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First Apple computer could fetch $US500,000 or more

AP/ SMH | June 24, 2013
An old computer motherboard invented by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 could be worth more than half a million dollars now.

Perry, 70, acquired his Apple 1 in either 1979 or 1980, as a secondhand item he saw advertised.

He paid nothing for it; it was a swap with the owner.

"I traded some other computer equipment I had for the Apple 1," he said.

At the time, he was working as a psychologist in a school in Carmichael, a town near Sacramento. While observing special needs children, he noticed that a teletype machine "made a huge difference" in how a deaf boy using it responded and learned.

As the first computers came on the market, Perry learned to program them. Then he approached Wozniak, who agreed to provide what the psychologist calls Apple's "internal code" so he could create interactive lessons for his students using the new technology.

An expert hired by Christie's recently came to Perry's home to examine the old Apple and try to turn it on. Only the Apple motherboard is original. A keyboard, monitor and a storage device - in this case a portable cassette tape deck - were added later.

"I was a little afraid to run it, but it still works, with the original chips!" he says.

 

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