen Bristow, Jobs sets out instructions for improving the functionality of players defending a soccer goal in the coin-operated game World Cup. Manuscript gaming diagrams from this period in Steve Job’s career are rare.

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