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February 18, 2014

Found 13 Years Too Late, What's in Steve Jobs' Time Capsule?

Back in 1983, a young man going by the name of Steve Jobs—a name that's recognized even after his death—buried a time capsule at the Aspen International Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado. The capsule in question was supposed to be dug up in the year 2000, but after some considerable delays and a period in which the capsule's location was forgotten, the capsule was dug up, and its contents provide some startling insight on the last 30 years in computing.

The capsule's location was reportedly lost following a major landscaping project in Aspen, and in turn led to the National Geographic television show “Diggers” to ultimately find the capsule back in September. The show itself won't premier until February 25, but a video has already emerged showing the “Diggers” team at work finding the time capsule in the midst of Aspen.

The contents of said capsule aren't just from Steve Jobs, according to reports, though the capsule did come to be known as the Steve Jobs Time Capsule following his entry into said capsule, the one-button mouse from his very own Apple Lisa computer. Said mouse was sealed in a protective plastic bag, and though the Lisa wasn't a commercial smash, was regarded as the forerunner of the first Macintosh computer released in 1984. Also found in the capsule were an eight-track recording of the Moody Blues, an example of popular eighties toy / puzzle the Rubik's Cube, and a six-pack of Balantine beer in cans, as well as what was described as “a strong mold stench” that didn't destroy much of the items in question as many were protected with plastic bags.

But with this time capsule's unveiling comes a certain level of insight. The conference itself offered up Steve Jobs' own words on the state of wireless technology, but even revealed initial stirrings toward the iPad and the App Store, both developments that are comparatively recent yet almost indispensable today. It certainly cements Steve Jobs' status as a visionary—even among those who aren't Apple buffs—and gives us a better idea of why Apple not only is what it is today, but also why Apple had its big turnaround from the times when Apple was in much worse fortunes than it is in today.

There was quite a bit else in that capsule as well—the video bears that much out, and “Diggers” co-host Tim Saylor noted that “literally things just poured out. There must be literally thousands of things in there.” —and hopefully in the coming weeks we'll get a better understanding of what else was in that capsule. Still, though, just knowing what was in there now—Steve Jobs' own Lisa mouse—gives us all an exciting touchstone with the past, and a deeper understanding of what may be yet to come thanks to a full consideration of that past.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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