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Published on February 9th, 2013 | by toptech


Presidential Laptop Appears On EBay:

Old laptops don’t generally attract a lot of bids on the eBay auction site, and they are not very good sellers when it comes to raising cash either. That is all apart from a fourteen year old laptop. A Toshiba, to be exact, has been listed on the site with a starting price of a staggering $125,000, though it is expected to sell for much, much higher. If you are wondering why this laptop which is neither sleek, elegant nor sophisticated is priced so highly, it is because of the fact that it used to belong to a Mr Bill Clinton, President of the United States of America.

All in the Detail

Actually the laptop didn’t even belong to him, it was not his property and neither was it for his personal use, but he did use it. He used it to send one very special, out of this world email. The year was 1998 and astronaut John Glenn was aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in orbit around the Earth. John Glenn was one of the pioneers of the American Space Race, being the very first American astronaut to complete an orbit around our planet way back in the early days of space travel in 1962. In 1998 for his mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery he was aged seventy seven. The email sent by President Clinton is still stored on the hard drive of the laptop, as is the response that was written by Glenn on 6th November 1998 from space. Not only was this the first email to have been sent to a recipient in space, and the first message to have been emailed from an astronaut of any nationality, this also marks the first ever email sent by a US president.

Sold As Seen

Surprisingly the laptop still appears to be in full working order, if a little clunky compared to today’s models. The auction listing isn’t just for the hardware itself it also comes packaged with its peripheral items such as the power lead and an external drive. Also included in the listing is the original copy of the press release that was released by the Whitehouse that not only shows a printed version of the messages that were sent but also contains the signatures of both John Glenn and Bill Clinton, plus an original 10 x 8 photograph which was taken during the time that the messages were being exchanged. The photograph is signed by Bill Clinton with a message of thanks to the Whitehouse doctor Rob Darling who was the actual owner of the laptop that Clinton used. There are also a number of other official documents which authenticate the auction package.

At the time of writing the lot was still awaiting an opening bid, but there are collectors out there, serious collectors that are all probably watching the lot and hiding in the shadows hoping to put in their winning bid in the last few seconds. This is a piece of unique history that someone is bound to want to add to their collection.

Andrew Tavey is a renowned author and blogger on all things tech related – he regularly visits TaylorHe.co.uk for more information on the latest developments.


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