A South Bay recycling firm is looking for a woman who, in early April, dropped off boxes of electronics that she had cleaned out from her house after her husband died. About two weeks later, the firm, Clean Bay Area, discovered inside one of the boxes a rare find: a vintage Apple I, one of only about 200 first-generation desktop computers put together by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976. 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.
She 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 this month for $200,000 to a private collection, Vice President Victor Gichun said. And now, because company policy is to split proceeds 50-50 with the donor, he’s looking for the mystery woman who refused to get a receipt or leave her name.
The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bayareane.ws/1QiwrkE) it was one of only about 200 first-generation desktop computers assembled by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976.
“We really couldn’t believe our eyes. We thought it was fake,” Gichun told KNTV-TV.
“We are looking for her to give her $100,000,” Gichun said.
She had stopped by on a Friday just before closing time.
“She said, ‘I want to get rid of this stuff and clean up my garage,’ ” Gichun said. “I said, ‘Do you need a tax receipt?’ and she said, ‘No, I don’t need anything.’ ”
The company had a backup of donations, and didn’t immediately go through her boxes. Clean Bay Area recycles computers, lab equipment, test equipment and semiconductors. It deals mostly with businesses, but about five times a week individuals stop by with donations. The company doesn’t pick up from individual donors.
He said she was driving an SUV. He’s not divulging any other descriptive information about the woman or her car. 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.” In the future, he said, he’ll be more insistent about getting donors’ contact information.
Also worth asking, how does a 40 year-old machine still remain intact, while the latest iPhone 6 breaks down right away from the slightest of wear and tear or precipitation?