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Functioning Apple 1 and Jobs memo raise $400k at Sotheby's auction

One of the few remaining Apple 1 computers has been sold at auction for hundreds of thousands of pounds.Auction house Sotheby's had placed an estimate on the functioning Apple 1 of between $120,000-180,000 (£76-115,000), but it sold on Friday for $374,500k (£241,000).
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Written by David Meyer on

One of the few remaining Apple 1 computers has been sold at auction for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Auction house Sotheby's had placed an estimate on the functioning Apple 1 of between $120,000-180,000 (£76-115,000), but it sold on Friday for $374,500k (£241,000). At the same auction in New York, a memo written by a 19-year-old Steve Jobs went for $27,500, again well above the $10,000-15,000 estimate.

The Apple 1, which was sold in motherboard form, dates back to 1976, and would have been hand-assembled by Steve Wozniak. It was sold with manual and cassette interface, as well as an original advert for the computer.

According to the BBC, only 50 of the original 200 Apple 1s are believed to have survived, with very few being in working condition.

The technical part of the Sotheby's description read: "Includes circuit board with four rows A-D, and columns 1-18; MOS Technologies 6502 microprocessor, labelled MCS 6502 3776; video terminal; keyboard interface; 8K bytes RAM in 16-pin 4K memory chips; 4 power supplies including 3 capacitors; firmware in PROMS (A1, A2); low-profile sockets on all integrated circuits; breadboard; heatsink; expansion connector; cassette board connector. (15 1/8 x 9 in.; 385 x 234 mm)."

The Steve Jobs memo dates back to 1974, when Jobs was working for Atari. It describes "instructions for converting World Cup PC boards", along with suggestions for improving the game's playability.

Jobs, who was living in a commune at the time, stamped the notes with the Buddhist mantra "gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl", or "going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha".

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