back to article Gavel fails to fall for Apple 1

An original Apple 1 made by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak failed to sell at an auction in London this week after bidders refused to meet its reserve price. The 1976 computer - which comes without a screen and a mere 4KB of memory - was expected to be snapped up for £80,000. However, the top bid of £32,000 wasn't high enough to …

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Does not compute....

"Its significance in making computer technology accessible for all cannot be undervalued,"

"It sold 200 units"

when did 200 = all?

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Facepalm

Re: Does not compute....

It a cipher. In this case a = 2 and l = 0.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Devil

Yep

Like the Necronomicon, it's damn ancient. Unlike the Necronomicon, it doesn't reveal forbidden knowledge.

Now, was Jobs in the same league as Abdul al Hazred? Some rumors say yes...

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Not _that_ important

There were plenty of home computer kits and even pre-made home computers around. Apple just happens to still exist. By the time the Apple 1 came out, you could already buy yourself a Kenback.

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Re: Not _that_ important

You're talking about historical fact. This auction was intended to appeal to a less educated crowd.

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Anonymous Coward

The Apple I was not significant at all when it came to making technology more accesible. The Macintosh was, but that came later and bears little if any relation to the Apple I.

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Yadda yadda!

Rounded rectangle bla bla patent yadda innovation etc!

Aha ha ha.

(In other news: Apple finally find a product they can't sell to fanbois)

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FAIL

"Apple finally find a product they can't sell to fanbois"

Well, obviously fanbois wouldn't buy it - fanbois only want the latest Apple products.

I'm not surprised it didn't reach the reserve, though; even as a piece of computing history an Apple 1 is nothing special compared to something like a Commodore 65 prototype.

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WTF?

how about no..

The ones that made computing available for all were Jack Tramiel, Alain Sinclair and to a lesser extent Alan Sugar.

Before them, home computers had been niche products.

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Coat

Re: how about no..

Alain Sinclair?

Is that Clive's French cousin?

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Trollface

It's as ugly as a ginger stepchild, not surprised it didn't sell.

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FAIL

Was crap then and is still crap

The Apple 1 was crap in 1976, and it's still crap today. There were plenty of better hobby computers around then. As one of the previous posters pointed out, the Apple 1's only "virtue" is that the company is still around.

All this failed auction proves is that even wealth Apple fanboi's are not completely stupid.

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Re: Was crap then and is still crap

Surely another virtue is that it led to the Apple 2, the personal computer that ran VisiCalc and hence became the first to be popular in business? A lot of small and medium-sized businesses hadn't previously had any sort of computer at all.

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Re: Was crap then and is still crap

"Surely another virtue is that it led to the Apple 2" - by this logic, I ought to be able to flog my old Archimedes (complete with a choice of Arthur 1.2 or RISC OS 2) for thousands because Acorn designed the ARM for their update to the Beeb/Master range, and... well... look where we are now. Mobiles, routers, toys, bluetooth dongles...the ARM is everywhere and doing quite nicely and my A310 was there at the start. [well, after the ARM1 dev boards; but this is an actual real computer not a dev board]

Okay then. As the keyboard is a little wonky, I'll let it go for best offer over 8 grand (base price reflecting the processor speed). Offers on a postcard to........

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Re: Was crap then and is still crap (@heyrick)

The Apple 2 came out a year after the Apple 1, from the same team, based directly on lessons learnt and using money earned, and was explicitly a direct replacement product. There's a direct causal nexus between the two — the Apple 2 exists because the Apple 1 existed.

Conversely things using an ARM today do not exist just because the Archimedes project existed. They'd all still exist, they'd just use a different processor architecture.

I'm also unclear why you assume that if a machine can't be written off as virtueless then it must be worth a lot of money.

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Re: Was crap then and is still crap (@heyrick)

My post was actually playing with the notion of the ridiculous idea that the Apple II brought computing to the masses. It may have been so in the US, but on this side of the ocean it was a rather different story, and my reference to ARM actually did have slightly more relevance given Acorn was an important player in the '80s micro scene. Plus, being a 6502 design, one could say it was what the Apple II should have looked like.

As to the idea that the computer that can't be classed as virtueless must be worth a lot... Did stuff like suggesting a starting price of eight grand (because it was an 8MHz processor) not provide a hint that I was ever so slightly taking the piss? I was going to call it "r@re" and "vintage", but I could demean myself enough to actually write such rubbish. <sigh>

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Coat

Maps

Can it be upgraded to iOS6 and does it suffer from the Maps problem? That could have affected the price...

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Undervalued

"'Its significance in making computer technology accessible for all cannot be undervalued...'"

Well, as it current owner can well attest, it can certainly be *overvalued*.

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Too right, typical Apple

I can get a perfectly decent DOS system from then with a proper keyboard, 4.7 kb memory and a monitor for less than half that! You know, what everybody uses to get real work done. And it comes in a box of some kind. Plus they threw in an Etch-a-Sketch. I'd rather put up my hard earned sheckels for two real computers than some Apple toy for brain-dead zombie sheep etc, etc.

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Linux

Re: Too right, typical Apple

I remember back when I got my first computer and the Apple 8-bit machines were still selling at prices higher than some Amiga and STs.

When it came to making computing more accessible to the masses, the significance of Apple is grossly overstated. They get press because they are still around to help feed the propaganda machine.

Now that I think about it some more, those 8-bit Apple machines were even more expensive than some of the lesser PC clones.

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Stop

@Albert Hall - DOS machines came 5 years later

At the time it was competing with machines like the Altair 8800 (which needed a teletype terminal) and the IBM 5100 (a $10K+ device). It was, if not the first then one of the first, reasonably affordable pre-assembled microcomputers with video output and QWERTY key input. It set the pattern for the PC boom of the later 70's and early 80's.

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Windows

Re: Too right, typical Apple

I remember the 16 bit machines...

Amiga 2000, 1987 (Motorola 68000 @ 7.14 MHz, 512 KiB): USD 1'500

Mac II, 1987 (Motorola 68020 @ 15 MHz, 1 MiB): USD 3'769

Good times, good times... somebody had an acoustic coupler ....

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Unhappy

Re: Too right, typical Apple

In both price and performance, Commodore and Atari were superior to Apple all throughout the 80s. C64/800XL vs Apple II, and then ST/Amiga vs Macintosh, it was no contest. Arguably Workbench was much more usable than the contemporary MacOS too (i.e. the Mac didn't get multitasking until 6 OS versions later) and in colour too, so the famed Apple "design" doesn't really get a look-in either.

Apple gets to write history however as it is the last man standing from that era.

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Re: Too right, typical Apple

@Destroy All Monsters: The 68020 is definitely 32-bit, no matter which way you cut it — 32-bit instruction set architecture, 32-bit data bus, 32-bit address bus. The 68000 was considered 16-bit at the time because of the 16-bit data bus though I'm not sure it'd be classified that way now as it had the full 32-bit ISA.

@Gaius: the MultiFinder was released in 1987 as part of System 5. In performance terms the Mac had the edge as of the Mac II (also 1987) since the Amiga stayed at ~7Mhz on a 68000 until 1990, whereas Apple more than doubled that clock rate and switched to the 68020. For GUI tasks the original Mac also outpaces the Amiga because the CPU is slightly faster and the display used for the GUI — being limited to 1bpp — is a lot more compact, and hence faster to manipulate. So there's really no tenable argument about performance.

Apple weren't shy in charging very high prices and often lagged in features (like, you know, colour) but it's rewriting history to suggest that there was "no contest".

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Megaphone

"[The Apple 1 ...] cannot be undervalued"

The results of the auction would beg to differ.

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Meh

the sound of bubbles popping

There seems to have been a lot of apple memorabilia up for auction over the last 12 months, much of it I'm sure just "happens" to be up for sale after Steve Jobs' death... But this latest instance indicates that perhaps the desirability of the apple brand is wearing off a tad... Not meeting reserve is one thing, not even meeting *half* of the reserve should be a warning.

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@Esskay

"But this latest instance indicates that perhaps the desirability of the apple brand is wearing off a tad... Not meeting reserve is one thing, not even meeting *half* of the reserve should be a warning."

Now that kind of reasoning just reeks of desperation...

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Li'l Note On Semantics.

"Its significance in making computer technology accessible for all cannot be undervalued..."

The thing is, that if you take a moment and reflect on the phrase "cannot be undervalued", it means "no matter how low a value you put on it, it is not low enough". What the original copywriter wanted to say, was something along the lines of "should not be undervalued" or "cannot be overvalued (or, better, "overstated")".

But I see that England is not the only place where English is no longer spoken....

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Meh

Oooh...

shiny.

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whats a MiB ?

Is it the same as an MB ?

And why does it "exist", we need to know.

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