In the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, the author tells the story of the first Apple computer, the Apple I, created ostensibly for the Homebrew Computer Club. According the the account in the book, Steve Wozniak wanted to give it away for free to members of the club; Steve Jobs, however, had a different vision. When convinced to sell the computer, Wozniak chose the price of $666.66, one that reflected his taste for repeating numbers, not the number of the beast. This friday, that price will get a hefty upgrade.
That same computer may fetch up to $180,000 via auction house Sotheby’s when it puts a rare model of the venerable computer up for auction on Friday. The original computer was nothing like the integrated computers of today, with no keyboard or monitor; hobbyists expected to add those on their own in 1976, when the computer was first released.
This specific auction also includes manuals and supplementary materials, as well as an Apple I Cassette interface. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for a fairly well-off collector, wouldn’t you say?
From Sotheby’s web site:
APPLEﾠ Iﾠ COMPUTER
Operationalﾠ Appleﾠ Computerﾠ I.ﾠ ﾠ Anﾠ Appleﾠ Iﾠ motherboard,ﾠ labeledﾠ onﾠ obverseﾠ Appleﾠ Computerﾠ I,ﾠ Paloﾠ Alto,ﾠ CA.ﾠ Copyrightﾠ 1976.ﾠ Includesﾠ circuitﾠ boardﾠ withﾠ fourﾠ rowsﾠ A-D,ﾠ andﾠ columnsﾠ 1-18;ﾠ MOSﾠ Technologiesﾠ 6502ﾠ microprocessor,ﾠ labeledﾠ MCSﾠ 6502ﾠ 3776;ﾠ videoﾠ terminal;ﾠ keyboardﾠ interface;ﾠ 8Kﾠ bytesﾠ RAMﾠ inﾠ 16-pinﾠ 4Kﾠ memoryﾠ chips;ﾠ 4ﾠ powerﾠ suppliesﾠ includingﾠ 3ﾠ capacitors;ﾠ firmwareﾠ inﾠ PROMSﾠ (A1,ﾠ A2);ﾠ low-profileﾠ socketsﾠ onﾠ allﾠ integratedﾠ circuits;ﾠ breadboard;ﾠ heatsink;ﾠ expansionﾠ connector;ﾠ cassetteﾠ boardﾠ connector.ﾠ (15ﾠ 1/8ﾠ xﾠ 9ﾠ in.;ﾠ 385ﾠ xﾠ 234ﾠ mm)