[SIGCIS-Members] eBay is selling an Apple 1 for $1.5 million

MikeWillegal mike at willegal.net
Sat Aug 1 16:06:44 PDT 2020

> On Aug 1, 2020, at 1:52 PM, Laine Nooney <laine.nooney at gmail.com> wrote:
> Is there an earlier example of a commercialized, consumer grade microcomputer with on-board video terminal display and keyboard interface, than the Apple I? i believe the SOL-20 comes out later in 1976 (but i'd be happy to proven wrong here!) (and this might require debate wrt to how we determine a date on the "release" of the Apple I)
Check out my VCF presentation of a SCELBI-8H with Digital Group Video card  (circa 1974-1975) at the virtual VCF west that is being presented today.  It’s not on one board, but the video display is more usable than the Apple 1 and the cassette interface is more reliable (though slower).

Also the Altair had the Dazzler, which included color support prior to 1976.

The Sphere 1 also came out prior to the Apple 1.

Though the Apple 1 came at a great price, it had some problems.  The  video display was extremely slow to write to.  You could write at the screen refresh rate of 60 characters per second and  you didn’t have any cursor control, so whatever you wrote was simply added to the end of the screen, pretty much like writing to a glass teletype.  The Cassette interface might be unreliable, depending upon your particular setup.  Some people had no issues, and others couldn’t get it to work at all.  The Apple II wasn’t just an incremental improvement, it was worlds better.

I tend to think the value is more about being the first Apple than being a design by Woz.  If Apple had failed, would we even know about Woz?

Mike Willegal

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