The New York Times last week ran a story recounting how an Apple II computer Steve Jobs once donated to the Seva Foundation was finally returned back to Laurene Powell Jobs.
What makes this story so interesting is that the Apple II, which was donated back in the late '70s, spent much of the last three decades simply sitting in a basement in Katmandu, Nepal. Nonetheless, the article provides an interesting context to the donation and Jobs' efforts to help out the then-fledgling non-profit organization.
A letter from Mr. Jobs to one of Dr. Brilliant's Seva co-founders around that time bears the letterhead of Apple Computer with one of its earliest corporate addresses on Bandley Drive in Cupertino, Calif. "I wholeheartedly accept your invitation to become a 'member' of SEVA," reads the letter, signed by "Steven Jobs," with the first letter of both names in lowercase. "Please let me know of any other specific opportunities where I can be of service."
He gave the organization the computer around 1980, to help Seva enter and analyze survey data from its eye surgeries in Nepal. Mr. Jobs threw in a copy of an early spreadsheet program, VisiCalc, and an external hard drive that he boasted was the largest of its kind.
"You'll never be able to use all the memory," Dr. Brilliant recalled Mr. Jobs telling him. "It's five megabytes!'"