In 2022 a family contacted the Apple-1 Registry. The (grand-)father of the 3 people passed away and he had an Apple-1.
As it turned out, it is the most unusual and, from a historical point of view, the most interesting (except for the prototypes, of course) original Apple-1.
This Apple-1 was given as a bare board by Steve Jobs to Homebrew Computer Club member James J. Scardino. Woz gave James his instructions for building an Apple-1.
In 2018, a German industrialist contacted Achim Baqué (Apple-1 Registry). His name is Peter Vizenetz. He would have information and a story regarding Apple-1 computers. There were phone conversations and Mr. Vizenetz recorded an interview (in German) of over 24 minutes for Achim Baqué.
The entire story of the first Apple-1 in Europe is included.
In 2021, another contact with an owner of an original Apple 1 computer put the pieces of the puzzle together. 2022 it was time to publish the news.
Before the Apple-1, there was an 'Apple Computer A'. Press release.
Paul Terrell (founder of the Byte Shop) gave Achim Baqué (curator of the Apple-1 Registry, a list of all Apple-1 computer) some information recently. Thanks to Paul’s support and his Polaroids of an early Apple-1 it was a great surprise to zoom into the pictures from 1976. The photos were taken when Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs first showed the Apple-1 to Paul at the Byte Shop. The Polaroids were already published in low resolution, but some characteristics were not noticed so far.
It was not easy to get even a tiny bit of information about the production prototype. Achim Baqué asked Woz, Wendel Sander, Bill Fernandez, Chris Espinosa, Daniel Kottke and Paul Terrell about the production prototype and got answers from all of them. It was not possible to clarify all open questions. Howard Cantin, the designer of the Apple-1 mainboard, may have some answers. Unfortunately, it was not possible to get in touch with him.
Confirming various assumptions took some time and a lot of research was needed. No one remember the prototype. We have only some pictures.
In the left center is on all Apple-1 the text “Apple Computer 1”. However, the prototype states "Apple Computer A © 76". This could be done to mark it as a prototype or maybe the idea was to name the final version this way? Woz doesn't remember why the name was changed.
Now that the mystery of the handwritten number is solved, I will continue to search for information about the prototypes. Well, last years I tried already to collect all information but not much is known. Steve Wozniak mentioned a fire in his garage and maybe the prototype(s) were in this garage. This would have been a terrible loss.
It is an Apple 1 prototype with a different board layout than the later final production series. It was already clear earlier that there are some differences. Thanks to the detailed pictures by Paul Terrell, it is now clear that there are many differences. Some traces are different. There is just a very small jumper section in the middle (above the IC 74154). The small caps are the same used for the 2nd batch. And so on. Unfortunately, only the front side is known/visible.
The Apple-1 prototype has all the extra components of the 6800/6501 CPU instead of the 6502. Woz was sent a photo of the circuit board by the Apple-1 Registry in early 2012 and commented about the production prototype: “This Apple I below was probably about the first Apple I on an Apple PC board. I had left the 6800 space because it was needed for the $20 6501 instead of the $25 6502. The difference was strong clock driver transistors. Paul Terrell may well have gotten a sort-of prototype since his order is really the reason we built Apple I’s with parts installed. We built a couple with the 6501 but by real production time we could get the 6502 for the same cost”. According to this, the prototype was built with a 6501 CPU. For a 6501 you need the same additional components as for the 6800 CPU. The Woz monitor in the PROMs works without modification. That Paul Terrell was shown a prototype coincides with the book Little Kingdom by Michael Moritz.
Achim Baqué will continue to search for information about the prototypes. Well, last years he collected all information but not much is known. Steve Wozniak mentioned a fire in his garage and maybe the prototype(s) were in this garage. This would have been a terrible loss. There is a chance, that the prototypes still exist. Achim Baqué has some clues as to the whereabouts, but nothing certain.
In every story about the first Apple computer, Woz bought the 6502 and built around it the Apple-1. Not the 6501 CPU. At least for the production prototype it was the MOS 6501 CPU.
Update July 2022: Just weeks after publishing in the registry, blogs and newspapers what is known about the 'Apple Computer A' it showed up at auction.
Update August 2022: It was sold for US$ 677,196.
It is most likely due to erroneous reporting in blogs and newspapers that the prototype was not auctioned off for far more than a million US$. It started with a reporter who asked Woz about the prototype. Since this reporter obviously had little knowledge of Apple-1 computers and the prototypes, he asked Woz about the hand-soldered prototype. However, this is a completely different prototype.
The prototype that was auctioned off was the one that was industrially manufactured. Woz made corrections to this prototype by hand-soldering. Laymen and said reporter now mixed the information from the prototype from production with the hand-soldered prototype. And so, doubts spread.
Many blogs picked up the alleged story in the eternal search for clicks or, as usual, copied the text 1:1. And that, unfortunately, also as usual, without checking or researching anything. It was the victory of those who have no idea but like to have a hasty opinion on everything. For those involved in the field, it was terrible to see such a historical object being denigrated. It is the first production prototype of the most valuable company in the world. That should be enough to recognize its historical significance.
In 1976, Apple built the Apple-1 computer and had to buy electronic components for it. In 2022, the check showed up at an auction, which the two company founders used to buy some of the needed components.
He was and will ever be a part of the Apple history. His contribution to Apple was the first logo and the contract. Maybe everyone would have sold all Apple shares like he did. Who could expect that this company would be successful? It was against all odds.
Many people can’t understand why you sold everything but it makes total sense. Today it is easy to say it is billions worth. But it is the same at stock market. Everyone is always smarter in hindsight. You never know if it is wise to sell or not.
Ron Wayne generously allowed me to publish his explanation (remember: for any reprint or reproduction you need the permission of Ron Wayne and the Apple-1 Registry. But you can link to this story without permission):
He told the Apple-1 Registry: "I have an HP65 calculator that was once owned by Steve Wozniak.
It was given to me in the late 80’s by a friend who had gotten from another friend that did a lot of work in the Bay Area. The “official story” is that Woz, at the time working for the calculator division at HP, had sold his HP65 to finance building the Apple-1. The story I heard back then was that Woz was sneaking out parts from HP and assembling the calculators and giving them to his friends. I don’t know what the truth is, but that’s the story I got with my HP65. It has S.Wozniak (and other things) scratched inside. No, I don’t want to sell it."
According to Steve Wozniak's autobiography "iWoz", he sold his HP 65 calculator for US$ 500 to buy the Apple-1 mainboards. And Steve Jobs sold his VW bus for US$ 750.  They needed US$ 1,000 to get a computer company to print the boards. Reference iWoz, Chapter 12, page 173: "To come up with the $1,000 we thought we’d need … I sold my HP 65 calculator for $500. The guy who bought it only paid me half though, and never paid me the rest. I didn’t feel too bad because I knew HP’s next-generation calculator, the HP 67, was coming out in a month and would cost me only $370 with the employee discount. And Steve sold his VW van for another few hundred dollars. He figured he could ride around on his bicycle if he had to. That was it. We were in business".
 other sources claim it was a different vehicle.
The story goes, that Steve Jobs sold his VW bus to finance building the Apple-1. Some people argue, that he owned a Volvo. Anyway, Steve Jobs owned an VW bus for sure. He liked the car, because his best friend and high school buddy owned an VW bus from 1964 (see picture). Both had a lot of fun driving around in California. For example, to the beach in Santa Cruz. This ’64 VW bus still exist in 2019. The curator of the Apple-1 Registry had a chance to sit in this bus and to drive around with the owner. The owner got many stories to tell and some pictures to show. Steve Jobs and he are in the same High school book, Steve Jobs wrote personal letters to him etc.! Both were friends till Steve Jobs past away. Steve Jobs gave him two Apple-1 in the 70's including other items. A wonderful picture showing the owner, Steve Jobs and Bill Clinton.
According to Steve Wozniak's autobiography "iWoz", he sold his HP 65 calculator for US$ 500 to buy the Apple-1 mainboards. And Steve Jobs sold his VW bus for US$ 750. They needed US$ 1,000 to get a computer company to print the boards. Reference iWoz, Chapter 12, page 173: "To come up with the $1,000 we thought we’d need … I sold my HP 65 calculator for $500. The guy who bought it only paid me half though, and never paid me the rest. I didn’t feel too bad because I knew HP’s next-generation calculator, the HP 67, was coming out in a month and would cost me only $370 with the employee discount. And Steve sold his VW van for another few hundred dollars. He figured he could ride around on his bicycle if he had to. That was it. We were in business".
Beside this fact, some people believe, Steve Jobs sold his Volvo. According to a friend of Steve Jobs, he owned a VW bus and Volvo. Steve Jobs drove with Daniel Kottke in this green Volvo to deliver the Apple-1 computer to the Byte Shop.
Pamela Lawson, the daughter of Don Hutmacher, wrote in 2015: 'Don Hutmacher worked for Apple in their headquarters in Cupertino. He was a manufacturing engineer and worked on many projects from 1980- 1990. When Steve Jobs was let go from Apple in the mid-80's, Don was allowed by his boss to go into Steve Job's office to take anything that was left over. It had been picked clean by the time that he got there. He noticed a computer and a bag of Starbucks coffee. The computer was the Apple 1 in a custom metallic case.
It bears a tag with the initials BF (Bill Fernandez), 5-APR-1977, ACM Mod., and the number 2.'
Wendell Sander added: 'Wow, I always wondered where this Apple 1 went. When I got there in August of 1977 this was the “Company Apple 1” I used it several times in 1977 and 1978 mostly to demo the Apple 1 to others, I was the Apple 1 expert because I had one, I think Bill and I were the only ones that used it. I had assumed it ended up at Stanford  with the other Apple stuff.
The ACM mod would have been for Mike Markulla, his initials are ACM. I am almost certain the mod is to put Basic in EPROM. I seem to remember that but Bill can probably verify if that is correct. That is a pretty special Apple 1 because it was the “official” company computer, the case is particularly impressive and the only one like it I know of. It looks like a metal version of the wood cases. Feel free to pass along these comments.'
Bill Fernandez told me on March 8, 2020: 'I don't have any pictures, or memory, of this particular computer. By this time, I would have been working in the garage for about 2 months. "ACM" most likely refers to Mike Markkula. I was probably tasked with modifying the Apple-1 in some way for Mike's use, and this was probably the second one modified in this way.'
 This Apple-1 was sold at auction to Paul Allen and is in his museum in Seattle, USA.
It is not directly linked to the Apple-1 but pretty interesting. Steve Jobs' hand-written and signed job application from 1973 is very unique.
In the questionnaire Steve Jobs highlights his experience with “computers and calculators” and special abilities in “electronic tech or design engineer – digital”.
The questionnaire is believed to have been completed around the time he dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. A year later he joined Atari as a technician where he worked with Steve Wozniak before they founded Apple in 1976.
Other interesting aspects of the one-page questionnaire are that Jobs notes he does not have a phone number and has a driving license but access to transportation is “possible, but not probobale” (sic).
First auction was in 2018 (over US$ 175,000). Second from charterfields.com started Februar 24, 2021 (Jobs' 65th birthday) and ended in March 2021 with a result of US$ 222,400. Image with kind permission of auction house Charterfields in London, UK.
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