Intel gives man $10,000 for old magazine

In a philosophical victory for pack rats everywhere, an Englishman gets top dollar for a magazine he's been storing under his floorboards.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
2 min read
Intel's search is over.

The chip giant, which had been searching high and low for a 1965 copy of Electronics Magazine that featured Intel co-founder Gordon Moore's thoughts on how silicon technology would evolve, has hit payola.

David Clark, an engineer in Surrey, England, had a copy of the coveted issue and has sold it to Intel, reaping the chip giant's $10,000 bounty.

Intel posted a notice about its reward offer on eBay on April 11, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of Moore's Law.

Images: A man and his
law, then and now

The issue contained an article by Moore that described how the number of components on integrated circuits was doubling every year. The article became the foundation for Moore's famed dictum, which has been a favorite maxim of the IT industry for decades. Electronics Magazine went out of business several years ago, though, and copies are scarce.

"I honestly didn't think we'd get a quick response (after posting the reward notice). We had looked for a copy before and couldn't find one," said Manny Vera, an Intel spokesman. "It was one of those publications that most people wouldn't keep around after reading it. It was a trade publication."

But then there's Clark, who apparently is a pack rat. He had stored old copies of the magazine underneath the floorboards of his home for decades.

"His wife gave him a hard time over the years for hoarding the magazines, but he kept telling her one day they'd be worth a lot of money," Vera said. And, apparently, one was.

Clark was one of a dozen people who responded to the reward posting saying they had an actual copy of the issue, Vera said. A number of other people offered to sell Intel photocopies of the magazine, or else contacted the chipmaker but then could not produce a picture of their "purported" actual copy, he added.

"Some of the actual copies were not in good shape," Vera said. "Pages were missing, or the cover was not in good shape."

Clark, however, had a well-preserved copy and quickly sent a photo and response off to eBay a day after Intel posted its reward notice. eBay, in turn, notified Intel via e-mail of people who were responding to its request.

Intel has already paid Clark his bounty, and a member of the chip giant's U.K. operations will pick up the magazine from him, Vera said. And from there, it will go into the Intel museum.

Perhaps the sale will put an end to any raiding of library shelves for the magazine. Shortly after Intel announced its reward, one library's copy went missing, and other librarians said they were irritated about the reward. The chipmaker had said that it would buy library copies only if they were being offered by the libraries themselves, but that warning apparently didn't stop some thieves.