Why This California Recycling Center Wants to Pay a Mystery Woman $100k for Her 40-Year-Old Computer

This woman unknowingly donated a piece of computer history.

NBC Bay Area

The Holy Grail of Mac collectibles has materialized in a California recycling shop, and now one mystery woman stands to collect $100k. A word of warning to Newton collectors before we proceed - don't get your hopes up. It was a bad buy then and it's not going to get any better now. Make peace with it.

Clean Bay Area Vice President Victor Gichun tells NBC Bay Area the anonymous woman showed up at his facility with boxes of e-waste in the wake of her husband’s death. A few days later when workers got around to cataloguing the detritus, they discovered an extremely rare Apple I computer.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak hammered together maybe 200 of these in a garage in the embryonic days of Apple in 1976. At the time they’d sell for $666, but today they’re museum pieces worth a small fortune. Gichun sold this one for $200,000..

Under the facility’s rules, 50 percent of that profit belongs to the donor, assuming that they can find her. Gichun says he has no contact information but will know her if he sees her, so if you know any recently widowed older ladies around Silicon Valley who might once upon a time have urged their families to buy a computer to support that nice Jobs boy who works so hard, you might want to rekindle your friendship.