A handwritten spec sheet for the first Apple computer is currently for sale through Bonham’s Auction house. It’s over 40 years old and was written by old mate Steve Jobs himself.
This is some seriously cool computer history right here.
The roughly-written spec sheet describes the first Apple computer as the “real deal” and goes on to describe a machine with 8K bytes of RAM and a full CRT terminal among other tidbits.
It also quotes the price of the computer to be $US785, which is around $101. That’s not bad considering that they now sell for as much as $367,000.
The sheet was apparently given to a friend of Jobs in 1976 – the same year the Apple I was released. The final product only has 4K bytes of RAM and sold for a whole lot more than what Jobs proposed here – $US666.66.
Not many units sold, and production of the Apple-1 was discontinued shortly after the release of the game-changing Apple II in 1977.
The auction lot not only contains the paper, but also two Polaroids of the Apple I machine and the Apple I monitor.
This is the full lot description:
“With the first 50 boards sold to the Byte Shop, Steve Jobs continued the momentum by marketing bare Apple-1 printed circuit boards (PCBs) to friends and acquaintances. The present manuscript is essentially a specification sheet for the computer and was given to the consignor during a visit to Jobs’ garage. Jobs refers to the computer as “Apple Computer-1” and states that it uses either the 6800, 6501 or 6502 microprocessor, but that the 6501 or 6502 was “recommended because we have basic.” He touts the “full crt terminal” the “58 ic’s which includes 16 for 8K ram!!” Curiously, Jobs states “basic on the way (ROM),” which never materialised for the Apple-1, but did the following year for the Apple II. Jobs quotes the price of $US75 for the board and manual, “a real deal” and lists his mailing address and phone number at the bottom.”
“The manuscript is accompanied by two Polaroid photographs. The first shows an Apple-1 on a wooden table with a keyboard, monitor and power supply partially visible in the right edge. It looks very much like the “Production Prototype,” number 2 in Mike Willegal’s Apple-1 Registry, with its orange capacitors, white ceramic MOS MCS 6502 and with a similar power supply setup. The other Polaroid shows the Apple-1 screen with “Apple Computer Co. at the bottom and Jobs’ address and phone number for contact. Jobs has written on the lower margin “40×24 OR 26 lines / fuzzy because camera wiggled.”
According to the the Bonham’s auction house website, the lot is listed at $54,000 – $81,000. If that sounds ridiculous, it’s worth noting that a job application by Steve Jobs once sold for over $236,000.
If you have the kind of capital to bid on this, firstly – can I have some? Secondly, you can do so right here.