After more than two decades of being lost and forgotten, the Steve Jobs time capsule has been finally discovered, containing a his personal computer mouse from an Apple Lisa.
The capsule, which was buried by Jobs and several others at the Aspen International Design Conference in 1983, was filled with personal items including the Lisa mouse. The Lisa Mouse, which Jobs named after his daughter, was one of the first commercial computer mice soled publicly, making it a rarity at the time. Of course, stylistically it has changed over the past three decades, the internal components of the mouse have remained largely the same.
Even though it was a commercial failure, this mouse represents a unique piece of history, as it was also used to navigate through the Jobs’ presentation predicting such technologies as wireless network, the App Store, and even the iPad.
For years, the tube remained lost under an Aspen field. The original plan had been to excavate it in 2000. However, there was a problem with that plan, as everyone involved forgot where it was buried, and because of a major landscaping project in the area conference organizers couldn’t find .
But not until now, as with the help of the National Geographic Channel show “Diggers,” local crews finally discovered the relic last September and quickly set out to bring it back to the surface.
“We just freaked out,” George Wyant, one of the two “Diggers” co-hosts, said about finding the tube. “We went crazy. Because I’d had a pit in my stomach all day, so it was like instant relief.”
He had good reason to be worried. A strong smell of mold emanated from the time capsule once opened, but fortunately, the mouse and many other items were protected in plastic bags. The discovery was well documented and is surely going to be featured on an upcoming episode, and even the experts had problems finding this particular treasure.
Though Wyant, his co-host Tim Saylor, and others involved in the search were eager to find Jobs’ mouse, along with many of the other artifacts hidden away all these years inside the 13-foot-long, 1.5-foot-diameter tube, they’ll have to wait. Though they were able to saw the end off and peer inside, there was no way to immediately catalog the contents, says CNEt.
“They had the foresight to put a bunch of stuff in plastic bags,” Saylor said. “I could see at least a dozen plastic bags and other trinkets and items. But I know for sure there’s got to be photographs in there. People had hand-written things on the back of the photographs, so there will be some really interesting things inside.”
A Rubik’s Cube, an eight-track of the Moody Blues and some beer were also included in the time capsule.
Harry Teague, who was the president of the conference, recalled that he put a six-pack in the tube because “the guys that dig this up will be sweaty and appreciate a six-pack.”