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Apple-1 computer prototype 'Apple Computer A' from 1976 discovered
By: Apple-1 Registry
Achim Baqué asked Woz, Wendel Sander, Bill Fernandez, Chris Espinosa, Daniel Kottke and Paul Terrell about the production prototype and got answers from all of them. It was not possible to clarify all open questions. Howard Canter, the designer of the Apple-1 mainboard, may have some answers. Unfortunately, it was not possible to get in touch with him.
1. In the left center is on all Apple-1 the text "Apple Computer 1". However, the prototype states "Apple Computer A © 76". This could be done to mark it as a prototype or maybe the idea was to name the final version this way? Woz doesn't remember why the name was changed.
2. It is an Apple 1 prototype with a different board layout than the later final production series.
3. The Apple-1 prototype has all the extra components of the 6800/6501 CPU instead of the 6502.
Woz was sent a photo of the circuit board by the Apple-1 Registry in early 2012 and commented about the production prototype: "This Apple I below was probably about the first Apple I on an Apple PC board. I had left the 6800 space because it was needed for the $20 6501 instead of the $25 6502. The difference was strong clock driver transistors. Paul Terrell may well have gotten a sort-of prototype since his order is really the reason we built Apple I's with parts installed. We built a couple with the 6501 but by real production time we could get the 6502 for the same cost".
According to this, the prototype was built with a 6501 CPU. For a 6501 you need the same additional components as for the 6800 CPU. That Paul Terrell was shown a prototype coincides with the book Little Kingdom by Michael Moritz.
The Apple-1 Registry has been updated with information about this prototype. https://www.apple1registry.com/