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Vintage Computer Festival - Apple-1 Auction

Original Apple-1 Computer up for Auction!

The VCF is proud to be presenting an original Apple-1 computer up for auction from Friday, February 21 through Sunday, February 23, 2003.

This computer is complete, in its original after-market wooden enclosure, featuring a keyboard and power supply integrated into one unit. The lot features:

  • "Apple Computer 1" Motherboard
  • Cassette Interface Board
  • Original (after-market) wooden enclosure
  • Original Datanetics keyboard (integrated into wooden enclosure)
  • Original power supply (integrated into wooden enclosure)

The following items, though not originally used with this Apple-1, are being included with the auction:

  • Apple-1 Operation Manual (reproduction)
  • Preliminary Apple BASIC Users Manual (reproduction)
  • Cassette Interface Manual (reproduction)
  • Apple-1 BASIC on Cassette (reproduction)
  • Apple-1 Advertisement (reproduction)

This Apple-1 was bought by the current owner in 1981 at an Apple users group meeting in Santa Clara, California. By this time, the Apple-1 was at least 5 years old, and while it was by then obsolete, it still had a user base.

The original owner, who had brought the computer in to the meeting in an effort to sell or trade it, met with the current owner who expressed an interest in it, and a swap was made. At the time, the computer was in completely functional condition.

The current owner used the computer for a short while. Eventually he contemplated adding disk drives to it. Being a technician for a large disk drive manufacturer at the time, he arranged a visit to Apple Computer's headquarters in Cupertino, California, to discuss the possibility of adding disk drives to the computer. The conclusion was that a disk drive could be added, but not without a significant amount of work that owner was not interested in engaging in, so it was at that time that the computer was finally retired. The Apple Computer visitor badge, visible in the photos of the interior of the enclosure (with the owner's name blurred out to protect his privacy) was put there as a memento of this visit. The computer was put away shortly thereafter and was only recently brought out of storage for this auction.

This Apple-1 is currently being offered in an "as-is", non-operating condition.

Notes About This Machine

There are several items to point out:

  • The original ceramic and gold 6502 CPU shown in the photos has had pin 17 fall off due to corrosion at the base of the pin where it enters the ceramic body of the chip. A fully functional 6502 CPU will be included with the auction along with the original CPU.
  • The '1' keycap on the keyboard has broken off. The original keycap is not available. The key mechanism itself is fully functional.
  • The 74257 ICs in row B, sections 5 through 8 have been replaced with 74157 ICs, which are functionally equivalent to the 74257. Additionally, a de-coupling capacitor has been soldered between the +5V and ground pins of the ICs on the underside of the board (see below). This modification is very neatly done, and could have been made by the original owner or at the time of manufacture for trouble-shooting.
  • Two of the three power transistors in the power supply section seem to have been replaced. This may have been done by either the original owner or at the time of manufacture for trouble-shooting.
  • Some extra wire and components were added to the breadboard section of the mainboard, and an additional coaxial cable connects from these modifcations to the backside of the enclosure. The cable terminates at a bayonet style coaxial connector, with the connector labeled "SYNC" on the enclosure. This modification was most likely added by the original owner.
  • The wooden enclosure has come apart due to the aging of the glue originally used to assemble the enclosure. The parts of the enclosure themselves are still in excellent condition, and can be glued back together again with any wood glue.
  • None of these issues should detract from the overall quaility of this Apple-1. Modifications in the era that the Apple-1 was produced and sold were commonplace, and the breadboard area of the Apple-1 was intended for user modifications. Overall, this system is considered to be in excellent condition and one of the more complete Apple-1 computers ever to come to auction. It is better than museum-quality, as compared to the Apple-1 on display at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

    Click on these links to see photos of the machine and its various accessories:

    Few Apple-1 computers come up for auction as very few still remain in existence. Only 200 Apple-1 computers were ever produced. Most Apple-1's sold by the Apple Computer Company were traded in when the Apple ][ computer was announced. Of the machines that were traded-in, only one was known to have been rescued. If you're an avid computer collector and have been looking for an Apple-1 to add to your collection, you do not want to pass this auction up.

    The auction will start at 8:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time) on Friday, February 21, and conclude at 5:00 PM* (Pacific Standard Time) on Sunday, February 23. Complete auction information and rules will be e-mailed upon completion of the registration form below.

    * or until no more bids come in within a 15 minute "quiet" period (see auction rules and procedures for details)

    Read the official press release for more information.

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