Rare Antique Computers Discovered During House Clearance in the UK

Just Clear, a house clearance company in the UK, recently stumbled upon two of the world's first desktop computers. This discovery is significant as these antique desktops are exceedingly rare.

Launched with the Intel 8008 processor in December 1972, the Q1 model was produced by Q1 Corporation in the United States (US). Featuring a design resembling a typewriter and a neon orange plasma screen, the Q1 marked an important milestone - often forgotten - in the history of computing.

The discovery of these pair of vintage computers was made during a routine house clearance. Initially unaware of the significance of the machines, the company set aside the devices for further research.

After some internet searches yielded limited information, Just Clear founder Brendan O'Shea consulted with an expert.

"Our team finds all sorts of items when cleaning houses every day, some of which have historical significance. But I never imagined we would find something so important in the field of technology and computing history," Brendan said, as reported by TechRadar.

"I was told that these models are extremely rare, so finding a pair of them is very exciting. The computers were buried under piles of boxes, and initially, we just thought they were two nice pieces of 1970s computing history that we might wipe data from if not suitable for reuse and send to our electronic waste stream."

However, after consulting with their advisor and conducting research over time, they realized they had actually discovered two highly rare items, of which only three are known to exist in the world today.

The pair of computers are currently on display at a technology exhibition at Kingston University titled "Creating the Everything Device: Showcasing the machines that built the future." The exhibition features first-generation Ataris, Sinclair ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Sinclair QL, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Amstrad, Commodore, and Dragon 32, curated by Paul Neve and Professor Islam Choudhury.

"There would be no PCs, no Macs, no Apple or Android phones without the Q1 Corporation," commented Neve.

"The early pioneers in the 1970s and 1980s laid the groundwork for today's 'everything' devices - modern computers, which are ubiquitous in everyday life. We rely on computers for work, communication, productivity, and entertainment, yet without the early pioneers, none of this would exist."

Just Clear has not yet decided the future of the two Q1 computers. They may be auctioned or sold privately.

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