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Half a million dollars for a 40-year-old PC? Cordon Press

Half a million dollars for a 40-year-old PC?

ONE of the first models of personal computer ever sold is going up on auction in the US next month, and this piece of IT history could be yours: if you’re willing to pay the estimated price tag of €230,000-€385,000 ($300,000-$500,000).

The historic Apple-1 computer will be appearing at the world-famous US auction house Bonhams as one of their prized pieces at the History of Science auction on October 22.

The Apple-1 was the world’s first ever pre-assembled personal computer to be sold. This particular example is one of a set of 50 built by Steve Wozniak in the summer of 1976 in Steve Job’s garage.

Christina Geiger, fine books and manuscripts director at Bonhams in New York, said: “It is a great privilege to be selling this Apple-1 at auction. It has exceptional provenance and condition.

She added: “Moreover, it will be the first Apple-1 to be publicly exhibited for auction in the Bay Area. It is very gratifying to think of this computer returning to within 40 miles of its birthplace.”

Bonham’s San Francisco house will be displaying the computer from September 19 to 21.

Only 15 Apple-1 PCs have been operated successfully since the year 2000, and it is believed that this particular computer is the only one in existence which still boasts all of its original hardware, with no replacement parts.

This early example of innovative computer engineering was acquired by Cincinnati AppleSiders founder, John Anderson in 1980, and according to Apple-1 expert Corey Cohen, has been kept in perfect condition.

He said: “This is one of the best examples of a working early Apple-1 board that I have seen. The condition is unlike the other Apple-1 computers that have come up for sale before. This one has had no modifications ever performed or removed; even the screws on the power regulators aren’t heat cycled.”

The auction, to be held October 22, will be previewed in San Francisco (September 19-21) and New York (September 18-22).

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