Apple Lisa expected to fetch a whopping $42K at auction

Hello, Lisa

Hello, Lisa — goodbye, savings (Credit: Jonathan Zufi)

Remember that original Apple Lisa computer you’ve got in the basement, boxed next to your old VHS player and Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots toys? It may be time to dust it off and take it an auction house.

That’s based on the news that a Lisa 1 (a.k.a. Apple’s first computer to come with a graphical interface and a mouse) is expected to fetch $42,000 when it goes under the hammer in Germany late next month.

Perhaps equally famous for being the computer named after Steve Jobs’ daughter, the 1983 computer is one of supposedly one of just 100 that are thought to still exist in the world today.

The reason for this is that one year after its launch, the Lisa was superseded by a better and cheaper model, which Apple offered as a free replacement to customers who returned their original unit. The returned computers were then destroyed.

“It is incredible to think that the Apple 1 is really where modern computing began,”┬ásays Uwe Breker, auctioneer at Team Breker. “Apple had made previous computers but the Lisa 1 was the first to have many of the features we still use today like a mouse, an icon-based interface and of course the recycle bin,”

“The Apple Lisa 1 may not have been very popular at the time of their release but now they are very sought after indeed. This computer is incredibly basic by today’s standards, but it is part of computing history.”

This isn’t the first time a Lisa has scored big at an auction. In 2010, a Lisa 1 sold for the bargainous price of $15k in an eBay auction, while another was put up for sale for $25k in 2012.

With that kind of inflation going on, I know what my $42,000 blogging paycheck is going on this May 24.

To celebrate, here’s an ad for the original Lisa, starring none other than a young Kevin Costner:

Apple Lisa expected to fetch a whopping $42K at auction

  • http://www.macmd.com Gary Katz

    I’ve got one! It still boots even. I remember working at a computer store in high school and being in charge of setting up a training room with 6 Lisa Computers. I wasn’t even strong enough to carry the boxes to the training room, and then I spent all day installing the special software (each machine had it’s own LisaWrite, LisaCalc etc software). I thought I was doing grunt work, but it turns out I got to spend a good amount of quality time with these iconic monster machines. You can see it in person in my compilation video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwJsS_FIt0E

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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