Former professor’s Apple memorabilia up for auction

In 1984, former Pitt Social Work faculty member Thomas Earl Neudecker represented the University at the “unveiling” event for the new Apple Macintosh computer.

Apple II lid with signaturesNeudecker, an Apple enthusiast and then-president of the Pittsburgh Apple User group, took with him the lid from the family Apple II Plus. At a reception following the unveiling, he made it a point to meet Apple’s founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and have them sign the computer lid.

It became a prized possession, and Neudecker had it framed and hung it in his home office. Neudecker died in a car accident in 1997 and now his son if offering the lid for auction, along with a reproduction of a photograph of his father at the keyboard of an Apple II.

The item is being offered by the Doyle auction house, starting at 10 a.m. Nov. 24. It is expected to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000.

Apple material signed by both Jobs and Wozniak is exceptionally rare. After Jobs stepped down from the company in 1985 and founded NeXT, he and Wozniak had a falling-out.

While at Pitt, Neudecker ran research projects on the effects of technology in K-12 schools, as the personal computer became more affordable for public schools. His emphasis was not only on the teaching of computer science to students, but also on how technology could assist teachers in their day-to-day activities. With the grants received for his research (many from Apple), he purchased more computer equipment and trained teachers over their summer recess in the application of the technology.

In the mid-1980s he became assistant dean of academic affairs at Carnegie Mellon University.

— Susan Jones


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