Woman tosses $200,000 Apple 1 computer into recycling

Technically Incorrect: A recycling center in Silicon Valley is amazed that someone would toss out a rare first-generation Apple computer. It is currently seeking the woman who did it.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Well, it might have meant nothing to her. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Whenever I see a famous actress waft down the Oscars red carpet wearing $1 million worth of necklace, I think to myself: "Looks like bad taste bits of metal and glass to me."

The same essential thought process might have passed through the mind of a Silicon Valley woman who took one look at an Apple 1 computer in her house and thought: "This old box is cluttering up my house. It's got to go."

And so, as the San Jose Mercury News reports, she wandered along to her local recycling center (this is California -- we're dedicated recyclers of everything, especially ideas) and dropped it off for mangling.

The recycling company, Clean Bay Area, remains bemused. Victor Gichun, its vice president, told the Mercury News that the woman was cleaning out her house after her husband had died.

Gichun said: "She said, 'I want to get rid of this stuff and clean up my garage,' I said, 'Do you need a tax receipt?' and she said, 'No, I don't need anything.'"

Perhaps that's true. Perhaps this is a woman who has everything she needs. Perhaps there's no place for a first-generation Apple computer adorning her garage or her life.

Those of a material bent will mutter: "But it must be worth $200,000." Indeed it must. At least that much, in fact.

The woman performed her dropoff in early April, but Gichun and his staff opened up the boxes she left after a couple of weeks. At first, he told NBC Bay Area, he thought it was fake.

They now want to give her $100,000. This is company policy. Clean Bay Area sold this Apple I earlier this month to a private collection for $200,000. It insists on splitting the proceeds down the middle.

Some might wonder whether Clean Bay Area got enough money for one of these 1976 artifacts. Two years ago, an Apple 1 went to auction and fetched $387,750.

Gichun says he remembers the woman. She drove an SUV.

I wonder if she'll see the publicity and come forward. Should she do so, I wonder what she'll spend her newfound $100,000 on. Shares in Apple, perhaps?

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