The "Apple Computer A" Apple-1 computer prototype owned by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs went up for auction today and is expected to sell for more than $500,000.
The Apple Computer A printed circuit board, hand-soldered by Steve Wozniak in 1976, was used by Steve Jobs to demonstrate the Apple-1 computer to Paul Terrell, owner of The Byte Shop in Mountain View, California. Terrell then ordered 50 fully assembled machines and sold them for $666.66 each, making The Byte Shop the first retailer of Apple-1 computers.
As described by RR Auctions, the website that hosted the auction, the board had some damage, with the top right side of the board missing, and the missing piece was discarded. The prototype was kept in the "Apple Garage" for many years before being given to its current owner by Steve Jobs some 30 years ago. At the time, Jobs had been ousted from Apple. Jobs thought at the time that the prototype was not something to be consecrated, but something to be repurposed. Some integrated circuits were pulled off, as were microprocessors and other components, presumably for the early production Apple-1 computers.
Compared to the production Apple-1, the prototype had the wording "Apple Computer A" on it, had a different processor, and it lacked the green protective coating found on the Apple-1.
Due to the rarity of the prototype, the auction house expects it to fetch a high price at auction despite the damage.
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