In a cautionary tale that will validate the hoarding habits of technology obsessives everywhere, a woman in the US has dumped a super-rare first-generation Apple computer worth US$200,000 at a recycling depot in Milpitas, California.

The e-waste management company, CleanBayArea, has since sold the computer to a museum, and is now trying to track down the mystery donor in order to give her her half of the sale price. Apparently the woman was in her 60s and didn't leave any details or ask for a receipt.

The computer in question was donated along with a bunch of other old technology that she found while cleaning out her garage after her husband's death. It was one of the original 200 Apple-1 computers built by Steve Wozniak in 1976. 

Now purchased at private auction by a museum, the computer, which was originally sold to the public for US$666, is rumoured to be one of only 63 of the models left. The model has just 4 kB memory, but it went on to revolutionise personal computing.

"We thought it was fake. It was real," the CleanBayArea vice president, Victor Gichun, told NBC news.

If the woman gets back in touch with the company, they have a cheque for US$100,000 waiting for her. "I remember her. To prove who she is, I just need to look at her," Gichun told Sharon Noguchi over at the San Jose Mercury News.

Although US$200,000 is a pretty crazy amount for an old computer, it's a fraction of the US$905,000 that Steve Jobs' own Apple-1 reached at auction last year.

Fingers crossed the sale money ends up with its rightful owner soon.