Mystery woman donates vintage Apple computer – CBS News

MILPITAS, Calif. – Her electronic waste is someone else’s treasure.

A recycling center in the Silicon Valley is looking for an elderly woman who dropped off an old Apple computer that turned out to be a collectible item worth $200,000.

The computer was inside boxes of electronics that she had cleaned out from her garage after her husband died, said Victor Gichun, the vice president of Clean Bay Area.

The boxes sat on a pallet for weeks until workers rummaged inside one and found something that looked really weird, reports CBS San Francisco station KPIX-TV.

But it was the holy grail of computer collectibles– an Apple-1 — the very first computer sold by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs.

Only 200 of them were ever made and while the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California has an Apple-1 motherboard, even it doesn’t have what Gichun and his boss were looking at.

As soon as the word got out, a man showed up and instantly handed over the asking price of $200,000.

Maybe it’s because the last one put up for auction got half a million dollars…and a few years ago one sold for $900,000.

The woman didn’t want a tax receipt or leave her contact information, and it wasn’t until a few weeks later that workers opened the boxes to discover an Apple I computer inside.

The recycling firm sold the Apple I for $200,000 to a private collection, and because the company gives 50 percent of items sold back to the original owner, Gichun said he wants to split the proceeds with the mystery donor.

He said he remembers what she looks like and is asking her to come back to claim her $100,000 check.

“To prove who she is,” Gichun said, “I just need to look at her.”

He says he’s satisfied with his company’s take.

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