The Apple I, devised in a bedroom by Steve Wozniak, Steven Jobs and Ron Wayne, was a basic circuit board to which enthusiasts would add display units and keyboards.People are searching for a Bay Area woman who donated a rare Apple I computer worth $200,000 to a recycling plant without leaving any contact information.
Unaware of the incredible value and rarity of the computer — only 200 were ever made — she dropped it at Clean Bay Area Recycling, a firm that disposes of technology in a way that is safe for the environment. As they had done before with less valuable items, the firm brought the hardware to a private auction.
The Apple I sold for $261,470.
According to Clean Bay Area Recycling Center rules, the woman is entitled to 50% of the profit that her computer won at auction. In other words, the woman is entitled to a check of $130,000. But because she didn’t leave behind any contact information or ask for a receipt, the firm is having a hard time tracking her down.
The model, one of only 200 ever made, was designed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976 reports the Daily Dot. “We really couldn’t believe our eyes. We thought it was fake,” Clean Bay Area Vice-President Victor Gichun told the Associated Press.
Gichun, who remembers the woman driving an SUV and mentioning the recent passing of her husband, hopes she will come in to claim her check. “To prove who she is,” he told the San Jose Mercury News, “I just need to look at her.
”The Clean Bay Area Recycling Center has turned to the media for help in locating the mysterious woman. As articles and posts spring up across the news outlets, Reddit and Craigslist, a social media manhunt is underway.
Gichun told Business Insider that he has received emails from individuals hoping to assist in the effort to identify the woman. Some have passed along the identity of recently widowed women who’s husbands were among the original Apple employees. Although Gichun has reached out to these suggested individuals, has not received any response.
This isn’t the first time that valuable technology has been thrown out by mistake. In 2008 a woman disposed of her husband’s prosthetic leg, reports the Tampa Bay Times. In the UK, Forbes writes that a man recently tossed a hard drive containing more than $9 million in bitcoin in the garbage..