Original Apple I, signed by Woz, up for auction at an estimated price of $400K

So, you're in the market for an original Apple I, signed by Woz on the back of the box in black felt marker?

RR Auction has you covered — they've got one in their next auction. Bids open on Dec. 10, conclude Dec. 17, and begin at a cool $50,000. RR estimates the final price will be around $400,000, which sounds likely; in 2018, an Apple I sold at auction for $375,000.

This reminds me of a piece I wrote for Smithsonian magazine a few years ago, when the Smithsonian itself acquired an original Apple I for its permanent collection. The machine had a crazy provenance; the owner dropped it off at an e-waste recycling station, thinking it was just some random piece of circuitboard junk:

Last year a woman dropped off an Apple I at CleanBayArea, an e-waste recycling facility in Milpitas, apparently regarding it as a piece of junk. The employee who received it, Victor Gichun, was also unimpressed: "I didn't see anything valuable," he says. It took weeks before another worker realized what they had in their warehouse. ("You idiot!" he hollered at Gichun.) The woman left no contact information, so CleanBayArea sold the computer for $200,000 and is holding half of that for the donor in case she returns.

That photo above is from the listing at RR Auctions — there are a bunch more, including this one of the case …

… since the Apple I was sold without a case, just as a circuitboard, it was common for owners to make their own custom wooden case. Ironically (or appropriately?) this sort of handmade wooden case today is more typically seen housing a Raspberry Pi — so after three and a half decades, the cycle's gone fully around.

This next Apple I up for auction includes this stuff …

• original Apple-1 board
• original Apple-1 box, signed inside the lid in black felt tip by Steve Wozniak, "Woz"
• original Apple Cassette Interface (ACI)
• original Apple-1 Operation Manual
• original Apple Cassette Interface manual
• a vintage Apple-1 power supply
• a vintage Datanetics keyboard in wooden case
• a vintage 1976 Sanyo monitor
• a vintage Panasonic cassette player