What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

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Joined: Jan 17 2017
Posts: 18

Hey everyone,

This is something I've been dying to ask for such a long time but have never had the opportunity to because, well, quite frankly, I didn't know this forum existed!

For many of us, owning an original Apple-1 is a dream that will be impossible to accomplish in a lifetime - There has been a lot of high-profile media coverage on Apple-1 sales, auction records have been broken, Corey has become famous, etc... So I have a 4 burning questions to ask original Apple-1 owners:

1) How did you obtain your Apple-1, what's your story?
2) How does all the media attention surrounding the high profile auctions make you feel, what are your thoughts?
3) What are the future plans for your Apple-1?
4) What do you think about Corey's new-found fame? Laughing out loud

I hope they are not too intrusive, feel free to ignore this thread, I will not be offended!

-AC

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Joined: Jun 18 2015
Posts: 135
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

Can I add another question? Were do live, I mean keep my precious, I mean your Apple 1? Big smile

CWJ_Wilko's picture
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Joined: Jun 3 2015
Posts: 274
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

Unfortunately, it's my understanding that the overwhelming majority of Apple 1 owners could not be less interested in the immense historic value of the Apple 1, only in the investment potential that comes with buying a 40-year-old PCB that is, without exaggeration, worshiped by collectors and enthusiasts.

There are exceptions, but I imagine that most Apple 1 computers would be locked away somewhere, out of the sunlight, slowly appreciating in value for their already mega-wealthy owners. Their answers would be as follows:

1) I obtained my Apple 1 at auction, among several other antiquities.
2) The media isn't allowed within 100 feet of my estate.
3) Hopefully it will continue to increase in value, I intend to resell it to another anonymous billionaire in the future.
4) Who's Corey?

(Sorry for my cynicism - I'm clearly just jealous that I don't own one myself.)

stynx's picture
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Joined: Apr 19 2012
Posts: 183
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

I already had my chance when i was 10 (1990). I didn't know what that old and dusty PCB was when a friend of my father showed it to me. He offered it to me for learning programming but i already owned a C64. My father was shaking his head in the background since he did not want me to drag that old junk into the house Smile

Anyways, the A1 was destroyed for parts afterwards (PCB broken in two to fit inside the garbage bin) and when i later (15 years later to be exact) asked the person who owned the A1 only the white 6502 was left (after a thorough search). I got the 6502 for free at least Smile. The A1 in question was originally bought in a 2nd hand store or pawn shop on a business trip. It was originally cased in a battered black leather case with a 220v PSU mod. The PCB had a LOT of mods and a different ROM as well as a big diy memory? expansion board that was laying horizontally and was connected to the expansion connector by a rainbow colored flat ribbon cable.

Im happy to have seen and touched it (and washed my hands afterwards) and got a white 6502 from it (which i later sold to a collector when i needed money Undecided ). But the memory remains Tongue

-Jonas

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Joined: Jan 17 2017
Posts: 18
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

stynx wrote:

I already had my chance when i was 10 (1990). I didn't know what that old and dusty PCB was when a friend of my father showed it to me. He offered it to me for learning programming but i already owned a C64. My father was shaking his head in the background since he did not want me to drag that old junk into the house Smile

Anyways, the A1 was destroyed for parts afterwards (PCB broken in two to fit inside the garbage bin) and when i later (15 years later to be exact) asked the person who owned the A1 only the white 6502 was left (after a thorough search). I got the 6502 for free at least Smile. The A1 in question was originally bought in a 2nd hand store or pawn shop on a business trip. It was originally cased in a battered black leather case with a 220v PSU mod. The PCB had a LOT of mods and a different ROM as well as a big diy memory? expansion board that was laying horizontally and was connected to the expansion connector by a rainbow colored flat ribbon cable.

Im happy to have seen and touched it (and washed my hands afterwards) and got a white 6502 from it (which i later sold to a collector when i needed money Undecided ). But the memory remains Tongue

-Jonas

Great story! Thanks for sharing Smile

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Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1063
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

So here is my answers...

1) How did you obtain your Apple-1, what's your story?

My first Apple-1 and second both came from people who needed cash quickly and couldn't afford the time and expense to sell at an auction house, still paid a fortune. Fun Fact, it can take more than a year and cost the consignor upward of 20k upfront to sell an Apple-1 through a public auction company. You pay the money even if it doesn't sell. eBay takes a lot less time but has risk and doesn't pay cash.

2) How does all the media attention surrounding the high profile auctions make you feel, what are your thoughts?
It makes me want to visit my Apple-1 at the bank. I don't keep stuff like that at home. To be honest, I usually get to play on the machine that's up for auction when I'm asked to do video or press events so it does satisfy my cravings. Smile

3) What are the future plans for your Apple-1?
Belongs to my kids, so it's up to them when I'm no longer around.

4) What do you think about Corey's new-found fame? Laughing out loud
It sucks, you can't tell if people are looking at you because they have seen you somewhere but can't place it, or is your pants zipper open...

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Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

I'll be one at some undetermined point in the future.

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Joined: Jun 5 2008
Posts: 382
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

You should read a couple of books and read some of the stories in my Apple 1 registry.
http://www.applefritter.com/replica
https://www.amazon.com/First-Apple-discovered-storage-auction/dp/0989167712/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1484913942&sr=1-2&keywords=%22Apple+one%22

Bottom line, unless you bought it as your first personal computer in the 70's, it's unlikely to change your life in any significant way.

Regards,
Mike W

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Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

Corey said: >> you can't tell if people are looking at you because they have seen you somewhere but can't place it, or is your pants zipper open.

I can vouch that Corey is the exact same person now as before he became a quasi-tech-celebrity.

Ps. Usually it's his zipper.

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Joined: Nov 24 2013
Posts: 202
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

I really enjoyed Craig Solomonson's youtube copy of the Apple I he sold. It had the box, and the original bill of sale from Apple (I think he figured Jobs was the one who typed it). To me the paperwork is almost more valuable - with how huge and impersonal Apple is now, it's almost unbelievable to think it was an out-of-the-garage outfit like so many others out there. The receipt brings that home.

Don't know if I'd want to have one. My Mark-8 stuff has me twisted in knots about preserving for posterity vs. my own enjoyment, and that's not really fun, which is the whole point of a hobby. With an Apple 1, I'd feel a special duty to preserve for posterity. But then if I don't use it, why have it? For the same $900K I could buy a nice house, actually use it, and it'll appreciate the same or more. Plus I don't have to worry about somebody making off with it. Smile

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Joined: Jun 18 2015
Posts: 135
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

I read somewhere that some Apple I's were kept by Apple employees as just the bare board. I'm just curious why an Apple I that was never used, kept as just a board, then rebuilt 40+ years later commands a higher premium then one that was used and modified? I think the use, modification, and progression, shows a lot more historical significance.

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Posts: 83
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

Apple didn't have any employees until the Apple II existed, then some of them got Apple 1's that had come back as trade-in's, were surplus stock, or didn't work and often kept them as curiosity's because they used their Apple II's which the company gave them at the time.

I got my Apple 1 in 1976 from a Byte shop in South San Jose, near the IBM plant. My big advantage is that anything I do to my Apple 1 is a "modification by original owner"!

wsander

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Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

We don't know of any Apple 1's that haven't been populated with at least the soldered in parts, thus there are no bare board Apple 1's to be found. There were a batch that were never sold, that were soldered, but didn't have chips stuffed. A number of these were taken home by early Apple employees. I think most of those have had chips stuffed in them since that time.

regards,
Mike Willegal

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Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1063
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

Even the "Celebration" Apple-1 had wave soldered sockets, just different ones that every other Apple-1 (RN vs TI)

There are no known bare boards since Apple paid the PCB house to wave solder them. Putting chips in the sockets cost most of the money of the Apple-1 assembly so unsold boards remained empty at Apple after the Apple II was released and Apple-1 sales dried up.

As Mike has said, all the known socket empty boards that Apple employees took have been populated. Usually with different chips than what would have been in a sold board since they usually put what ever the cheapest chips back in the late 70's were around to get a working machine. People didn't generally get crazy about that stuff till the value of the boards went through the roof.

Cheers,
Corey

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Joined: Jun 18 2015
Posts: 135
Re: What's it like to be an original Apple-1 owner?

wsander, Mike, and Corey thanks for the clarification. I totally misunderstood what I had read.