Rare Apple computer could sell for $500,000

Apple 1

Ted Perry, a 70 year old retired school psychologist and computer collector, is selling his Apple 1 computer. It's hardly beautiful - and is essentially a green piece of plastic covered with memory chips and hooked up to an ancient keyboard. It has a million times less memory than a typical computer today, and a fraction of the processing power of a smartphone.

So why is it expected to fetch $500,000?

Apple 1

The computer in question is the Apple 1, which was the first computer designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak, which led to him setting up the Apple company with Steve Jobs.

It may not come with a proper keyboard, or monitor - or even a case for the memory board, but it's a piece of computing history, because at the time it was the first personal computer that users could plug in and use, without having to build it themselves.

There were only about 200 ever made, and there are thought to be fewer than 50 still around. They were originally sold for $666.66.

According to the Telegraph, Perry himself bought the machine second hand in 1979 - swapping it for some other technology. Christies, which is selling the computer, said that Perry started collecting Apple products after dealing with the company in the 1970s, and finding Wozniak very supportive of the use of Apple computers for education.

He said in a statement: "Apple cares about education, and as Woz supported education directly from the beginning by actively providing any and all information we needed for the project, I started collecting Apple products. As I found the Apple-1, I was delighted to add it to my collection."

How much?

It is being sold at Christie's in New York next month, where it is expected to fetch $500,000 (£323,000). In keeping with the fact that the entire auction is made up of technology, all bids will be online.

This seems like a conservative estimate. According to CNN, in May an Apple 1 set a new record, selling for $671,000 at a German auction house. At the time Bob Luther, the author of The First Apple, said: "It's really the holy grail of collectable technology."

Apple products have never been more popular, which means that anything rare that comes up at auction stands a good chance of reaching a big price. In 2008 Wozniak's empty toolbox sold for $7,000, then in 2011 a 20th year anniversary Macintosh computer sold for $2,000. The Apple Lisa, retailed for $10,000 in the 1980s, but one was sold in 2010 for $15,000.

But the biggest price of all was reserved for the founding documents of the Apple computer company. They were sold at Sotheby's in 2011, and although they had a $150,000 estimate, they eventually fetched $1.59 million.

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Rare Apple computer could sell for $500,000

According to webdesignerdepot, the arrow under the word Amazon from the A-Z has two purposes. First, it is meant to highlight that the company sells everything from A-Z, and second it's a smile - meant to emphasise a focus on customer satisfaction.

The same website highlights that if you focus hard on the logo you can see a white arrow between the E and the x, emphasising speed and precision. It's this which won the logo - designed in 1994 - a vast number of awards.

The F is clearly written in black, but the 1 emerges out of the white space between the F and the red lines representing speed. For every person who says 'yes but that's hardly hidden is it?' there's someone saying 'oh... yes...'

According to the company the white ribbon was introduced under the name in 1969. When competitors first entered the market, Coke made much of its curved bottle design which distinguished it from those that followed. As fewer and fewer people drank from bottles, the ribbon was produced as an alternative distinctive curve.

On the left hand side of the packaging is a picture of the Matterhorn mountain. However, if you look closer there's the image of a bear lurking within - to show that the company is based in Bern - known as The City of Bears.

According to mokokoma, the apple is the fruit of the tree of knowledge. There is some question as to whether the bite taken out of it is a play on the word byte, symbolism of the fruit being eaten and the knowledge imparted, or just to make it look more like an apple and less like a cherry tomato.

According to urlm, the reason for the odd V and A is because it's a wave - symbolising the basic analogue signal, while the I and O look like a 1 and a 0, representing digital.

The same website highlights the reason behind the Roxy logo - a brand for female surfers. The brand is actually part of Quicksilver, and is made up of two Quicksilver logos pushed together to form a heart.

As graphicdesignblog points out, this isn't just white text on a series of coloured blobs. Each blob represents the outline of London at a specific time - and shows the growth of the city through history.

The letters are made of one unbroken line - as if drawn in the air with a conductor's baton.

The portions of the B and R coloured pink aren't just an accident. They form the number 31 - the number of flavours sold by the brand.

As pointed out by studentbeans.com, if you look more closely at the letters o,u and r, and put them together with the sun, they form a cyclist.

Why the extra-large C? Because the way it wraps around the o creates a 3D tyre of course.

One blogger has been researching the origins of car logos. He highlights that the wings on the car logo are designed to reflect the company's past as an aircraft engine manufacturer during WWI.

This is another wartime company reflecting its past. The colours are the Bavarian flag, representing the company's origins, and the cross inside the circle represents a propeller - harking back to the company's past making aeroplanes during WWII.

Apparently the diamond was an integral part of the design of the early cars - which was fitted around an air hole in the bonnet.

If you look closely you can see the map is showing Apple's address - complete with a pin dropped at its front door.

The arrows pointing in each direction reflect that the name means Crossroads. If you look a bit closer, the C looms out of the white space.

The logo was actually designed by professor Vaughan Pratt of Stanford University. It is an ambigram - which takes advantage of the fact that a U and an N sitting next to one another can be made to look like an S, and therefore read 'sun' in every direction.

According to funonthenet those three stripes are actually in the shape of a mountain, signifying the challenges ahead, and the goals you can achieve.

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