Apple I, Steve Jobs' Atari memo to be auctioned

A handwritten note that described changes Atari could make to an arcade game, is expected to fetch US$10,000 to US$15,000.

Before he co-founded Apple, Steve Jobs worked briefly at Atari, helping the game developer improve its designs.

Sotheby's is auctioning a handwritten memo, penned in 1974 by a 19-year-old Jobs, that describes changes Atari could make to its World Cup Soccer arcade game.

The report, written for his supervisor Stephen Bristow, was meant to improve the functionality and fun of World Cup, a coin arcade-game with four simple buttons and an evolution from Atari's Pong game. Job's report is stamped "All-One Farm Design", a name appropriated from the commune he frequented at the time, and the address of the Jobs' family home in Los Altos. At the bottom of the stamp is the Buddhist mantra, "Gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl".

Sotheby's estimates that the memo will fetch US$10,000 to US$15,000.

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.

Sotheby's is also auctioning a working Apple I motherboard, complete with cassette interface, operating manuals and a BASIC users' manual. Fewer than 50 Apple I computers are thought to have survived, with only six known to be in working condition, Sotheby's said. The lot is expected to fetch US$120,000 to US$150,000. The auction is scheduled for 15 June.


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SteveG2 posted a comment   

Nice, I still have an Atari 2600.. love that thing

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