AuthorTopic: 💻 Functioning Apple computer built in 1970s up for auction  (Read 356 times)

Offline RE

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💻 Functioning Apple computer built in 1970s up for auction
« on: August 26, 2018, 03:44:10 AM »
Here's one 4 U K-D!  :icon_sunny:


Functioning Apple computer built in 1970s up for auction

August 25, 2018

This August 2018 photo provided by RR Auctions shows a vintage Apple Computer. This Apple-1, which will be auctioned in September 2018, is one of about 60 remaining models of the original 200 that were designed and built by Steve Jobs and …more

A piece of computer history that helped launch a trillion dollar company is hitting the auction block.

A fully functioning Apple-1 being auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction in September is one of only 60 or so remaining of the original 200 that were designed and built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 and 1977.

It was restored to its original, operational state by Apple expert Corey Cohen. The system was operated without fault for approximately eight hours in a test. It even includes the original keyboard from the 1970s.

It shows the humble beginnings of Cupertino, California-based Apple, which recently became the world's first publicly traded company to be valued at $1 trillion.

The Apple 1 originally sold for about $666. It could get $300,000 or more at auction.

Functioning Apple computer built in 1970s up for auction
This August 2018 photo provided by RR Auctions shows a close up of the circuit board from a vintage Apple Computer. This Apple-1, which will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction in September, is one of about 60 remaining models of the …more

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Offline K-Dog

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Re: 💻 Functioning Apple computer built in 1970s up for auction
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2018, 12:20:14 AM »
Here's one 4 U K-D!  :icon_sunny:


Yes, that's what it is.  I've talked to Cory on the phone, he is the go to guy for cloned Apple 1 circuit boards.  He did not design it but he took over sales.  The suckers are perfect copies.  Funny the guy who sells the Mimeo clone is involved in the auction of an original.  Mimeo boards are a thing of great beauty.

The chips to build a working clone are very hard to find.  I have built a working Mimeo clone, but a real clone, built as Woz built the Apple I will actually be wire wrapped and will not use a circuit board with copper traces.  It will be nothing more than a bare board with perforated holes.  An etched circuit board was not made until the thing worked in a wire wrapped version first making the all original circuit boards not original at all.  Woz told me three wire wrapped versions were made.  They are the true originals.  I believe he still has one.

I'm looking forward to building a wire-wrapped Apple I someday.  Like Woz did.  The idea that a run of a couple of hundred circuit boards is worth millions is weird.  I don't personally consider the circuit board the design.  The Apple I to me is a particular implementation of a 6502 microprocessor system hooked up to be a complete micro computer system after the addition of a power supply keyboard and monitor.  The way the 6502 memory map was used defines what an Apple I is to me.  Woz actually invented nothing in the design that did not already exist but the collection of circuits he put together was exactly the right implementation at the right time.  Minimalist and effective it launched a revolution.  It was a work of art which brought two decades of computer evolution to the masses.  It was a computer that only needed power, and an input and output terminal.

A wire wrapped board but nothing this ugly:

That is the underside of a wire wrapped board where small wires wrapped around pins make circuit connections.  I could not really find a good picture of a wire wrapped board.  The technique is pretty old school now.  This thing above is a confusing mess.  The simpler picture below is all wire wrap but a whole board is not shown.

The hardest thing to come up with is an old school keyboard and shift registers were used to implement a unique video memory system on the Apple I to reduce cost.  These are crazy 8 pin dip chips in gray, not black plastic packages and when you find them you will be lucky if half still work.  These chips actually die on the shelf or on the circuit board.  In time no working originals will be around but in such a situation a substitute could be produced if someone were ambitious enough to make a clone chip.

Not many Apple I enthusiasts around.  When the Apple II came along the Apple I rapidly became history.  Yet there is an elegance to the design as I stated above.  I'd love to create a more modern manifestation in the spirit of the original.  Not a strict copy, but something which captures the unique way the video was done and which preserves the extreme simplicity and elegance of the original design.  I don't see things from a strict collectors point of view and understand that they don't see things the same way I do.  To a collector an Apple one is an artifact.  To me it is a design.  Yet the Mimeo board is very cool and if it were not committed to being an exact copy that can't be distinguished from an original without examining specific details I'd like to have one.  Instead I'll make a version in wire wrap with a fully stuffed memory map that would not need an expansion card.  I'll also change up the hardware so the strange shift registers are not needed.  As long as the video functions the same I won't care that the chips are different, and reliable.

One way of looking at its if new chips came along which could be shoehorned into the original design then they would have been.  You would have had different versions.  They still would have all been apple Is and they would have worked the same way.  Subtle differences like chip changes would have been expressed as board revisions and not in any consumer identification unless there was an actual impact on consumer performance such as enhanced speed or increased memory.  Products have a life cycle and they change and evolve over their life cycle.  Scarcity is the only thing that makes original Apple I boards special and that kind of special does not mean a lot to everybody.  Which makes the design special is how the memory map and input and output were defined.

What really makes the Apple I special is its use as a platform on which to learn the joys of assembly language programing.  To use the Apple I effectively meant coding at the machine level.  A higher level BASIC language interpreter was available but knowing a bit about assembly language was needed to really use an Apple I the way it should have been used, and to even load the Basic interpreter in the first place.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2018, 12:35:47 AM by K-Dog »
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