A vintage and fully functioning Apple-1 computer designed by company co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak has fetched $375,000 at auction.
The original owner bought the machine from The Byte Shop, the store where the two visionaries originally sold the computers for $666.66.
The seller, who used the Apple-1 to learn BASIC, wrote programs before he decided to hold onto the machine because it “could one day be a piece of computing history,” according to MacRumors.com.
Jobs persuaded Wozniak, known as Woz, to package and sell the machine, which went on sale in 1976 for $666.66, the BBC reported.
“The Apple-1 was ghastly underpowered compared to the Apple II,” Wozniak told the BBC on Tuesday. “But this Apple-1 computer showed the world … the formula for an affordable USEFUL computer.”
Wozniak and Jobs sold about 200 Apple-1 computers in just under a year, thanks to a deal with a computing store in Palo Alto, Calif.
Only 79 of the machines are still around, according to an online registry not affiliated with Apple.
“It’s a marvelous piece — and this one works!” said Bobby Livingston, executive VP of RR Auctions, which held the auction Tuesday in Boston.
The buyer was an “anonymous businessman” who placed the winning bid online.
Apple-1 expert Corey Cohn restored the machine in June, MacRumors.com reported.
“We might have made 150 Apple I boards. Steve Jobs handled the business of the Apple I and we actually built up a bank account of about $12,000,” Wozniak told the BBC.
“It was my idea to price it at $666.66. So few of these boards are known that the scarcity gives them high value,” he said.
“It’s fair to say that the Apple-I was the first personal computer, depending on how you define ‘personal.’ The Apple I and Apple II took steps that had never been taken before.
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