EVERY TIME an Apple-I computer comes on to the market is something of an event in the nerdsphere.
The 1976 machine that shows where it all began for Jobs and Wozniack, Steves both, is so rare and so flimsy (frankly) that very few exist and a working one is like the proverbial tooth of hen.
But that's exactly what has happened with this barebones beauty, which is appearing for the next 15 days on the auction site Charitybuzz.
This one, with the codename Duston 2 (after its original owner) and serial number 01-0060, is in full working order and is demonstrated complete with keyboard (from an Apple II) and crusty old monochrome CRT monitor by Sanyo. They are included, as is a replica of the original Apple tape recorder and some old advertising bumf from the time. The power supply is a modern replacement.
The auction will benefit the Foundation for Amateur International Radio, which according to its website, strives on |Building Global Friendships between peoples and nations."
Basically, radio hams who use their tech for good, like disaster relief and joining up splintered communities.
It was (says Charitybuzz) "acquired by LCF group from Adam Duston of Naperville, Illinois, in August 1996." and has been fully inspected for its workingness.
"The Apple-I board is a not just a piece of history, but a piece of art."
And lo, Jonny Ive was born.
Also included is an autographed print by Ron Wayne, Bruce's father, the shareholder whose $2,300 buyout would now be worth over $90bn and a bunch of concurrent computer magazines.
But before you get your wallet out, fair warning, this is one of the better surviving examples of the Apple-I we've seen and although it has had some mods over the years which have knocked the price down, it's been confirmed as the real deal and most importantly for a computer, it still computes. As such, the reserve price is huge - though the exact figure has not been given. At present, the starting bid is $70,000.
Not all Apple-Is go for the high prices that the presale hype suggests, but this one stands a better chance than most. µ
Might need to come up with a better name though
There's an app for *that*
American as Apple Spy