For 30 years, a potentially priceless piece of technology history was lost somewhere beneath Aspen, Colo.
At the Aspen International Design Conference in 1983, Steve Jobs gave a talk prognosticating technologies like the iPad, wireless networking, and even the App Store. He used his Lisa mouse to help navigate through the talk and afterward, Jobs added the mouse to a collection of miscellaneous items donated by conference attendees that was then buried as the "Aspen Time Tube."
Despite the inclusion of dozens upon dozens of other items, the tube came to be known as the "Steve Jobs Time Capsule," and organizers looked forward to one day excavating it and showcasing the mouse. Except for one problem -- they couldn't find it. But now it's been found, and CNET got an exclusive look at the video of the excavation (see above).
For years, the time capsule remained lost under an Aspen field. The original plan had been to excavate it in 2000, but thanks in part to a major landscaping project in the area, conference organizers couldn't find it. Until last year, that is. With the help of the National Geographic Channel show "Diggers," local crewsthe tube last September and quickly set out to bring it back to the surface.
One empty hole later, the crews brought it up. Cameras rolling, they. "We just freaked out," George Wyant, one of the two "Diggers" co-hosts, told CNET last year about finding the tube. "We went crazy. Because I'd had a pit in my stomach all day, so it was like instant relief."
Lost for 30 years, the 'Steve Jobs Time Capsule' reappears (pictures) See full gallery
Of course, finding the mouse inside a time capsule stuffed with hundreds of items was no small task, and eager observers waiting to get a glimpse of it had to wait a day. "When the end came off," "Diggers" co-host Tim Saylor told CNET at the time, "literally things just poured out. There must be literally thousands of things in there."
But pull out the many things inside -- including a six-pack of Balantine beer (in cans), a Moody Blues tape, and a Rubik's Cube -- they did. Fortunately, despite a strong mold stench that pervaded the time capsule, the mouse, and many other items, had been protected in plastic bags.
Now, "Diggers" is gearing up for its season premiere, and its Steve Jobs Time Capsule episode will kick things off on February 25. Check out the video above for the first look at what the show's hosts, and their experts, found when they opened it up.