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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:31AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the shiny-old-apple dept.

Pristine Apple I Sells at Auction for a Jaw-Dropping Price

If you think Apple products are overpriced now, wait until they’re 50 years old.

This original Apple I recently sold at auction for $375,000, making it one of the most expensive 6502-based computers in history. Given that only something like 60 or 70 of the machines were ever made, most built by hand by [Jobs] and [Wozniak], it’s understandable how collectors fought for the right to run the price up from the minimum starting bid of $50,000. And this one was particularly collectible. According to the prospectus, this machine had few owners, the most recent of whom stated that he attended a meeting of the legendary Homebrew Computer Club to see what all the fuss was. He bought it second-hand from a coworker for $300, fiddled with it a bit, and stashed it in a closet. A few years later, after the Apple ][ became a huge phenomenon, he tried to sell the machine to [Woz] for $10,000. [Woz] didn’t bite, and as a result, the owner realized a 125,000% return on his original investment, before inflation.

The machine was restored before hitting the auction block, although details of what was done were not shared. But it couldn’t have been much since none of the previous owners had even used the prototyping area that was so thoughtfully provided on the top edge of the board. It was sold with period-correct peripherals including a somewhat janky black-and-white security monitor, an original cassette tape interface, and a homebrew power supply. Sadly, there’s no word who bought the machine – it was an anonymous purchase.

Submitted via IRC for Bytram


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  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:43AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:43AM (#746780)

    Bought by Bill Gates? I hear he always wanted to buy Apple.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @09:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @09:48AM (#746887)

      If Bill missed this auction, I know where there is another Apple I, owned by an early Apple employee. My friend is happy to have it and my guess is that he will just hang on to it, doesn't need the money for anything in particular.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @10:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @10:29AM (#746893)

      ... but apparently it came preloaded with "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @03:26AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @03:26AM (#746795)

    Looking at the circuit board, the traces seem so... computer-designed. It's almost modern.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @03:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @03:31AM (#746796)

      Woz used a ruler. And is a circuit design god.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @05:11AM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @05:11AM (#746823)

    What are you going to do with it? Play pong? Just think hippies, could have bought 150k starving babies food for that price, now they're going to DIE!?!

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 10 2018, @05:22AM (4 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday October 10 2018, @05:22AM (#746827) Journal

      And now the seller can buy food for 150k starving babies. What was your point, again?

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @07:12AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @07:12AM (#746849)

        That apple fans are hippies and over pay for anything with the apple tag, regardless of function. Hippies are more likely to virtue signal about how much more they care about The People than I. Resellers will, more than likely, reinvest their profits back into their business/hobby than give to dying babies.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @08:26AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @08:26AM (#746868)

          As an old hippie, I reject the notion any of us would buy overpriced gizmos, when we can spend the money on plenty of weed or acid.
          I'd love to make love now if I could but certainly I won't make war.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @08:35AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @08:35AM (#746872)

            I would buy acid but I'm a social retard so that will never happen. Plus the Silk Roads are dead, and I would probably end up getting NBOMe isntead of acid anyway. And weed is so yesterday. Wait, did you say love? Never heard of it.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:44PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:44PM (#746965)

              "I would buy acid but I'm a social retard so that will never happen."

              If you're a social retard you're supposed to make it, not buy it.

  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 10 2018, @11:48AM (2 children)

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 10 2018, @11:48AM (#746907)

    making it one of the most expensive 6502-based computers in history

    I was going to make a smart ass remark about some rando embedded 6502 in avionics making a 747 or a B-2 the most expensive 6502-based computer in history, but culturally 6502 belonged to the minimalist 80s home computer era, and those folks didn't mix with the "real processor, but real small" like the motorola offerings, or the "we own the embedded world for decades, but you can use in your home computer if you want" zilog/intel crowd.

    As per some google searches and memory, I don't think a 6502 was ever embedded in anything significant. Nobody liked them for anything but $99 home computers, although nostalgia is strong so old people still talk about them (I was personally more a Z-80 / motorola guy in the 80s with a nod to DEC stuff)

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:17PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:17PM (#746955)

    I used to work at Hambrecht & Quist, a brokerage located in San Francisco.

    Hambrecht & Quist handled the IPOs of both Apple AND Genentech. So you could sort of say H&Q helped change the world.

    I worked in their information technology department.

    (As an aside, I encourage everyone to refer to it as 'information technology', and NOT call it 'IT', as the latter is dehumanizing. Really, folks. You tell people you work for 'IT', then complain that they treat you like an object? Connect the dots.)

    H&Q had a huge collection of Apple computers. They had invested heavily in Apple from its very beginning and they had a huge collection of Apple experts.

    H&Q occupied the office building located at 1 Bush Street.

    At one point I was involved in handling the repair of a legacy Apple computer and I needed a hard drive, or perhaps it was some memory. I was told there was a large collection of Apple computers up in the 'attic'.

    The 'attic' was a storage space at the very top of 1 Bush Street. I might have had to use the freight elevator to get up there, any maybe climb some stairs, too.

    It was lined with steel shelves. The shelves were lined with old Apple computers. Dozens or maybe hundreds of 'em.

    This was right around the end of the last century. Amost twenty years ago. H&Q was going through a crisis, back then; Bill Hambrecht left and started hambrecht.com, taking the best & brightest with him. H&Q abandoned Apple computers and went through a painful shift to Windows NT, replacing perhaps 98% of the entire information technology department.

    I'm not sure what happened to all those Apple computers.

    For all I know, they are still up there, accruing in value.

    Food for thought ...

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