Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Apple 1 Cassette Interface Kits

These kits are made by Obtronix. These appear to be very nice quality.
I will be replacing the plastic A3 and A4 PROM chips with 6301-1J ceramic chips that I have already had programmed. Note also that these kits include the DIP sockets! These were not included in the Obtronix kits (at least not mine).

UPDATE Apr.11.2010: Increase the reliability of the ACI by replacing the .01uF filter capacitor with a .1uF capacitor - see Mike Willegal's detailed analysis and conclusion here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Another very nice Apple-1 sold on ebay yesterday

Here is the full description from the auction:

Apple 1 - ORIGINAL, with Keyboard, RF Modulator, Cassette Interface Card and Tapes

The offering includes:

Apple 1 motherboard, 4K RAM installed (other 4K RAM sockets empty), all ORIGINAL Apple 1 components

Keyboard with modified cable for the Apple 1

RF Modulator

Apple 1 Cassette Interface card, all original components

Six Apple 1 program tapes (Monitor/Disassembler, Integer Basic, AppleTrek, Hamurabi, Maze Creator, and Blackjack)

Statement of Authenticity, signed by Steve Wozniak (Apple Employee #1)

Apple 1 Condition Notes:

On the front of the Apple 1 are a few (appropriate!) configuration wires.

There are two spots on the back where the solder mask has been removed, traces were cut and then repaired expertly (see close-ups).

The LM323 voltage regulator was replaced, using a part taken from another Apple 1.

Date codes for all chips may be found here. (date code is usually YYWW - 2 digits for Year plus 2 digits for Week).

Otherwise, it is very clean. Wendell Sander, who has inspected a number of existing Apple 1s, proclaimed it the most pristine he'd seen.

NOTE: This offering is of Historical Artifacts, not as functioning electronic components. None of the electronic items in this offering have been powered up in over 20 years. Although fully functional then, all electronics in this offering should be considered UNTESTED. Likewise, the program tapes may or may not be functional.

Other Information:

Board Size: 9" x 15.5" x 1.5"

Shipping Weight: 5 lbs.

Shipping: UPS (Insured, Signature Required)

This auction item is only offered within the United States of America, for delivery in the USA only.

This item is part of a collection of early Apple products and prototypes.

For a look at more items in the collection, Visit our eBay Store: Early Apple.

Back Story:

The founders of Apple knew that one of the keys to long term success was Customer Support. In the beginning that meant Steve Wozniak took customer phone calls to help in any way he could with the Apple 1. With the launch of the Apple II, everyone in engineering (and some of the production line technicians) took calls... but most Apple 1 questions still had to be taken by Woz. It was decided that to best support the Apple 1 owners the easiest thing to do was convert them to Apple II owners. Apple offered a trade-in deal to Apple 1 owners: trade in the Apple 1 for an Apple II (by late 1978 the offer also included a Disk Drive!). Most were traded in. This freed Woz from phone duties, rewarded early Apple adopters with a more capable computer, and allowed Apple to fulfill its commitment to great Customer Service.

Cliff dropped into Steve Jobs' office one day and couldn't help but notice the huge pile of Apple 1 boards - those that had been traded-in for the Apple II. "What are you going to do with those?", Cliff asked. Steve told him that they were to be destroyed. "Mind if I take one... Oh! And one for my brother?", Cliff asked. Steve reached into the pile and pulled out two boards and handed them to Cliff. Many people around Apple were amused and asked, "Why would you want one of those?" "It's history," was the reply, "just history."

Though hundreds of Apple 1 computers were sold, the trade-in deal reduced the population to the few that exist today. This is one that that got a last minute reprieve from the band-saw death pile!

Payment and Shipping

Payment Method

We accept payments via PayPal only. PLEASE NOTE: We will only ship to your PayPal address in the United States, so please make sure that PayPal has your correct USA shipping address on file. You must not change your address after your bid is placed.

Return Policy:

No returns. Please be certain about what is being offered by reading the description carefully. When in doubt, contact us for clarification before placing a bid.

Shipping & Tracking

We will only ship to your PayPal address in the United States, so please make sure that PayPal has your correct USA shipping address on file. You must not change your address after your bid is placed.

Items with a closing bid lower than $250 will be shipped USPS "Flat Rate". You will receive notification of shipment via email the evening of the day of shipment. Tracking is not offered for USPS shipped items.

Items with a closing bid greater than $250 will be shipped via UPS ground only. You will receive UPS tracking information via email the evening of the day of shipment. Items shipped via UPS will require a signature at the time of delivery.

Most orders paid before 4:00pm PST will be shipped on the next business day.

Stated Handling Charges:

Items shipped via UPS will be insured to the full closing bid price. The handling price is the cost of insurance based on the starting bid. We will pay any additional insurance costs and signature fees.

Customer Service & Feedback

We want you to be satisfied with your purchase. Please Ask a Question before buying if you are not certain. We will answer your questions as soon as we can. And If you have any issues once you have received your product, please let us know as soon as possible, and before leaving feedback, so that we may resolve your problem.

About the Offerings:

Many of the items were rescued from being lost during office and laboratory moves in the early days at Apple. They were "just prototypes" and "junk" that were cluttering up the place and weren't deemed worthy for storing. Management approval was always obtained for taking the rescued items... The items accumulated at their homes in boxes, closets, and drawers. What might have been lost, all these years later, are now historical relics that deserve better treatment and appreciation as collector items or museum pieces.

Some other items are being offered that are merely memorabilia. No suggestions of historical value are made for these items.

As much as practical, the rare or one of a kind items are accompanied with "Providence" - written documentation and statements by their creator and/or a witness that they are indeed the genuine article. Please read the the offering description carefully, before bidding, so you understand exactly what is included in the offering.

About the Sellers:

Brothers Dick and Cliff Huston were early Apple engineers, employee numbers 25 and 27 respectively, from late 1977 to mid 1984. They were there to celebrate when Apple shipped 100 computers in a single month. Working along side Woz, both were involved with the creation of the Apple II disk drive - Cliff designed the analog board in the drive, while Dick wrote the 13-sector "boot" ROM and fixed bugs in DOS. They also contributed to other early peripheral products, including the printer card(s), high speed serial card, and graphics tablet. Dick worked on DOS 3.2, Apple III SOS, ProFile hard disk, ProDOS, and Apple IIc. While working at Apple's Disk Division, Cliff "moonlighted" with the Macintosh group to integrate the Sony 3.5" floppy drive into the Mac design (have you ever seen a Macintosh with a 5.25" Twiggy drive? - they existed).

After leaving Apple, the brothers teamed up with other ex-Apple employees to found a company called "The Engineering Department, Inc.", also known as TED. The President and CTO of TED was Wendell Sander (Apple employee #16), who had done the digital design of many Apple peripheral products, cleanup of the Apple II design, the "Integrated Woz Machine" (IWM) disk controller chip, the Apple III, and many other projects. TED continued working with Apple as an outside contractor, producing prototypes such as Apple's first ARM-based project (the ARM was used later in Newton), chip designs such as the SWIM disk controller ("Sander-Wozniak Integrated Machine", not "Super-Wozniak Integrated Machine" as reported!), and support for Apple projects such as the Apple IIc-plus (TED integrated the 3.5" floppy disk). TED also design ed(hardware and software) "Little Blue", better known as Applied Engineering's PC-Transporter fpr Apple IIe and Apple IIGS.

Dick returned to Apple to work in Newton group from 1994 to 1998. He worked on the Newton Connection Kit application and later on the Newton OS for the MP120/130 and MP2000/2100 series of Newtons.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Mimeo 1 - Mike Willegal's beautiful PCB

Mike did a beautiful job laying out this board -- based on images of the original Apple-1. This probably wasn't an easy task. Very nice work. I have 2 of these boards, and may someday get around to building one. Visit Mike's website for more information.
I will post additional higher quality images soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

6820 PIA - AMI and other hard-to-find chips from 1976

UPDATE May.21.2010 - 6820L (A little easier to find than the AMI)
2513 (All of the above are programmed with other-than, Apple-1 character sets! SUPER hard to find). In any case, had I known they weren't the correct charsets for the Apple-1, I wouldn't have purchased them!

(2504 and 1404a cross reference -- very hard to find in small quantities)
2519B (EXTREMELY hard to find)

6820 PIA by AMI (EXTREMELY hard to find)

Giant on a board, the Orange 1

Interface Age, July 1976

(I was tipped off by Cameron Cooper about this article)

The "Woz bible" - Small Computer Handbook 1967

I'm not 100% sure about this.... but Woz referred to a "book on computers" as his Bible in the 1996 documentary film, "Triumph of the Nerds" hosted by Robert X. Cringely. Woz did not mention the name of the book, but it is believed the book he was referring to, was one of the editions of the DEC Small Computer Handbook for the PDP-8 (I read this somewhere a few years ago... I am still digging to find out where I found this information originally).
Here are 2 that I have in my collection. One is the third edition, and the other is referred to as the 1967 edition. Both were published in 1967.
These copies are somewhat fragile and have significant page yellowing, but are still readable.

UPDATE: So this is correct... per Woz

UPDATE: From Woz --

"Early in my life I found a journal with some computer articles. At that time, it was my bible.

In high school I came across a Small Computer Handbook (PDP-8) and it became a 'bible' to me, although that's a poor phrase. It took me to the next level but then I found how to get many other manuals and I lived on them all. The one I remember was the second of those on your web page. I'm sure that was what was being referred to on the TV show.

In Apple design days, my card that showed the op codes for the 6502 microprocessor would have been my bible. "

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Floppy drive, early (Apple II) schematics, and stuff hand-wired by Woz

Wendell Sander informs us of some very interesting items going up for sale in the near future, you are not going to want to miss this:

"This Apple 1 is the best Apple 1 I have ever seen. It is clean and looks like no mods were ever made. It looks like it just came out of the box.

I'm not sure if people will appreciate the importance of the Floppy Drive development but that was an amazing piece of work by Woz and Rod Holt with Cliff''s help and was a pivotal point in Apple's growth. Apple was the first to have a practical, reliable and useable solution to floppy drives on a personal computer and that established them as the leader against much larger companies such as Radio Shack and Commodore and thus assured Apple's survival.

I have seen all of this material and it is quite remarkable.
Wendell "

Early Apple (Cliff and Dick Huston's site)

UPDATE Mar.20.2010: These items are currently up for auction on Ebay

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The $50,000.00 USD Apple-1 recently sold on ebay

I asked the previous owner if I could use these images on my blog, and was granted permission... So here we are....

This unit apparently sold for 50,000.00 USD

This is the original text of the auction that I had gathered at the time, it may have changed afterwards, but this is what I have in my records:

Apple 1 computer for sale.
Perhaps the best condition, best documented Apple 1 in existence.

Please stop contacting me directly with Buy-It-Now offers. If you have such
a good price to offer, enter it as a bid at the last second like everyone else
watching this auction will do. Any more e-mails with offers will be simply
deleted. I'm sorry if that is rude, but I can't keep wasting time sending the
same "No," and ending up in a "How about $x more?" thread.

I can't seem to get my reply to a question posted so I'll do it this way.
I have replaced two of the photos in this ad with pictures of the back
of the computer. The first shows the entire back of the system.
The other picture provides detail of the modification: several thin
wires connect a keyboard socket with pinouts on the motherboard
and two strips of electrical tape fasten the wires to the board.

Any Apple 1 is rare but this unit has impeccable provenance and is so literally may be the best surviving Apple 1.


Included in this sale are the following items to provide complete history and provenance for this unit:
The original invoice for the sale, dated December 7, 1976. The sales person, Steven, is presumed to be Steve Jobs.

A letter, typed on plain notebook paper and signed by Steven Jobs. Though undated, the letter refers to sending the buyer a dealer application in January or February, 1977.

The original packaging in which the computer shipped, with a return address of Steve Jobs' parents address at the time.

Photographs of every owner of this unit. The original owner was photographed holding the computer, the next owner did the same and the current owner took his picture with both the system and with Steve Wozniak

Clean condition:

To appreciate how clean this unit is you must consider that the Apple 1 was a hobbyist's toy. It has an open breadboard area on it specifically left open for folks to wirewrap their own modifications. Most Apple 1's out there are covered in solder and chips and wires every which way.

This unit has but a single addition, a keyboard port added in a mid-80s attempt to get it to boot up.

(btw, When Steve Wozniak saw this unit he told me that the first batches of Apple 1's used a brand of chip they later replaced because they blew out easily. He said those chips were on this unit, which is probably why the unit didn't boot in the mid-80s.)

List of items included in sale:
The computer itself
The original shipping box, with Steve Jobs' parents' house as a return address
The original manual, with schematics to build your own Apple 1
The tape interface card
The manual for the tape interface
A plain Scotch-brand cassette tape with a simply-typed label "BASIC" that came with the unit
A letter, signed by Steven Jobs in 1976, explaining connecting a keyboard and monitor, as well as detailing when dealer applications would be available
An original full-page glossy advertisement for Apple, included when the Apple 1 computer was shipped. (The ad is almost unrecognizable as an Apple ad due to its elaborate Isaac Newton logo. The artist who drew that logo was the third original partner in Apple Corp. His stake in Apple was bought out for a couple thousand dollars when the company started getting serious.)
Photographs of all prior owners of this unit

Special Terms:

Due to the irreplaceable nature of this item, I am placing a $3,000 additional fee if the item is chosen to be shipped. I do not do this for the money, I do it to discourage shipping. I want it to be dramatically more expensive to have this relic shipped than to pick it up and safely transport it to its new home personally.