Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vintage Apple-1 computer - Five Owners meet including Steve Wozniak

Last week their was an interesting gathering of Steve Wozniak and friends with five Apple-1 computers - with at least 3 of the computers working. This group Apple-1 computers and owners apparently started with Ralph Simpson , a volunteer at the "History San Jose's Collection Center" getting permission to get their Apple 1 up and running. Ralph contacted Mike Willegal a well known microcomputer expert and historian - here is his response.

Bugbook Historical Microcomputer Museum
Apple-1 computer
 " "There is a little back story to this "event". After much back and forth with higher ups at the museum, Ralph Simpson managed to convince them to let him get their Apple-1 into operating condition. When permission was finally granted, Ralph contacted me, to see if I had any recommendations about how to proceed. I put him in touch with Wendell Sander and Dan Kottke and it kind of snowballed from there. By the way, the Apple-1 that Woz brought to the event was not his prototype, but a unit from the second production run.

Regards,Mike <> via" "

David Larsen KK4WW
Wendell Sander & Steve Wozniak
The  Apple-1 owners at the event were Wendell Sander, Allen Baum, Andy Jong, Steve Wozniak (Woz)  at the History Center.  At least 3 of the Apple-1 computers were up and running by the end of the day. That is the most operating in one location in the last 30 years. "Wozniak agreed - it was historic and may not ever happen again" (from Mercury News) . 

 Two of these Apple-1 computers were not know to exist by  historical collectors prior to this event.  Their are less then 50 of the original Apple-1 computers existing out of a  total production of about 200 in 1976. Steve Wozniak was the sole designer for the Apple-1 and the original Apple-2. He also wrote the software operating system and a version of Basic to run on these machines. It must have been a great meeting with Woz and the others.  All the folks bringing their Apple-1 computers had early connections with the Apple Company.

The 5 Apple-1 computers at this gathering should be unique from almost all the other known Apple-1 computers.  They were signed at the event by Woz and Wendell Sander (an early Apple employee).
David Larsen KK4WW
 Steve Wozniak signing Apple-1 board
David Larsen KK4WW
Wendell Sander signing Apple-1 board
        The mystic and excitement that follows the Apple-1 computers continues to grow and get more interesting everyday with new stories and facts from the owners.  It will not be too many years and all the original  owners of the Apple-1 computers, developers and employees working at Apple during the Apple-1 times will be gone. Lots of exciting history and stories about the original Apple-1 computers are still being generated and much of it now makes the national or international news. I have several Apple-1 computers in my historical collection and  look forward to the buzz about these Icon's of the microcomputer revolution,

I want to credit Mike Cassidy and Mike Willegal for the information I used in this column. Here are links to their stories. You will enjoy these - the videos on the column by Mike Cassidy - just great.

Mike Cassidy - Mercury News Columnist
Mike Willegal - his blog post.
The 4 photos used here are from the Mercury News Column and credited to  (Dai Sugano/Bay Area News Group)
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N4USA Bugbook Computer Museum
David Larsen KK4WW
This was a busy weekend for me. I was  hoping to spend most of the time out at our Chantilly Farm working the amateur radio station for Field Day   .  Saturday my wife Gaynell and I went to a "Celebration of life for Professor Paul Field". Paul and I worked together on many projects during my 31 years at Virginia Tech and was wonderful friend.  The Celebration was a great tribute to Paul and I am going to do my next blog about this former college. Our collaboration included a  lot of work with early microcomputers. Sunday was a special day at church  that was most of the day.
                       "by David Larsen"  KK4WW Computer Collector/Historian


  1. David,

    I hadn't heard about this. I would love to have been a fly on the wall for that event. Thanks for posting.


    1. Hi Win - I agree with you this would have been a wonderful event attend or just hear the buzz.

      Are you still looking for a PDP-8?



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