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Old Apple 1 Up For Auction, Expected To Go For $160,000+ 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the doesn't-run-flash dept.
vanstinator was one of several readers to point out that Christie's is holding an auction for one of the original Apple 1 machines, complete with a manual, the original shipping box, and the letter from Steve Jobs to the owner. The invoice says the computer was purchased on December 7th, 1976, with an Apple cassette interface card, for a total price of $741.66. The auction house expects it to sell for over $160,000.
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Old Apple 1 Up For Auction, Expected To Go For $160,000+

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  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday November 12, 2010 @03:49PM (#34210060) Journal

    Overpriced Apple Product? How is this news?

    (I keed I keed)

    • What's with this price from The Fine Article? (Emphasis added.)

      Priced at $666.66, the first Apple-1s were despatched from the garage of Steve Jobs' parents' house - the return address on the original packaging present here.

      Hmm. Maybe Jobs (like O'Donnell) was dabbing in witchcraft?

    • Interesting, converting from 1976 to current dollar the price is $2847.23. This is around the same as a quad core Mac Pro.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by CAIMLAS (41445)

      Don't be silly. After 25 years of inflation, it's actually a slight discount.

    • Overpriced Apple Product? How is this news?

      It's news because it shipped jailbroken.

      I have books with every single bit of addressing space of the apple][ documented, commodore people had the same. It means we actually owned the damn thing.

  • 1up (Score:3, Funny)

    by rwa2 (4391) * on Friday November 12, 2010 @03:51PM (#34210086) Homepage Journal

    Gee, thanks for getting the Mario Brother's 1up sound effect stuck in my head. It's not something I associate at all with my experiences with Apple products :-P

    Drips and "eeps", on the other hand...

  • by RingDev (879105) on Friday November 12, 2010 @03:59PM (#34210178) Homepage Journal

    This explains so much!

    However, because the motherboard was completely pre-assembled, it represented a major step forward in comparison with the competing self-assembly kits of the day. Priced at $666.66, the first Apple-1s were despatched from the garage of Steve Jobs' parents' house - the return address on the original packaging present here.

    That's right. Steve started selling the Apple 1 for the price of the mark of the beast.

    -Rick

    • That's right. Steve started selling the Apple 1 for the price of the mark of the beast.

      -Rick

      Not to be overly pedantic, but the "number of the beast" is 666, not a fraction higher than 666.

    • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:06PM (#34210260)

      The mark of the beast is 616. The monks copying up the bible and translating it assumed that it was the handwritten equivalent of a typo, and that the number should really be 666. And thus, an editorial decision affected millions of people down through the ages who freak out when 666 comes up, eg in their change or as a price for a bunch of items, or a bus route or house number.

      • Nerds know that the number is (6^6)^6 [wikipedia.org] or or 10,314,424,798,490,535,546,171,949,056.
      • The mark of the beast is 616.

        If this is so, it explains a lot. 616 is the original area code for Western and Upper Michigan. This has now been split into 4 area codes, but 616 still covers Grand Rapids, Holland and Wyoming. If you want to look for the most extreme religious fundamentalists in Michigan, that's where they still are!

        Now why did I get rid of my tricked out Apple 2+?

         

      • Not actually the case. The number varies between dialects, in a manner consistent with it being a numerological encoding of NERO CEASER or NERON KAISER or whatever the name in that dialect was.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)
          All C's are hard in latin; it was spelled the first way and pronounced the second way in Greek. I thought the story was that 616 in roman numerals, DCXVI, was an acrostic of an early Christian anti-Vespasian slogan.
      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Yes; but don't you think they'd freak out just as often when $616 or $6.16 comes up? I really don't see what difference it makes. All I know is one day I tempted fate and spent $6.66 at the gas station and need a new transmission before I got from there to office. I don't do that any more. Now I will always buy a pack of gum or a coke or something whenever that happens.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        Is freaking out / affecting people like that about 616 any better?...

    • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:12PM (#34210338) Homepage

      That rounds up to 667, the neighbor of the beast.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:27PM (#34210508)

        >That rounds up to 667, the neighbor of the beast.

        Not sure how it works in the US but on most streets over here (UK), 664 and 668 are the neighbours of the beast while 667 is normally on the opposite side of the road.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          not sure how it works in the UK, but in the US, the house across the street can be considered a neighbor.
          • by LainTouko (926420)
            By the time you've got to 300 houses, 667 is probably opposite 592 or 810 or something. I once lived on a road on which about 26 was opposite about 219, because the even side had large things on and the odd side only had houses.
            • Depends on where. Most cities, the street numbering isn't straight linear, and is actually determined by what block you're on. 602 may be right next to 604, but if 604 is at an intersection, the next house will be 700. That happens in pretty much any North American city I've ever been in. They also have been known to skip house numbers for large buildings, so downtown you might find the street numbering goes 628, 680, 720, etc. Heck, even in the suburbs, that happens: my house is number 32, my neighbour to

              • by Kenshin (43036)

                My street starts at 427.

                I wish I knew why.

                • by bhtooefr (649901)

                  In at least some areas, it's done based on a grid layout. So, if your street goes east to west, if you draw an imaginary line going north to south, most houses on streets going east to west under that line within your locality will be somewhere around 427.

        • by trapnest (1608791)
          Same over here in the US.
        • by fishexe (168879)

          >That rounds up to 667, the neighbor of the beast.

          Not sure how it works in the US but on most streets over here (UK), 664 and 668 are the neighbours of the beast while 667 is normally on the opposite side of the road.

          Here in the US, we call all the people in your neighborhood "neighbors", including those across the street, down the block, and around the corner. The distinction of 664 and 668 is that they are next-door neighbors of the beast. Presumably, the beast has a larger neighborhood than just those two.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by fishexe (168879)

            Here in the US, we call all the people in your neighborhood "neighbors", including those across the street, down the block, and around the corner. The distinction of 664 and 668 is that they are next-door neighbors of the beast. Presumably, the beast has a larger neighborhood than just those two.

            Which I suppose makes the question relevant, "Is the Antichrist British or American?"

        • by Noren (605012)
          It turns out they are both at the end of a (very long) cul-de-sac.
  • Replica I (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:00PM (#34210184) Journal

    If you're interested in the Apple I from a retro-computing standpoint, instead of owning a museum piece, you can actually buy a kit [brielcomputers.com] and build a clone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bhtooefr (649901)

      And there's another clone [achatz.nl] using a similar approach (of emulating the video section with a microcontroller,) and a 100% trace-for-trace replica [willegal.net] (read: except for the cloner's signature hiding in the board, you can't tell that it's a clone at all) out there.

      (There's also the Obtronix replica, which is 100% chip-for-chip, but not trace-for-trace, identical. It's no longer in production, though.)

  • by Shikaku (1129753) on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:01PM (#34210206)

    Yes but..

    Does it run Linux?

  • by Subm (79417) on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:01PM (#34210210)

    No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

  • by RapmasterT (787426) on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:02PM (#34210224)
    I think the auction house HOPES it will sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars...expecting it is an exercise in wishful thinking. The art of predicting auction prices on rare items is based on historical sales of similar items, this is a pretty unusual and unique circumstance.

    Part of me wants to trust them as experts, but part of me also feels that old (albeit rare) computer parts don't have the value they think it does. I guess we'll find out.
    • by blair1q (305137)

      On items with this sort of juice, the auction house usually guesses way low.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RapmasterT (787426)

        On items with this sort of juice, the auction house usually guesses way low.

        this sort of juice? This is an old computer with a good box and receipt, not a Picasso.

        • by blair1q (305137) on Friday November 12, 2010 @05:52PM (#34211306) Journal

          Of course it isn't a Picasso. The price is $160 thousand, not $160 million.

          As for the "juice", if you just got the boards it would just be a computer. With the other paraphernalia you've got a whole museum setting in one package. Anyone musing on this will be given to imagine the original owner's entire experience being one of the pioneers of computing at home. There's a depth and breadth of context that one more circuit board doesn't bring to it. And then there's the autograph and a record of Jobs' customer-service style, with a bit of wry irony in that it's typewritten.

          $160k is the low end of Christie's estimate. The high end is quite low, too.

        • by fishexe (168879)

          On items with this sort of juice, the auction house usually guesses way low.

          this sort of juice? This is an old computer with a good box and receipt, not a Picasso.

          No, he means apple juice.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Honestly the documentation and the signed letter from Steve Jobs is probably the big money on this item. It has a well documented history which also helps.
      Let's face it. Odds are that you could build an exact duplicate of an Apple I with a little effort. It is the documentation that will drive collectors batty.

  • by vchoy (134429) on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:07PM (#34210276)

    The 3 GEEs and the WI-FIs... ....oh but I guess you really meant BEE GEEs and the HI-FIs??!?!

  • Old Apple 1 Up For Auction

    Is it the 1-up they used when they re-hired Steve, or the 1-up they got when Microsoft gave them capital?

  • by mrnick (108356) on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:26PM (#34210488) Homepage

    Really???

    I have a Commodore PET and several VIC-20's to put up for auction!! I know, I know the VIC-20 only had a 22 column display but no worries I'll throw in a 40 column cartridge adapter for a mere $20,000, a MUST have if your television tube is larger than 12", huh??? ;)

    • Heh, I can do better then that,

      I have an Apple II

      Thats, right - twice as good and as valuable as that old crufty Apple I, in fact, if you you got the cash, I know where to get my hands on an Apple III!

    • I have a Commodore PET and several VIC-20's to put up for auction!!

      In '99 or '00 I sold a working PET2001 (real keyboard, not chiclet) with tape cassette drive for $5000. I'm sure I could have gotten more for it if I tried.

  • I am confused, which one of these is Apple I supposed to be, a printed book or a manuscript? (But they have some damned fine books there, hmmm, an ASCC manual...and a Von Neumann's scribble...and that 16th century print of Euclid in Arabic. Yummy!)
  • by rwrife (712064) on Friday November 12, 2010 @04:54PM (#34210756) Homepage
    If I was dumb enough to buy it, first thing I would do would be to take it to the Apple Store and ask them how to launch iPhoto on it.
  • Isn't Steve Jobs known to start counting from zero?
  • by bkmoore (1910118) on Friday November 12, 2010 @05:20PM (#34211022)
    Before you fan boys go falling over yourselves to buy the Apple I, be aware that Steve Jobs won't support the Flash Plugin on it. According to Steve Jobs, "Flash is a resource killer, and in order to deliver the best computing experience possible while running Integer BASIC on the 6502, we have dropped Flash." That being said, it should be possible to install Flash from a third-party cassette tape.
    • by fishexe (168879)

      According to Steve Jobs, "Flash is a resource killer, and in order to deliver the best computing experience possible while running Integer BASIC on the 6502, we have dropped Flash." That being said, it should be possible to install Flash from a third-party cassette tape.

      But what if I upgrade to Disk BASIC?

    • by fishexe (168879)

      According to Steve Jobs, "Flash is a resource killer, and in order to deliver the best computing experience possible while running Integer BASIC on the 6502, we have dropped Flash."

      But what if I upgrade to Applesoft BASIC?

  • Assuming $160k price holds, that makes for a 17% rate of return. Not too shabby. And, interesting enough, that's almost the same exact rate of return for someone who bought apple at IPO. Although the missing 4 years of appreciation would leave you with only half as much money.

  • More auctions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Friday November 12, 2010 @05:50PM (#34211296)
    Check out the other auctions Christie's is having in SALE 7882. Very rare books, computer manuals, patent for the ENIAC, first edition paper by Babbage, and an Enigma machine (lot 59). Plus other antique books and maps, etc.

    There is vastly more nerdy stuff for rich collectors than a mere Apple 1.
  • Ergo, my Apple ][ should be worth $320,000!
    I'm gonna call Christie's a soon as I dig it out of my closet.
  • Who assembled it? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RevWaldo (1186281) on Friday November 12, 2010 @06:48PM (#34211738)
    Any chance Wozniak and/or Jobs were amongst the people who put it together? Or did they have people by then?

    .
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bjb (3050) *
      Highly likely that Woz probably touched it, but less so for Jobs, I would think. I've read in historical accounts that they employed a sibling to stuff boards and also there's the 3rd founder Ronald Wayne who may still have been part of it at this point; I believe he left sometime in 1976. This is serial number 87 (?) and I believe they only produced about 200.

      I would imagine that Jobs was probably out hustling, so that would be his lower chance. However, the letter would most likely have been typed and s

  • the meager sum of 8k dollars.

    It has 48k!!! (updated from 32)....I have the original tape drive AND the dual floppy drive, as well as one of those monitors where everything is green.

    As well as:

    *Apple Trek (Killing Klarnons is awesome, trust me, when you fire a photon torpedo that looks exactly like this: * and see it shooting across the green screen in 8 bit glory, you'll know that all the money you spent on an Xbox360/PS3 was truly wasted.

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