Steve Jobs’ Apple-1 Prototype PCB Goes up for Public sale

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(Picture: RR Auctions)
Over the previous 12 months there have been some uncommon classic Apple merchandise up on the public sale block. Most had been semi-complete programs although, and a part of the unique batch of PCs bought by the Byte Store in Mountain View. Now the printed circuit board (PCB) made by Steve Jobs to obtain that authentic order of computer systems in 1976 is up for public sale. It’s labeled “Apple Laptop A” and was hand-soldered by The Woz himself. It’s anticipated to fetch not less than $500,000 when the public sale ends in August.

The “laptop” is a straightforward PCB, and was used to reveal the performance of the Apple-1 Laptop. The demo was given to Paul Terrell, who was the proprietor of The Byte Store. This was one of many world’s first laptop shops. What Jobs and Woz had figured was a $40 hobbyist package was then reworked right into a full-blown private laptop. Terrell positioned the corporate’s first order for 50 PCs, and every was bought for $666.66. “That was the largest single episode in the entire firm’s historical past. Nothing in subsequent years was so nice and so surprising,” mentioned Woz of the Byte Store order.

The PCB’s authenticity was verified with images resembling this one taken in 1976. (Picture: RR Auctions)

This explicit board is uncommon sufficient to be labeled as #2 within the Apple-1 Registry. It had initially remained within the “Apple Storage” for years earlier than Jobs gave it to the present proprietor over 30 years in the past. It was thought of “misplaced” till just lately. Nonetheless, it has been examined and authenticated this 12 months by Apple-1 knowledgeable Corey Cohen. The current situation of the board leaves so much to be desired, sadly. It has an enormous chunk lacking, and it’s doubtless misplaced endlessly. Additionally, among the ICs together with the microprocessor have been eliminated. The public sale web site says Jobs doubtless repurposed among the lacking components for the primary Apple-1 computer systems.

The Apple-A prototype is unfortunately lacking a big piece, which is able to in all probability by no means be discovered. (Picture: RR Public sale)

The auctioneers level out {that a} distinctive characteristic of the board is it shows Steve Wozniak’s distinctive “three-handed” soldering method. This concerned him holding a wire in a single hand, the iron within the different, and the solder in his mouth. This ends in solder “bubbles” at connection factors.

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One other fascinating characteristic is the prototype has a populated clock circuit within the higher left space. This is able to permit it to make use of both a Motorola 6800 or MOS 6501 processor. Nonetheless, the manufacturing model left this space empty, because it used a MOS 6502 CPU. This chip had an on-chip clock oscillator, which made the exterior timing circuit pointless. When it was launched in 1975, this 8-bit microprocessor ran at 1-3Mhz and was a lot cheaper than its competitors. This precipitated it (or variations of its design) for use for all kinds of historic gadgets such because the Atari 2600, Nintendo Leisure System, and finally the Apple II.

As we went to press the present bid was $278,005, which is typical for classic rarities resembling this prototype. Earlier Apple-1 computer systems have all bought for a number of hundred of thousand of {dollars}, however these had extra components to them. That is the primary time in latest reminiscence we are able to recall a damaged PCB going up for public sale, which could cut back its ultimate worth. Nonetheless, there’s no denying simply how uncommon this merchandise is, which ought to make it a must have for any well-heeled collector.

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