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Rare Apple computer sells for $210,700

Auction of Apple-1 included an autographed letter from Steve Jobs to the computer's original owner.

This Apple-1 sold at a Christie's auction for $210,700.

Talk about a smart tech buy. An Apple computer purchased more than 30 years ago has sold for 425 times its original selling price.

An Apple-1, one of only about 200 such machines built in Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' parents' garage, sold at Christie's auction house in London today for 133,250 pounds (about $210,700). The Apple-1, which didn't include a casing, power supply, keyboard, or monitor, originally retailed for $666.66 in 1976. Apple discontinued the model in 1977.

Christie's called the computer a "historic relic" and said the auction included all the original components, including its 8K bytes of RAM, in its original shipping box, as well as a signed letter from Jobs to the original owner.

The winning bidder was Italian businessman and private collector Marco Boglion, who made his offer over the phone, according to the Associated Press.

In a time when most personal computers were sold as self-assembly kits, the Apple-1 broke new ground as the first personal computer sold with a fully assembled motherboard.

Fellow Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who attended the auction in London, threw in an autographed letter with the sale. Wozniak said he was proud to have his work auctioned alongside such technologically notables as an Enigma, the World War II German code-making machine, and documents from British mathematician Alan Turing, a pioneer of modern computing.

"Today my heart went out as I got to see things auctioned off like the Turing documents and the Enigma machine--and the Apple I," Wozniak reportedly told journalists after the auction. "It really was an important step, (even though) I didn't feel that way when I designed it."