The strawberry Apple iMac that Jimmy Wales used to create Wikipedia (and its predecessor Nupedia) is up for auction. The provenance is listed as the "family of Jimmy Wales." With a week left in the auction, the current highest bid as I type this $8,500. I hope the winning bidder donates it to the Computer History Museum. From Christie's:
Early in 2000, Wales and his partners had spearheaded an ambitious project: they would develop a free, online, user-sourced encyclopedia called Nupedia. But as the year came to a close, the project was languishing with barely a handful of articles complete. Wales was contemplating abandoning the entire endeavor, but on Boxing Day, a highly personal event changed everything:
"…my first child Kira was born, but with a serious medical condition—she was immediately whisked away to intensive care and I eventually ended up at home frantically researching (as any new parent would) the condition, trying to learn more. I sat down to this very computer and started my research.
And of course, back then, the result was a mess. There was no straightforward, concise, and trustworthy source of information to explain something like this to me. I decided to double-down on my efforts rather than give up—I could see and feel in an emotional way the importance of quality information. After she got out of the hospital, I installed a primitive 'wiki software' package and on January 15, 2001, Wikipedia was launched.