Steve Jobs' Atari memo sells for $27,500

The Apple founder's penned plans for improvements to a World Cup Soccer game sells for more than expected.

A memo Steve Jobs wrote in 1974 while working for Atari. Sotheby's

Steve Jobs' Atari memo sold for $27,500 at its Sotheby's auction, just shy of twice its estimated worth.

The handwritten memo was jotted in 1974 by then-19-year-old Jobs, who described changes Atari could make to its World Cup Soccer coin arcade game to make it more fun and functional.

Jobs worked nights at Atari for a brief time in 1974, employing Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to help whittle down the hardware required for a prototype of a single-player version of Pong, the game that would go on to become Breakout. Jobs would leave Atari that summer to travel through India, only to return to California to live in a commune.

The memo was written to his supervisor, Stephen Bristow, and includes his home address and a commune's stamp with the phrase "Buddhist mantra gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl" (roughly translated, it means "Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha"). It was expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000.

The document was a steal compared with the original Apple 1 computer motherboard, which sold this morning at Sotheby's for more than twice its estimated worth at $374,500. The auction house originally estimated the item would sell for $120,000 to $180,000.

About the author

Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.

 

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