Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue box are going up for sale

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Steve Fish's Apple-1 is going up for sale on Dec 6th at Bonham's and yes I worked on it...

But They also have some other Apple stuff like an original Woz built blue box, Steve Job's patent plaque for the compact Macintosh case and an application from Steve Jobs when he was in school for a job. Personally I think the Mac patent is really cool.

I'm planning on visiting the preview in NYC to check out the Blue Box, I think even the one at the Computer History Museum (CHM) on display is a replica and I'm not sure if the one in Georgia at Lonnie's museum is real or original Woz built either,

Even if your not going to empty the piggy bank, just take a look at the pics of the Patent Plaque and the blue box.

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/24495/

Cheers,
Corey

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Joined: Aug 10 2017
Posts: 26
Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

Hi Corey,

Thanks for sharing. What number is this board on Mike’s registry list?

Rgds,
-Jimmy

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Posts: 20
Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

I had a look to everything in this catalog two days ago and was really fascinated. Every page of both catalog I had to read. Wow, this auction will draw attention! And there is so much more interesting stuff, not only Apple related items. Other computer and many documents of very famous people, like Isaac Newton (p 26), Heisenberg etc.

Or stuff like a B-17 engine!

I am skeptical about this blue box. It is probably not one of the first models with different keypad and the authenticity is not guaranteed. I couldn't see any proof, no provenance?
Maybe I am wrong...

Christmas time, NYC and so many expansive and exclusive items = sky rocking prices.
6th December could be a very expansive day to remember for any collector…

Achim

Joined: May 24 2013
Posts: 5
Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

That bank check matches our Steve Jobs bank deposit slip almost perfectly including routing numbers etc..

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

fingerz wrote:

Hi Corey,

Thanks for sharing. What number is this board on Mike’s registry list?

Rgds,
-Jimmy

I don't think it's on the list. There are a couple I know about which aren't. This one however is on the cover of Tom Owad's book "Apple-1 Replica Creation" and featured in in the beginning with an interview with Steve Fish. So provenance is well established and one of the only Byte Shop sold cases left around, though if memory serves me correctly he bought it from another store that got it from the Byte Shop. The transformer is different though and it has a fan than other examples. This one uses a single multi-tap transformer. The other byteshop cases I have examined including my own have two triad transformers and have two large cut outs for air with a metal screen. This one has large unscreened holes drilled, so I think it's a really early byte shop case pre-dating the rest.

Cheers,
Corey

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Joined: Apr 4 2015
Posts: 20
Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

Corey,

I had no doubts this Apple-1 is real. Just a question about something I do not understand. All pictures from Bonhams showing a mainboard with white ceramic 6502 and a purple PIA.
Figure 1.17 at Tom Owad's book (he interviewed Steve Fish) showing a different Apple-1 or at least different CPU/PIA!? Replica Creation

Keyboard cable looks the same. Space bar on keyboard got the same angle. Every detail of this wooden box looks like the one in older pictures.
But beside the different CPU/PIA someone heavily cleaned the pcb. It looks new and in older pictures it had the typical dust cover.

Maybe you got more information to share...

Cheers,
Achim

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

The whole unit was restored. The caps were reformed and the unit cleaned since it only collected dust from sitting in a close and would not have been that way in 1976. Also I suggest chemically stabilizing any apple-1 board so that any left over flux or contaminates (even under the sockets) are removed. The flux and contaminates can cause corrosion and other issues. The ceramic caps were also reset (not going to say how to do that here, it requires special equipment and don't want to anyone to blame me if they try and do it wrong).

When I was tracking down a keyboard issue, the logic analyzer pointed to the the PIA which wasn't original anyway and from the 1980's. There was also a problem with the 6502 periodically resetting. It also was from the 80's. Since it was an intermittent issue, I first rebuilt the socket by taking it apart while still soldered to the board to tighten up the contacts, but still had the problem. These TI sockets suck and can cause issues, but If you have never rebuilt a TI socket while it's still on the board, the only thing more fun is rebuilding a late model Apple II plus keyboard (insert sarcastic laugh here, and yes I practiced on something other than an Apple-1 to learn this, two of my sol-20 have the same sockets and problems). When I put another 6502 CPU in everything was fine. So it was the CPU. The current PIA and CPU are both from 1976 so the board is very happy now.

I think I ran this board for 3 days straight with no errors or problems. I would have not even attempted it without all the work to the caps. The Apple-1 design just doesn't have enough decoupling caps. Side note: if you ever build a replica and use old ceramic caps, you might be in for a surprise as you may not be able to run the machine for very long at a time without an error. Before you install the caps, put them in a rig to hold them up straight and bake them in an air/convection oven for 30 minutes at about 325 degrees F. Do not do it this way if the caps are soldered to the board. You will need special equipment as I mention above to not have a melted apple instead of a baked one.

Cheers,
Corey

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

Corey,

Thanks for all detailed information! You did a good job, indeed.
At every auction I have a very close look to available information, because I am looking for more Apple-1's.

Bonhams should have clarified that the computer had been restored and some pretty important parts are replaced. Some bitter aftertaste.

I guess these days it is way more important to get it in working condition. Auction results are higher.

Some collectors do not mind such exchanges like those of the CPU and PIA, others would have left everything to keep it original.
Carefully repairing or add missing parts is much more accepted.

I would love to get hands on this Apple-1 but I would insist to get original CPU and PIA and instantly put them back on the board.
So from my point of view, if any owner or auction house wishes to get a working Apple-1, that's fine. But at least it should be announced and all replaced original parts should be added.

When I bought my Apple-1's I knew which parts are added, restored, stabilized etc.

So again, you did a remarkable job, nothing wrong about this. It was up to Bonhams to declare that some parts were replaced. Some people may refuse to bid.

Achim
PS: Now my doubts about any provenance of the blue box are not smaller.

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

There is a condition report I wrote for the board that has details on the replacement components and restoration. I think it’s available for any potential serious bidder.

This board didn’t have the original CPU or PIA. Most don’t have the original since they and the memory were most canabalized and static sensitive components so they often went bad or were missing. If you don’t have a detailed history of the board you can’t ever tell if someone swapped in a different but proper CPU if the original was damaged or missing. Granted the white ceramic 6502 are rare so odds are when one is missing it gets replaced with a black plastic one. Most buyers just want the white CPU with a correct date since they know that is what it should look like. It’s just one of those Apple-1 things as you know.

Now back to this Apple-1. Trust me the byte shop case with original datanetics (non Apple II) keyboard are even more rare than a rare Apple-1 with the original CPU. I only know of 5 that still exist with that case.

Cheers,
Corey

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

One more comment...

I know I'd personally rather have an intact Apple-1 PCB than one with original CPU but cuts, missing pads and rework on the board. I actually turned down buying one of the Huston brother boards a few years back before it went up for auction for that exact reason. Had all the original components, but had giant chunks taken out of the board and had carbon from a board level fire. Many collectors are like me. They'd rather have the 1963 Corvette which never had an accident but had the interior redone to original spec using period correct materials, then one that had a piece of the Frame cutout and new metal soldered in, but the original interior is in place.

I hope my car analogy makes sense... it might be a bit of a reach to explain what I mean.

Cheers,
Corey

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

Just seconds ago I got the report from Adam (Bonhams) and already read it.
And I got the report of the blue box as well.

Cheers,
Achim

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

The blue box looks entirely correct down to the transducer/speaker from a telephone. The board is very similar to one I have. I believe that I have a prototype. Sadly I only have the assembled board. I'm missing the box and the keypad. Anyone know if these still work with the phone system?

I also have an Agnew box built by someone else. These could be used to provide a free call to someone who calls you.

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VWBusNut

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

Corey986 wrote:

Since it was an intermittent issue, I first rebuilt the socket by taking it apart while still soldered to the board to tighten up the contacts, but still had the problem.

Corey,

Did you happen to notice if the TI socket contacts were gold plated or tin when you had it apart?

I have inspected one loose socket and the contacts appeared to be tin.

Christopher

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

Not gold plated, but I have to look at my pictures to see if they were grey-silver tin or a tin alloy that is not silver or grey, but a brass looking tarnish color. I don’t think any Apple-1 used gold contact sockets in my experience. This was a 40 pin so not the usual socket for me to rebuild which is why I don’t remember.

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

So, do we know who bought this Apple-1? Seems like the winning bid was about $300k with a buyer's premium of $72,500!

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Re: Whole bunch of Apple stuff including an original blue ...

No information so far - as I know. For some time I was bidding on the Apple-1 but I always have an eye on buyers premium and so I stopped.

Well, I was bidding for some items as well and was much more surprised by the Intellec. Maybe it was a dog fight and two bidder lost grip to reality.

In the end the value is what someone is willing to pay.