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First Apple computer could reach more than $200,000 at auction

Apple I AuctionForgot about the new MacBook Air, how about Apple-1? The original personal computer is being auctioned by Christie’s beginning November 23 and is expected to net somewhere between $161,000 and $242,000.

The computer was created by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 in Jobs’ parents’ basement, while the two were in high school.

If you’re truly interested, here are the ancient computer’s specs: 8 KB of RAM, cassette board connector, 6502 microprocessor, and firmware in PROMS. No monitor or keyboard, for anyone hoping to eke out even some minimal use. Let’s be clear: this is a collector’s item only, and as The New York Times points out, this model “could barely power a game of Pong.”

It’s the historical worth of the machine that will lure in buyers. It’s estimated that there are a mere 50 surviving models of the 200 originally produced, as they were (appropriately) swiftly replaced by the Apple-2.

In addition to this harrowing hardware, the winner will also become the proud owner of some Mac memorabilia. Its original box, manual, an invoice, and a letter to the first owner from Jobs himself are included – typed on lined notebook paper.

Everyone stateside interested in bidding is in luck – Christie’s will be holding an online auction simultaneously. So skip Black Friday (for the next several years) and maybe you can afford to make the Apple aficionado on your Christmas list very happy.