Every period of great change has its totems of transformation. The Renaissance has Michelangelo's David, the Industrial Revolution has its Watt steam engine and the Age of Enlightenment has its printing press.
Now you can own a relic of the Information Age, provided you have the funds the shell out $180,000 (or best offer). On the auction block is a 1976 Apple 1, handmade by none other than tech revolutionaries Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (above). It was their first commercial order for the computer and, for the first time, it gave users the ability to type letters on a screen. Oh, how far we've come.
When the device came out it was merely a tinker project for techie hobbyists until retailer Peter Terrell order 50 units to sell at his specialty store, Byte Shop. He forked over $500 a piece for each unit and Jobs and Wozniak hammered them out in 30 days.
Of those 50 original models, only six still work. The one up for bid is one of those six. However, the computer has no keyboard, no monitor and no cabinet, but still, this is piece of history we're taking about here. Don't let what it's lacking deter you. Besides, you're not going to be using this for anything but display. The system is only 8K bytes with 4K of memory.
Sotheby's will be auctioning the relic on June 15. Good luck bidding.
Photos: Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (top) in the garage of Jobs' parent in 1976, credit: DB Apple/dpa/Corbis; Apple 1 (bottom), credit: Kim Kulish/Corbis