When one envisions a product from Apple Inc, the images that come to mind are slim, stylish products like the iPad, iPod Touch and the Macbook Air - not this green unfinished looking motherboard. But believe it or not, this is where it all began.
One of only two hundred machines made, it was designed and built in 1976, by Apple Inc. Co-founder Steve Wozniak. While this glorified high-performance calculator, which cost $666.66 USD, is a far cry from the modern computer, the Apple-1 was a revolutionary product - The first pre-assembled computer to ever be sold. Prior to this, if consumers wanted a computer they would have to solder their own motherboard together.
While the computer did come with an instruction manual, it did not have either a monitor or built-in keyboard. Instead it came with a signed letter from Steve Jobs with suggestions and ideas about what customers could use.
The basic computer had just 4KB RAM (Random Access Memory) - It could however be upgraded to 48KB, and while this may sound like a lot, it is not enough to store a song or even a picture. The Apple-1 also had no storage capability, but did come with a $75 USD cassette interface, that would allow users to load programs.
With only a quarter of the original 200 Apple-1's believed to be around, it is rare to find one that's for sale. It was therefore not surprising that when the above specimen was announced by Christie's Auction House in London, it generated a lot of excitement. The fact that it was still in its original packaging, did not hurt either. And if that wasn't enough, the brains behind the computer, Steve Wozniak was present at the auction and added an autographed letter, as part of the package.
The highest bidder at the November 23rd event was Italian businessmen and private collector Mario Boglione, who paid $210,000 USD or 425 times the original price - not bad for owning a piece of history is it?