The World’s First-Ever Personal Computer Accidentally Discovered and Put Up for Auction

Heritage Auctions Houses Rare First-Ever Q1 Personal Computer

Heritage Auctions is, at present, hosting a sale of several rare tech artifacts, among them the world’s first microcomputer, the Q1, powered by a single-chip Inlel 8008 microprocessor. Remarkably, this tech relic was stumbled upon earlier this year during a thorough clean-out of a storeroom at Kingston University in London. The auction includes the 1972 Q1 system, a compatible printer, and a 1976 model Q1 Lite computer equipped with an in-built printer.

As of the time of report, bidding for the Q1 computer stands at $8500, while the Q1 Lite with the integrated printer is priced by a potential buyer at $32,000, and a standalone printer has a bid of $1200. It’s worth noting that the vintage devices are sold as they were found – they haven’t been turned on or tested since their discovery, and there’s no guarantee of function. There are even traces of half a century’s dust on them, though minimal due to storage in boxes.

Dust-coated Q1 computer found at Kingston University

Enthusiasm for these unquestionably historic computer relics is expected to escalate before the climax of the auction scheduled for today (May 24). 

Vintage Q1 computer and its accessories on auction

The Q1 computer systems were a commercial misfire after their 1972 market debut. While most of the devices were acquired by NASA, the New York-based company failed to achieve commercial success with this system. However, these neglected pieces of technology are now historical, and history always holds value.

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