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Apple I Computer

A fully assembled Apple I computer. The owner of this one added a wooden case.

Apple I is a prototype and limited production computer that Apple Computer produced in July 1976 that sold for US$666.66. This computer was made for hobbyists and included a built-in BASIC interpreter, extensive printed documentation, multiple I/O ports on the main PCB and the ability to create and add simple peripheral devices. The Apple I was the predecessor of the Apple II family which had the industry's first color graphics computers for consumers, and was the first computer sold by Apple Inc. (then known as Apple Computer).

Unlike the Apple II and other computers after it, the Apple I was sold as a populated circuit board kit that the end-user had to assemble for themselves.  Many hobbyists created custom wooden cases for it. Apple switched to providing metal and plastic casing for future models of their computers once they began to target the consumer market and not just computer club hobbyists.

The Apple I was the spiritual ancestor of the Raspberry Pi.  It was produced in Steve Jobs' garage by hand by Steve Wozniak as their first product sold under the name Apple Computer Inc. and mostly sold to computer enthusiasts belonging to computer user groups on the Pacific coast of North America.  As of 2017, 63 of the devices have been confirmed to exist, 3 of which have been verified to still be functional.  The proceeds from the Apple I project went to obtain investment funding and purchase land, equipment and supplies needed to produce the consumer-oriented Apple ][ computer.

Unlike the Apple ][ computer which came with Wozniak's magnetic sector floppy disk drive, the Apple | came with no peripherals or storage, beyond the ROM chip holding the BASIC interpreter, the interface ROM, and 4Kb (expandable to 8Kb) RAM for storing running computer instructions.

In order to run software on the Apple I computer, a user had to connect a keyboard and a television, and then use the keyboard to input instructions in machine code or in the BASIC programming language into memory, and then run that memory through the BASIC interpreter.

Production of the Apple I hobbyist kit was halted in September 1977, following the successful launch of the Apple ][ computer in June 1977.

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