Last week the world lost a true visionary when Steve Jobs left the planet, and it’s been an interesting time of reflection and inspiration as the world contemplates what it is about Jobs that made him so great. To help that along, we dug up a photo of one of the 200 very first Apple computers (tagline: “take a byte out of Apple”) called Apple-1. These babies were hand built by Apple partner co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976, and were sold from Steve Jobs’s parents’ garage for $666.66. (Wozniak says he likes repeating numbers.)
Apple-1s were basically a circuit-board that needed to be connected to a monitor and keyboard to work. The above photo is of on the Apple-1s inside of a custom built case. It’s one of only about 50 original Apple-1’s left in the world, and sold last year at auction for $213,000. Of course now the idea of selling a circuit board doesn’t sound that great now, but in 1976 it was game-changing. It was the first time a single circuit board was sold as a computer (the other computer models were sold as “kits” that needed to be connected to an external computer terminal to work.) The next year (1977) Apple was incorporated as a company, and the Apple II was released: an all-in-one computer that included an audio cassette storage, a monitor, and 6x the RAM (from 8k to 48k.) Owners of the Apple-1 were able to trade in the original model for the new-and-improved edition, but in the long-run it was a better investment decision to hold on to the original model.