Once upon a time, Apple computers didn’t come with keyboards or monitors or even cases. But they often came with a personal letter from Steve Jobs, like the one included with this Apple I, now available starting at $US50,000.
That’s the starting eBay bid for this motherboard. According to the original invoice included in the auction package — dated December 7, 1976 — he also was the one filling the sales forms. At least this one, which says Steven. Since it was only him and Woz at the time — and the latter was always busy creating beautiful electronics and calling the Pope — it’s pretty safe to say that this was indeed Apple’s current CEO and then CEO, CFO, CMO, COO and CLSDI. The original package has Steve Jobs’ parents as the return address:
• The computer itself
• The original shipping box, with Steve Jobs’ parents’ house as a return address
• The original manual, with schematics to build your own Apple 1
• The tape interface card
• The manual for the tape interface
• A plain Scotch-brand cassette tape with a simply-typed label “BASIC” that came with the unit
• A letter, signed by Steven Jobs in 1976, explaining connecting a keyboard and monitor, as well as detailing when dealer applications would be available
• An original full-page glossy advertisement for Apple, included when the Apple 1 computer was shipped. (The ad is almost unrecognisable as an Apple ad due to its elaborate Isaac Newton logo. The artist who drew that logo was the third original partner in Apple Corp. His stake in Apple was bought out for a couple thousand dollars when the company started getting serious).
• Photographs of all prior owners of this unit.
The Apple I was the first Apple computer. The two Steves started to sell it on July 1976. The price then was $US666.66. At the time all computers needed to be assembled, but the Apple I was a motherboard — assembled by themselves at Jobs parents’ garage — was ready to connect to a keyboard, monitor and cassette player. [eBay via Tuaw]