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Apple's remaining co-founders, Woz and Wayne, reminisce about early company relics

Gregg Keizer | Nov. 19, 2014
Ron Wayne, the little-known third co-founder, to auction off his collection of early-Apple documents.

Wayne also designed a door in the front of the enclosure that allowed access to the guts of the keyboard for repair.

"At the time, there was not a lot of money available [for production], so it was designed to be made without a lot of tooling," Wayne said. By the time Apple began production of the Apple II -- the personal computer was introduced in April 1977 and started selling later that year -- the company had more money and went with a more-expensive-to-manufacture case.

Also on Christie's auction block on Dec. 11 in New York will be an operational Apple-1, owned by Bob Luther, who arranged the meeting Monday of Wozniak and Wayne, their first since Jobs' death in 2011.

Luther's Apple-1, which he purchased at a sheriff's sale in 2004 for $7,600, could go for as much as $600,000, according to Christie's estimate. The Apple-1 will be accompanied by a canceled check from the original owner, Charles Ricketts, made out for $600 to Apple Computer in July 1976.

According to Luther's research -- which he recounted in his 2013 book The First Apple -- the Ricketts Apple-1 was the only documented instance of a direct-to-a-customer sale. Many of the 200-odd Apple-1 computers were sold by the Byte Shop of Mountain View, Calif.

But yesterday, Wozniak remembered at least one other Apple-1 that did not go through the Byte Shop.

"I tried to talk Steve [Jobs] into giving one to a woman to take to a school," said Wozniak, to show students and get them interesting in programming. But Jobs refused. "He made me buy it...for $300," said Wozniak.

Both Wozniak and Wayne also reminisced about the early days of Apple during the interview.

"It was the Garage Days," said Wozniak. "We didn't know the first thing about business, and Ron [Wayne] was a big part of the guidance. We started with nothing. But the fun was in designing computers. It was an exciting time in our lives, and memorable for the friends you made and the conversations you had."

"I knew it was special," added Wayne. "We were all motivated knowing that we were doing things with our lives."


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