What you need to know
A Bendix G-15, which many refer to as the first mini computer, recently sold at auction.
The computer is roughly the size of a refrigerator, but it was considered a personal computer since it only required one person to operate.
The winning bid for the PC was $62,461, though that price does not include the cost of shipping.
When you think of the best mini PCs, you probably think of something small. That's why they're called mini PCs after all, right? It turns out the term mini is relative, as evidenced by a recent auction for the world's first mini computer. The Bendix G-15 is roughly the size of a refrigerator, and I don't mean a mini fridge.
The Bendix G-15 only required one person to operate, which was a big deal in 1956. At that time, mainframe computers took up an entire room. The 1,000-pound Bendix G-15 was downright portable compared to the room-size behemoths it competed with.
Sadly, if you want to purchase a computer your guests would confuse for a kitchen appliance, you'll have to look elsewhere. The Bendix G-15 recently sold for $62,461 at auction. You could get a few Mac Pros for that price, and they'd even be more portable if you paid extra for some wheels.
What I'd really like to know is how much the winning bidder had to pay in total to receive the computer. The $62,461 bid doesn't include the cost of shipping.
Here's a highlight of the description of the Bendix G-15 from its auction listing:
"Rare, complete example of the Bendix G-15 mini-computer—the third built in 1956
Rare and historic example of the Bendix G-15 computer—considered by some to be the first 'personal computer' since it required just one person to operate. Though smaller than a room-sized mainframe, the Bendix G-15 is still quite large, weighing in at nearly 1,000 pounds and measuring about 3' x 5' x 3'. This is the third G-15 that was manufactured and sold by the Bendix Corporation, Computer Division, in 1956."
Computers like the Bendix G-15 serve as a reminder of how quickly technology advances. Many people carry more processing power in their hand than what was seen in the massive mini computer.