Do you remember your first PC? They’ve been available in one form or another since the 60s but only in limited numbers and at huge expense. Early commercial models included the Xerox Alto and Apple 1, as well as the Kenbak-1.
Only 40 Kenbak personal computer were ever produced and they went on limited sale in 1970, a full six years before the revolution of the Apple I. The Kenbak-1 different from many contemporary computers in its small size with all components mounted onto a single motherboard.
The 17th such model ever produced is set to go up for auction in November 2015. It’s fully working (with some replaced switches and transistors) and is expected to fetch upwards of €400,000. Which is quite a number when you consider that it originally cost €750 back in 1971.
The Kenback-1 may not look very much like a PC from today and it didn’t really function like one either. Users communicated with the board using a series of switches and pure machine code, with an array of lights on the front giving out information – provided you got your code right!
A original Apple-1 computer which was built in Steve Jobs’ garage in 1976 previously sold for $905,000. So keep those old computers around, they may be worth something someday!