Bidding was apparently hot and heavy for a computer manual for the Apple-1, this company’s very first computer. In a multi-day online auction for this rare bit of tech history, the top bid was under $10,000 only a few days ago but in the end the document sold for $12,956.
High auction totals for early Apple gear aren’t unusual. This spring, an Apple-1 personal computer sold for $464,900 (£371,250). But this auction for just a manual likely drew some additional attention because its price was within reach of more average collectors.
Still, it’s a rare item. According to RR Auction, which handled the bidding for this item, “Very few of the original Apple-1 operating manuals — perhaps 65 or so — are known to exist today.”
This one apparently survived the decades fairly well. “In very good to fine condition, with light irregular grid-shaped toning to the front cover cover, a short tear to the top edge of the front cover, and a light circular stain inside the front cover. This example is not three-hole punched,” according to RR Auction.
The winning $12,956 bid came from “a technology entrepreneur from the Northeastern, United States, who wishes to remain anonymous,” the auction house told Cult of Mac.
Anyone who has an Apple-1 manual moldering in a box in their basement, and could use about $13,000, might consider bringing it out.
Apple-1 was the very first bite
The Apple-1 was released on April 11, 1976. Designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, with Steve Jobs handling the (limited) marketing, it was funded through the sale of Woz’s HP-65 calculator and Jobs’ VW van.
In terms of specs, this personal computer was incredibly primitive. It came with an 8-bit MOS 6502 microprocessor running at 1 MHz, and 4 KB of memory as standard. Users also had to add their own keyboard and monitor.
Only around 200 Apple-1 computers were ever sold, primarily through Byte Shop, one of the first personal computer stores.