It is believed that less than 50 of the original Apple-1‘s are still in existence and today one of those computers just sold for $905,000. This Apple-1 was put together by Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) in Steve Job’s family garage in the summer of 1976. This antique was purchased by The Henry Ford organization with goal to put it on display in their Michigan museum.
When they first sold these assembled computers back in 1976, there were few buyers until they got a local retailer to order 50 of them and sold them for $666.66 each (creepy). Steve and Steve then decided to make another 150 units and went to other vendors.
The last Apple-1 sold in an auction was sold in 2012 for $374,000.
Most people throw out old technology as it has become “consumable”. It is sad to see our garbage waste landfills are cluttered with non decomposing materials which many times could be recycled, melted, redeployed, put on display, or held on as a collectible.
The original Apple-1 sported 4 KiloBytes of memory. Let’s put that into comparison. Today’s typical computer has 4 GigaBytes of memory. That is 1 MILLION times more memory. The original Apple-1 had a 1 Megahertz processor and today’s systems have multi-core processors (e.g. quad, hexa, octa core) running in the Gigahertz range for processing speeds and support multi-threading (can run more than one task at once).
In 1975 Gordon Moore made an observation that processing speeds double every 2 years and began a much quoted statement called Moore’s Law. This was adjusted by David House at Intel to be processing speeds doubling every 1.5 years. All of them stemmed from how many faster transistors they could cram into smaller spaces. Lately some people feel we are slowing down to doubling of processor speed every 3 years. Despite all of these observations, it is interesting to consider when we might approach the computational capacity of the human brain.