Apple fans prepare yourselves: One of the original Apple I computers is going up for auction in September
The Apple I is being put up for sale by David Larson, a former Virginia Tech professor who bought the computer from Adam Schoolsky in 1994 for $3500. Schoolsky was a friend of Apple cofounders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who gave him the computer as a gift.
The computer, built by Wozniak in 1976, will be auctioned off by online auction house Charitybuzz starting on September 12. All proceeds will go to FAIRS, a Virginia-based non-profit that helps groups in developing countries put together emergency radio systems.The computer's auction lot will also include the original letter Larson received from Schoolsky in 1994; a promotional brochure for the Apple I and Apple II computers; and the first issue of the "Silicon Gulch Gazette," an early PC industry publication, that was published in 1977.
The lot also includes a drawing by Ron Wayne, Apple's little-known third cofounder. Wayne designed the original Apple logo, wrote the Apple I manual, and drew the Apple I schematic diagrams.
And it includes something that's rarer than even the computer itself, an Apple I cassette interface card. Early PC's often stored programs and data on cassette tapes; the card allowed an owner to connect a cassette recorder to the Apple I. The majority of original Apple owners never purchased the card, and many of the remaining Apple I in existence lack one.
Dubbed the Schoolsky Apple-I, the computer that's up for auction still technically works, but it needs a serious computer fiend just to turn it on. Like most of the earliest computers, it requires an external power source and a separate keyboard.
Apple made about 175 Apple I computers before discontinuing the model in 1977 in favor of its successor, the Apple II. Only a few dozen Apple I's are known to be in existence and only a handful remain in working condition.The computers go up for auction from time-to-time and frequently sell for premium prices. One sold at a German auction in May for $130,000.