Computer sold by Steve Jobs out of his parents' garage raises $365,000 at auction

One of the fewer than 50 surviving Apple-1 computers has been sold at auction alongside papers suggesting Jobs may have written some custom code for the machine.

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The Apple-1 computer sold at auction yesterday Image: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2014

An Apple-1 computer sold by Steve Jobs out of his parents' garage has sold for $365,000.

The machine, one of fewer than 50 still in existence, dates back to the early days of the company when Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak ran the business out of Jobs's parents' home.

Sold yesterday by London-based auction house Christie's, the machine comes with a check labelled: "Purchased July 1976 from Steve Jobs in his parents' garage in Los Altos".

Despite Jobs being famous for his selling rather than technical skills, a cancelled check sold with the machine suggests he got his hands dirty, with the check labelled: "Software NA Programmed by Steve Jobs August 1976".

In spite of the machine's rarity the computer sold below the $400,000 to $600,000 estimate. The Apple-1 sold for $666.66 when it first went on sale in 1976.

Apple-1 systems were hand built by Wozniak and supplied as a pre-assembled motherboard, without a case, power supply, keyboard, or monitor. The computer sold yesterday is fully operational, having been tested using Microsoft Basic, and an original Apple-1 Star Trek game. It is housed in a medium blue-coloured metal box and has a period Datanetics keyboard in a wooden housing. Also included is the original Apple-1 Operation Manual.

Few surviving Apple-1's remain in private hands, generally residing in public collections such as the Smithsonian Museum of Art in Washington D.C. and twelve other museums of technology or science worldwide.

A number of Apple-1's have come to auction in recent years: one machine sold for $671,400 in Breker, Cologne in 2013, and another went for $905,000 in New York earlier this year.