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Rare Apple computer owned by former Chaffey College student sells for $500,000 – Daily News

An old Apple computer found in the garage of a former Chaffey College student sold for $500,000 earlier this week after a tense bidding war.

The winning bid for the Apple-1 computer was received from a foreign collector from outside the United States during an auction held by John Moran Auctioneers and Appraisers in Monrovia on Tuesday, Nov. 9, said Noelle Valentino, a manager for the auction house.

Bidding started at $225,000 and quickly ramped up by increments of $25,000 in a matter of seconds, reaching what’s called the hammer price of $400,000. A 25% service fee brought the price up to $500,000, Valentino explained.

There were six bidders trying to buy the rare piece of technology history, Valentino said. Neither the seller’s identity, nor the buyer’s identity has been released. The auction house placed a value range on the computer of between $400,000 and $600,000.

“We thought there was a chance it could go for more,” Valentino said. “But it was squarely within the estimate.”

In some instances, these rare computers have sold for $1 million. In 2014, one sold for $905,000.

“It is one of the most collectable pieces of the 20th century,” said Corey Cohen, an Apple and technology historian based in New Jersey.

“It is the start, if you think about it, of the modern world,” Cohen said Wednesday, Nov. 10. “Our whole lives were touched by computers like Apple.”

According to the auction house, a student bought the computer from his Chaffey College electronics professor in 1977. The professor, the original owner, sold it for $650 and used the money to upgrade to the Apple II.

It is believed the seller is the former Chaffey College student who kept the computer 44 years until it was sold on Tuesday. These were the only two owners of the computer, according to the auction house. The computer was named the Chaffey College Apple-1 due to the connection with the college in Rancho Cucamonga.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, founders of Apple computers, built their company’s first line of desktop computers by hand in 1976 out of Jobs’ parents’ garage in Mountain View, Calif. This computer was one of the first made by the duo.

Jobs sold his Volkswagen bus for $750 and Wozniak sold his HP 65 calculator for $500 to finance the parts and assembly of this first set of computers, which started the personal computer revolution. About 175 were sold and today, only 62 are verified to exist according to the Apple 1 Registry, which lists the computers, their owners and locations.

Many of the Apple-1s are found in museums in London, Scotland, Switzerland, South Korean, Albuquerque and Mountain View, Calif., according to the Apple 1 Registry.

“The supply of these are drying up,” said the auctioneer. “Most are finding their way to museums.”

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