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Christie's to auction computer relics
'Origins of Cyberspace' will feature rare documents and technical items from history of computing.
February 22, 2005: 12:09 PM EST
"Outline of plans for development of electronic computers" by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Computer geeks who love history will have a chance to get their hands on rare documents and technical relics at an auction in New York this week.

"The Origins of Cyberspace," Christie's first sale of this kind, will take place at the auction house Wednesday.

Items on the block include an early version of a data storage disc dating from 1951 that weighs 5.5 pounds and could hold about the equivalent of one paragraph of text.

There will also be a typescript of the first example of a high-level programming language, the Univac short code, dating from 1952.

One item sure to get attention will be "Outline of plans for development of electronic computers" by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. Eckert and Mauchly developed the first commercially available computer and founded the world's first electric computer company.

The plans for the first electronic computer produced in America and the electric computer company are estimated at $50,000 to $70,000.

The Origins of Cyberspace collection will first be offered as a single lot. Bids for the entire collection are expected to be over $1.2 million, a spokesman for Christie's told CNN/Money.

If that price isn't reached, the collection will be broken down and offered as 255 individual lots, according to the auction house.  Top of page

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