2010 Birthday present: Apple III ca. 1981

So my very special lady, knowing what joy I got from her Christmas gift to me, went to eBay and bought me this gorgeous relic from Apple’s history.

The Apple III is particularly notable because it was, in fact, a commercial failure, designed, for the first time instead of by Steve Wozniak, by the marketing department intent on creating a premium version of the Apple II for business use. Adjusted for inflation by today’s rates, the Apple III would have cost roughly $11-20,000. One reason for its failure is that Steve had already turned his attention to his new project, the Macintosh.

I love having it around as a museum piece, but also as a monument to what can happen when the market is misjudged, and as a reminder that even the gods can do it wrong from time to time. (And adding to the ill fate of the Apple III, this particular one was damaged in shipping, so you can see a giant emblematic crevice in the disk drive. Poetic.)

But the best part of the whole thing: the CPU came packaged in this gorgeous leather carrying case, with the Apple logo embossed. Just look at it.

Look at it. If you ask me, this thing is worth more than the computer itself. I’m thinking that come late April, I just might find myself using it as an iPad case.

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