LIVERMORE, CA - February 12, 2002 [Vintage Computer Festival]
The Vintage Computer Festival (VCF) announced today that it will auction off yet another original Apple-1 computer circa 1976. "The Vintage Computer Festival has earned a reputation as being THE auctioneer of Apple-1 computers," said Sellam Ismail, founder and producer of the Vintage Computer Festival. Ismail further added, "Our experience and expertise in working with historical computers such as the Apple-1 and our reverence for their place in history makes us uniquely qualified to auction off this and other significant historical computers."
The auction will take place from Friday, February 21 through Sunday, February 23, on the Vintage Computer Festival website (http://www.vintage.org). This Apple-1 is unique from all others that have been auctioned by the VCF in that it is a complete unit in a quaint original after-market wooden enclosure that contains the keyboard, power supply, and Apple-1 board. "This Apple-1 is the most interesting I have come across yet," says Ismail, adding, "It is museum quality in that it is complete and comes in an elegant wooden enclosure, which was typically added by the user since the Apple-1 was offered only as a bare motherboard, but rare to find today, especially in this condition."
The Apple-1 was the brainchild of Steve Wozniak, who designed and built it in his spare time in the mid 1970's while still an employee at Hewlett-Packard. Management at HP saw no future in the computer and released all rights to Wozniak. Steve Jobs, Wozniak's high school friend, convinced Wozniak to market the machine. Jobs managed to land an order for 50 of the computers with a chain computer store called The Byte Shop, helping to launch the fledgling Apple Computer. The original selling price was $666.66.
Only 200 Apple-1's were ever sold, and fewer still exist today. "Most Apple-1 owners took advantage of a two-for-one deal offered by Apple when they came out with their then new Apple ][ computer", reports Ismail. "They traded in two Apple-1 computers for a new Apple ][. All but one of the Apple-1's that were turned in to Apple were destroyed." Ismail estimates that fewer than 50 examples of the Apple-1 exist today. Because of its rarity combined with the demand, the Apple-1 is one of the most sought after computers in the world of vintage computer collecting. Says Ismail, "Once again, the VCF was specifically sought out to auction this computer because we are the only entity that specializes in the promotion and marketing of historic vintage computers."
This Apple-1 was bought second-hand by the current owner in 1981 at an Apple users group meeting in Santa Clara, California. It was used for a short while, but its limitations in the face of much more capable machines of the day led the owner to store the computer away for good. It was only recently brought out of storage for this auction.
The last Apple-1 that was auctioned by the Vintage Computer Festival in April of 2002 sold for $14,000. The highest known amount paid for an Apple-1 is $50,000. "In spite of prevailing economic conditions, we expect this Apple-1 to fetch anywhere from $16,000 to $22,000," says Ismail. "This is a very unique Apple-1 that is complete and in excellent condition, and should result in an animated bidding session," he said.
The Vintage Computer Festival is a yearly event in the Silicon Valley that celebrates computer history by featuring speakers from computing's past as well as a hands-on exhibit of old computers and computing artifacts, some dating back over half a century or more. The next Vintage Computer Festival takes place in Munich, Germany, on May 3rd and 4th. The next VCF event in the US is scheduled for Boston in June, and is still in the planning phases. The main Vintage Computer Festival is to be held in the Silicon Valley sometime in the Fall.
Sellam Ismail founded the Vintage Computer Festival in 1997. He also runs VintageTech (http://www.vintagetech.com), a closely affiliated off-shoot of the VCF that provides historical computer consulting services for business and academia. VintageTech offers resources for law firms that specialize in intellectual property disputes, providing them with artifacts from the VCF Archives to demonstrate prior art in patent disputes. It also performs data and media conversion services (specializing in rare media such as punch cards), provides computers as props for film production and photography studios, provides appraisals for historic computer artifacts for tax-deductible donation or insurance purposes, brokers the sale of vintage computing artifacts, and builds historic computer replicas for public exhibits.
Information about the Apple-1 auction can be found at:
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Information about VintageTech can be found at:
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