Mystery woman recycles rare Apple-1 microcomputer

June 1, 2015 | 11:55

Tags: #apple-1 #california #computer-history #mercury-news #steve-jobs #steve-wozniak #vintage-computing

Companies: #apple

A rare Apple-1 microcomputer, one of only 50 ever built, has turned up in a collection of electronics donated to a Bay Area recycling centre in California - and now the staff are trying to locate the previous owner to give her a share of $200,000 in cash.

Apple Computers' inaugural product, funded by the sales of 'blue box' phone-phreaking equipment built by co-founder Steve Wozniak, the Apple-1 is a piece of computing history. Designed by Wozniak and sold by Steve Jobs, the machine was priced at $666.66 in kit form with 8KB of RAM and with a MOS Technologies 6502 processor. Only 50 were made, and fewer have survived the decades since their release; at auction, working examples can be expected to fetch £100,000 or more from collectors.

That's a history lesson one California resident could have used before she dropped off a collection of her late husband's electronic gizmos with recycling service Clean Bay Area, which discovered a working Apple-1 system in-amongst the boxes while unpacking the donation. Recognising its value, staff at the centre sold the machine to a collector for $200,000 - and local news outlet Mercury News reports that they are looking for the donor in order to share the proceeds 50-50.

Unfortunately, the lady in question provided no ID or contact information, and donated the machines in person with no return address. Victor Gichun, who accepted the donation, is calling for her to come forward to claim her funds - saying that 'I just need to look at her' to recognise her again.
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