Want an original 1976 Apple-1 computer? It'll cost you, a lot.

Christies is set to auction off an original 1976 Apple-1 computer, and bidding could go well above half a million dollars. 

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    Christies is set to auction a 1976 Apple-1 computer, which could fetch upwards of $500,000 at auction. Here, an Apple-1 motherboard sold by Christies in 2010 for $212,267.
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Beginning next Wednesday, June 24 – and ending on July 9 – Christies will hold an online auction titled "First Bytes: Iconic Technology from the Twentieth Century."

According to Christies, among the Apple products up for grabs are a 1983 Apple Lisa computer, "a prototype of the first truly portable Macintosh laptop," and an original Apple-1 machine designed and built in 1976 by Steve Wozniak. 

But it is the Apple-1 that has drawn the most interest, and for good reason: Bidding for the computer will start at $300,000 and is expected to go north of half a million bucks. "This is the seed from which the entire orchard grew, and without this, there would be no Apple," Stephen A. Edwards, a professor of computer science at Columbia University, told the AP this week. "I've been shocked auction prices got into the six digits. The market has just gone crazy."

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Mr. Edwards was referring to a string of high-profile recent Apple-1 auctions: There was the Apple-1 motherboard that went for $212,267 and the $671,400 sale in Germany of a still-working Apple-1 machine. (That last item was packaged at auction with "the original owner's manual and a signed letter from [Apple co-founder Steve] Jobs to original owner Fred Hatfield," CNET reported at the time.) 

This Apple-1 is the property of a retired school psychologist from Sacramento named Ted Perry, who apparently kept the extremely-valuable machine in a cardboard box in his house. He told the AP he acquired the machine in 1979 or 1980 and that it cost him nothing at all. "I traded some other computer equipment I had for the Apple 1," he said.

Good for Mr. Perry for hanging onto the computer long enough for worldwide Apple fanaticism to reach peak levels. And best of luck to all the bidders out there – may your fingers be quick and your pocketbooks deep. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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