Bay Area woman accidentally junks $200,000 Apple-1 computer

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Apple-1
A previous Apple-1 which went up for auction.
Photo: Auction Team Breker

Have you ever thrown away something you regretted later on? If so, you have something in common with the San Francisco Bay Area woman who recently junked a vintage Apple-1 computer — one of just 200 surviving machines created by Steve Jobs and the Woz way back in 1976.

Fortunately the ultra-rare desktop was recognized by a member of the recycling firm she left it at. They sold it to a private collector for $200,000, and now want to track down the unwitting donor to give her the 50 percent they say the company owes.

“[The donor] said, ‘I want to get rid of this stuff and clean up my garage,’ ” the Vice President of the recycling firm told the Mercury News. “I said, ‘Do you need a tax receipt?’ and she said, ‘No, I don’t need anything.'”

The woman apparently noted that her husband had died a couple of months earlier, suggesting that this may have been from his personal collection.

Because the recycling center was busy at the time, the boxes were only sorted through after the woman had left the premises, at which point the Apple-I was discovered.

The mystery donor was driving an SUV, although for obvious reasons the company isn’t giving any more descriptive information. To receive her $100,000 check, all she needs to do is show up at the company’s warehouse at 1310 Piper Drive in Milpitas, where the owner will identify her.

Last year, an ultra-rate working Apple-1 computer sold for an incredible record-breaking $905,000 at auction, between twice and three times the expected asking price.