back to article Got a spare $600k? Then an ancient Apple-1 could be yours

It's clapped-out and so under-specced that sending even the briefest of tweets is impossible. But that won't stop some super rich collector from paying $600,000 for an Apple-1 computer signed by the Cupertino Godhead himself, Steve Jobs. The pre-Mac was built in Jobs' garage before being sold to Charles Ricketts. According to …

  1. i like crisps


    ...So release those Midweek Trolls!!

  2. Indolent Wretch

    Is it a story? It's just a bit sad isn't it.

    I know a collector and their money are often parted. But seriously.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Think about it for a second. You put this in a museum and charge people money to come and see it.

      1. lucvdb

        Already on view in the Science Museum in London. Even free of charge...

        Kept in a glass box between an Apollo 15 CM and Cray-1A. Nobody paid attention.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >I know a collector and their money are often parted. But seriously.

      That doesn't necessarily make the collector a fool - who knows if the value will go up or down? An example is included in this very article:

      "It is currently owned by Robert Luther, a collector from Virginia. He bought the expensive machine during 2004 at a police auction" I don't expect he paid $600k for it.

      You might compare it to art, antiques, vintage wine or commodities markets - some people lose money, sure, but others gain. If you, Indolent Wretch, are able to predict who is who with certainty, then I expect you've posted your comment from your private yacht moored off the Cayman Islands.

  3. John G Imrie


    Don't let the Russians know.

  4. ukgnome

    Pah - That's nothing

    I have an original Amstrad emailer, and it's been signed by that bloke off the apprentice. At least I think it's him, the signature is a bit weird, it could say sugar, could say sucker.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Pah - That's nothing

      "I've got a good idea. Let's build a system that sends emails and goes on the internet, BUT we'll charge them 7p per minute to connect to the internet and to download their emails. We're going to make thousands of pounds!"

      This is the same man sitting behind that desk with Countdown man on one side and a well known ****** of Birmingham **** *********** now at West Ham, moaning at suited idiots why making £50 from selling potatoes isn't good enough.

      * - So I don't get in trouble with moderators, although it's all true.

      1. ukgnome

        Re: Pah - That's nothing

        Wow wolfetone you're kinda awesome.

        I say an obvious joke and use the joke icon and you use is as a way of attacking Karen Brady.

        If I grow up I want to be just like you.

  5. Simon Harris

    What is it with Apple I auctions?

    We did this a couple of weeks ago.

    Is it like football? Is there an Apple I transfer deadline and they all have to be auctioned off for crazy money and change hands before the end of the month or something?

    1. emmanuel goldstein

      Re: What is it with Apple I auctions?

      There is a sort of deadline - in the sense that the current high value for these artifacts is very likely to be ephemeral.

      They're riding a price bubble that Damien Hirst would be proud of.

    2. Darryl

      Re: What is it with Apple I auctions?

      Maybe it's to avoid beheading?

      “Don’t pick it up, pick it up, pick it up – quick, pass it on, pass it on…”

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    The machine that started the digital revolution?

    What? All on its own? Without all those other single-boards running machine code monitors or Basic or Forth? Or the IMB PC clones? Or the BBC Micro and a couple of dozen other similar things?


    1. mccp

      Re: The machine that started the digital revolution?

      You have a point, but I'm finding it hard to think of any company that started off making single board microcomputers back in the seventies, that still makes personal computers today, _apart_ from Apple.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: The machine that started the digital revolution?

        Try harder. There are some. But the Apple II was never sold as a single Board Computer. It was a system, with limited number of keys built in keyboard, cheap Astec PSU, only 40 columns capitals only text and very slow expensive non-standard 100K single sided floppy drive. Early models only did colour in USA because of how they modified it for European 50Hz. Like the IBM PC one of the keys to success was easy to fit plug-in cards. I had ones for 80 column text with lower case, Z80 with 64K RAM and controller for a 5 Mbyte full height 5.25" Winchester / HDD.

        The Apple II OS was nothing great unless you wanted only Visicalc. We used UCSD-p system for development for a while and then when we got CP/M via the Z80 card also added dual 1Mbyte 8" floppies.

        But Apple dropped computer from their name and a tiny fraction of profit is from Mac. The iPod, iPad and iPhone used hardware developed by others (mostly not PC makers) and succeeded late to market by combination of marketing, slick UI, and in case of the iPhone magic data plans for consumers in an era when only business folk could afford data on a Smart phone.

    2. madmalc

      Re: The machine that started the digital revolution?

      The point is that it led to a production machine, the Apple II that did effectively start the home computer revolution. The similarly 6502 powered Atari XLs, Commodore Vic 20s and BBC B came along a whole lot later (Although the slightly expensive and clunky Commodore PET wasn't that far behind the apple II) The PC would not have existed without the impetus of the fast growing hobbyist market giving IBM the confidence to produce it.

      [SInclair's products were a tiny side show in the UK]

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: The machine that started the digital revolution?

        If I dare suggest: the spokesman's comment that "when you see a child playing with an iPad or iPhone, not too many people know that it all started with the Apple-1" suggests that he just means that Apple, the noteworthy company, started with the Apple-1. Not the digital age. Not the home computer revolution. Just Apple.

        Such other births as you may want to peg to the Apple-1 are entirely at your own discretion.

      2. Mage Silver badge

        Re: The machine that started the digital revolution?

        No, some schools bought it instead of RM or Acorn (later BBC).

        Most of Apple II success was with Visicalc. It certainly didn't start the Home Computer revolution. Far too expensive for too little compared to competition. I think though it had the first Kings Quest game.

        The IBM PC was nothing to do with home market. It was an answer to success of CP/M based business machines. It was squarely aimed at Business.

  7. psychonaut


    ah. i see apple have managed to invent the entire digital world now. funny, it wasnt like that yesterday. im sure of it. maybe my memory is failing but wait...whats that big shimmery thing approaching? its in the shape of ...what is that? oh its a piece of fruit....mememememememmememeeeewwoaoaoaoahahahbep beeptemporaldistortioncompletebeeop.

    sorry something odd happened there.

    oh yes. wow, this was the first ever digital thing ever. id sure like to own it!

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: U571

      The spokesman doesn't say that at all. He said: "It all started with the Apple-1". If we're going to assume he meant something more than just "[Apple] all started with the Apple-1" then why stop at the entire digital world? Why not assume he meant that the Apple-1 ushered in the creation of the universe? I certainly can't personally vouch for anything definitely having existed prior to the early-'80s.

  8. Mage Silver badge

    Re-writing history

    The Apple 1 and Apple II didn't start it.

    What about CP/M. 8080 etc?

    Wang, HP, DEC ...

    The Apple II relied on sales of Visicalc.

    Nor did IBM PC. Plenty of non-x86 (actually the IBM PC was the pathetic 8088) and OS before IBM and MS held back computing for nearly 10 years.

    1. ukgnome

      Re: Re-writing history

      hur hur - wang

      hur hur

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Re-writing history

      Whatever the wider impact (some, I think, retrospectively applied) the Apple II didn't start my digital revolution or that of my peers. It was the Commodore PET our Dad's fetched home at the weekend.

  9. Elmer Phud

    Religious Icons

    In days past (or maybe not), there was a lot of money to be made flogging things like 'saint's bones' and bits of the 'true cross' and similar tat.

    I'm sure a BELiEVER will be eager to snap up something that may have been touched by the Holy One.

    1. i like crisps

      Re: Religious Icons


  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    Why so much?

    While I am wondering why so much, I am wondering more about how the lucky bastard got it from a police auction.

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