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Wikipedia co-founder’s personal computer, NFT of first edit being auctioned

Jimmy Wales’s personal iMac used in the creation of Wikipedia.   | Photo Credit: Christie's

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales’ personal computer, which he used for development and research at the time of the website’s launch, along with a non-fungible token (NFT) of the platform’s first edit, are available for sale on Christie’s.

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The sale of the two objects pertaining to the history of the online encyclopaedia, titled ‘The Birth of Wikipedia’, will be open till December 15.

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Wales used his personal computer, a Strawberry iMac, during Wikipedia’s launch on January 15, 2001, for monitoring the site’s early development, and guarding against vandals, according to the British auction house.

As the computer grew obsolete, it was transferred to the room of his young daughter, who used it to play video games. The iMac was later stored away in its original box, which will be included with the sale, Christie’s noted.

The other item on sale, an NFT of the first edit to Wikipedia: “Hello, World!”, made by Wales on the day the website launched, which would be the first in a long line of edits that would produce “the largest and most-read reference work in history.”

“It’s been over twenty years since I first typed in the words “Hello, World!” to launch Wikipedia – and even today, I’m still amazed at the size and breadth of what it has become,” Wales said.

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The NFT preserves the layout of the Wikipedia home page in 2001, based on the earliest source code extant. It also has a dynamic feature, enabling the owner to edit the page, which can be reset with a timer to revert to its original state.

A portion of the sale proceeds will help support Wales’s alternative social media network pilot project WT.Social, as well as a variety of charities working in the free culture world, according to the auction house.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 5:41:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/wikipedia-co-founders-personal-computer-nft-of-first-edit-being-auctioned/article37862162.ece

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