In my private collection are these original Apple-1 computer:
'#1 Copson Apple‑1',
'#2 Dryden Apple‑1',
'#3 Duston-2 Apple‑1',
'#4 Heathcott / Lee Apple‑1',
'#5 Reinemer Apple‑1',
'#6 Flatiron Apple‑1',
'#7 Burr Apple‑1',
'#8 Dreike Apple‑1'.
and 1,000+ a other vintage computer. Including the very first prototype of the Kenbak-1 computer. Please contact me, if you have computers made before 1984 to offer.
Nearly all computers, especially valuable items, are under lockdown and in storage. Unfortunately, because a public exhibition would be better. But it's not that simple. More than 1,000 vintage computer are in my collection and I take care about them.
For more than 30 years, I have been collecting computers (components). In the beginning, these were mainly mainboards, selected plug-in cards and especially hard disks, large ones that were great in terms of their physical size, but not in terms of capacity. Many hard disks look more like spaceship models, have impressive dimensions and a charming weight. A 39" BRYANT hard disks is the most wanted historical object on my wish list. Of course, Cray, Apollo Guidance Computer AGC, Gemini Computer and AP 101 from IBM are also wanted.
It was not until much later that computers came into the picture. The real reason was a nostalgic retrospective and the wish to sit in front of an Apple II and a Basis 108 with UCSD Pascal. I looked for it, bought it and my next desire was the first IBM, the one I had worked with in the 80's.
This resulted in the desire to acquire further computers. Many computers of the 70's and 80's were absolutely unaffordable at the beginning of my career in computer business. Thirty years later, the situation was different, although some of them had increased in value and were more expensive than those offered by the manufacturer. The Apple-1 is a prime example of this.
More and more devices came into the collection and computers became more and more exotic. With a few exceptions, I concentrated on computers that were produced before 1984 and fall into the field of microcomputers.
In 2015, an Apple-1 appeared on eBay and I saw this auction by chance. A real Apple-1? I couldn't believe it at first. For many collectors the Apple-1 is the holy grail. Only later I took part in auctions of the well-known auction houses.
After that, I was able to buy several hundred other computers.
Meanwhile, I have not only visited the salesman of Copson Apple-1, Bob Luther, in Alexandria / Virginia, whom I thank for an interesting impression during the celebration of Halloween in his neighborhood, but also David Larsen. He had a gigantic collection of old computers and four Apple-1. On his farm, I was a guest and we talked a lot about computers. To this day, I deeply regret not having accepted his offer to take over the entire collection.
My name came into the public eye 2017 accidentally in connection with Apple-1. This resulted in contacts with other collectors.
In 2017, I talked to a city administration about founding a computer museum. Cities suffer from financial difficulties and without sponsors, such a project is hardly feasible. A museum only bears its own costs in rare cases. This project's future hasn't yet been decided.
The collection of historically significant computers is not only a collector's passion. Many people are not yet aware that these devices are a piece of history.
At the beginning of the automobile age, there were also few people who came up with the idea of collecting the vehicles and saving them from scrapping. Awareness of the historical value is only slowly emerging. Computers dominate most people's everyday lives and have changed society around the world like no other event before.
In 2018 I bought a masterpiece for my collection. The only existing prototype Kenbak-1 with Rev. A mainboard
Some information about this remarkable computer you find here.
The Kenbak-1 is often called 'The first commercially available personal computer". And my Kenbak-1 is the first every Kenbak-1. Pretty special. I was ever fascinated about the Kenbak-1. Very rarely this unique computer from 1971 is available to buy. John Blankenbaker created this computer from scratch by himself. Later it was sold in small numbers. I called John Blankenbaker and asked him if he still own a Kenbak-1. And yes, he still had his one and only prototype of the Kenbak-1. More unique is impossible. His granddaughter was playing with it when I called him. Unluckily he gave it to an auction house just some weeks before I called him. My final bid was not high enough and for technical reason I had no chance to bid more. Just by chance I had contact to the new owner of the Kenbak-1. After some E-Mails and phone calls we had a deal. Probably only 15 Kenbak-1 still exist. And only one prototype. The last owner of the Kenbak-1 is a very friendly and interesting men from California. He got his own business and works for Computer History Museum as well. We spent a day talking. After picking-up the Kenbak-1 in a small town close to San Francisco (California) I visited John Blankenbaker and his wife in Vermont. They invited me to stay at their home. Both are such friendly people. Eventually John signed the prototype for me. We talked almost two days about the early computer days. Judged the "first commercially available personal computer" in 1987 by a panel at the Boston Computer Museum (later the Computer History Museum San Jose) that included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. This make this Kenbak-1 the first of the first personal computer. The Altair 8800 was later called the “first commercially successful personal computer”. A very emotional discussion goes on about the question of the first personal computer. But anyway, it was the Kenbak-1 that was chosen by experts.
In the 80's, I came into contact with computers through my high school. Only a few schools offered computer science as a subject. Everything was delayed in comparison to the USA.
The eleventh grade of the program offered computer science. This sounded very tempting for a student who was enthusiastic about science. It turned out that programming became a passion and other scientific interests faded into the background. The computer enabled endless creativity and was unbeatable in terms of fiddling.
The first computers were one with Hexdisplay, a modest Apple II+, then Apple IIe and the already much better Basis 108 (an Apple clone, but equipped with RAM disk, real keyboard and floppy disk drives with more capacity).
From the very beginning, the main interest was programming with high-level languages. There was no interest in computer games.
This was followed by the IBM 5150, which offered a completely new world. Luckily, I was allowed to use the only IBM in my school already in the 11th - instead of the 13th grade as usual - but I had to figure out how to do it. What a thing to say: it was like suddenly someone had opened the gates to a previously closed garden. IBM reference manuals and one for Turbo Pascal were the only available literature, but they were quite sufficient.
A short time later, I bought my first computer, an IBM 5160 with a gigantic 20 MB hard drive.
The hobby grew unexpectedly and it became my occupation. At the age of 18, I founded my first own company with a friend who went to the same high school as me.
Due to lack of time, it was not possible to pursue any further plans for computer science and mathematics studies. DIY and autodidactic procedures were much more exciting.