When technology becomes collectible...

It's extraordinary how computing technology has changed over the years, passing from cutting edge to obsolete and sometimes on to collectible.

Apple has come to be indispensible in people's lives in recent times, even for those who've never used one of their computers, and the company is showing its strength with their acquisition of mapping software company Poly9 - their fourth acquisition this year - despite teething problems with iPhone 4.

The very first Apple Mac computer, sold for $8,260

The company has come a long way since its first desktop Apple Mac computers, of which the very early example was given to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Regarded as rather stylish when it came out, it sold at a Profiles in History auction last year for $8,260, smashing its $800-1,200 estimate.

It's not the only outdated technology which is suddenly worth money. There has been increasing interest in the collection of old-style 'brick' mobile phones, which you couldn't lose down the side of the sofa if you tried.

Sometimes of course the draw of vintage technology is obvious: we listed an Apollo programme Guidance Computer as one of our Top Five Spacecraft Collectibles when it sold for $50,787.50 at Heritage Auction Galleries' Space Sale last year.

People can now barely believe how simple they were, as compared to an iPad much of what Neil Armstrong et al had to rely on had the computing power of a sandwich.

Apollo Guidance Computer: Original Display and Keyboard Unit ($50,787.50)
Apollo Guidance Computer ($50,787.50)

Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we're interested in the whole history of technology. Collectors who share that interest will be excited to hear that we have an autographed note from Charles Babbage, the father of computing, whose analytical engine paved the way for so much.

On the other hand, if you'd simply like to keep up with all the latest collectibles news, check out our new app for the iPhone - before that becomes an antique!


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