Catch up on all the big stories that happened this week in Montreal.

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Brownstein: Apple I original could be worth a fortune for Montrealer

For a few hundred bucks, you could probably procure a fairly reliable used computer, with all the bells and whistles and a whack of memory to boot. Or you could also pick up a second-hand Apple on eBay with few bells and whistles and little memory and no internet connection for … US$1.5 million. No typo. Nor does this Apple’s value have anything to do with the primitive Sony monitor or keyboard or power supply that comes with it. It’s all about its intricate circuit board that has been laid in a fancy piece of Hawaiian Koa wood. It’s an Apple I original, designed and built by Steve Wozniak in 1976 and based on an idea by his then-business partner Steve Jobs. Don’t bother checking your basements to see if you have one long since buried there. There were only about 175 made — mostly in Jobs’s garage — for the devilish price of $666.66 each, and they didn’t come equipped with power supply, display, keyboard or housing.

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Vaccine FAQ: What you need to know about the COVID-19 shot

Quebec’s vaccine efforts are moving from seniors’ residences to mass vaccination sites, as the campaign to immunize the general population is set to begin next week. The province will receive its largest shipment of vaccine doses to date starting Monday, expecting about 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine per week for the next six weeks. That will allow a significant portion of those most at risk of serious complications to be immunized against COVID-19. The goal of the vaccination campaign is for 75 per cent of the overall population to be immunized. Vaccines will be administered to people 85 and older starting Monday. People in that age group can book their appointments online starting Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8 a.m. using the site quebec.ca/vaccincovid, or by calling 1-877-644-4545.

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Working from home loses some of its lustre as Montreal workers crave reconnection

Are Montrealers ready to go back to working in office towers? They’d better be — because employers and building owners are gearing up for that very prospect. Working from home has gone mainstream during the COVID-19 pandemic, even leading some companies to scale back their office-space needs after multiple employee polls showed teleworking’s strong appeal. Sixty-seven per cent of downtown Montreal office workers who answered a recent survey commissioned by Montréal Centre-Ville and the Urban Development Institute said they want to continue working remotely most of the time after the pandemic. Still, the bloom may be coming off the rose. The same poll found the percentage of Montreal office workers who favour teleworking actually fell 9 percentage points in six months. Fifty-one per cent of respondents found professional relationships harder to maintain when working from home.

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Beaconsfield’s massive snow melter getting plenty of use this winter

It’s been another snowy February in Montreal and the city of Beaconsfield is turning to a massive piece of machinery to help dispose of the white stuff. After a snow-removal operation, trucks full of snow arrive at the municipal parking lot near Beaconsfield City Hall, where the city’s portable snow melter is located. The snow is then loaded into the snow melter which liquifies it using forms of heat, including flame burners and hot water, before discharging it into a storm sewer. The discharge then goes to a sewer treatment plant in Rivière-des-Prairies, before going into the St. Lawrence River, Desrochers said. The city purchased the snow melter in 2019 for over $617,000. Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle said it was a good investment considering the amount of snow that has fallen this winter.

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‘Netflix is fine, but we want to see it on the big screen’: Montrealers hit the cinemas

The ban on popcorn meant there were no queues at concession stands in Montreal movie theatres Friday afternoon, the day Quebec allowed cinemas to reopen in red zones. Instead, guests waited their turn to get their hands on another hot commodity: a procedural mask. As they entered, guests were asked to disinfect their hands, switch their face coverings and proceed to purchase their tickets at the physically distanced kiosks lining the escalator at the Banque Scotia cinema downtown. “She’s starting right here, being safe for everybody,” said Catherine Wambolt, motioning toward the theatre employee whose job is to distribute masks and detail the Quebec government’s latest health guidelines for cinemas.

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