Another Apple-1 computer is up for auction, this one with an estimated value of $1 million. The current high bid is just over half that amount at $510,000 with three days to go, a handsome some for a piece of geek history, though we suspect the final bid will be significantly higher. That's because this particular Apple-1 appears to be different from all the rest.
According to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, only a few Apple-1 systems were built on blank (not green) printed circuited boards (PCBs) with manual soldering.
"At this time, this is the only known Apple-1 to show the signs of starting out as a blank original-run board and not part of the two known production runs, so this board appears to be unique from all other known Apple-1 boards," auction house Charity Buzz states.
The Apple-1 is historically significant because it sparked the PC revolution. It's also rare in its own right—once it went into production, only about 200 were ever made, and it's believed that less than 65 Apple-1 systems still exists. Of those, just 15 are documented as having been successfully operated since 2000, one of which fetched $905,000 at an auction in October 2014.
What's up for auction now is the "Celebration" Apple-1, an original Apple-1 pre-NTI board with several unique features and complete with original marketing material. Given that it appears this particularly Apple-1 is built on a PCB that was never sold to the public, there's a chance that this is the very first Apple-1 ever made—Wozniak says he used "one or two boards" with hand-soldered components before going into production.
Another telltale sign that this isn't a production board is the presence of the more expensive Robinson Nugent sockets versus less expensive sockets used on ones sold to the public. It's just an all-around incredible find.
If you want to participate in the auction, go here.