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Exclusive video shows unearthing of long-lost 'Steve Jobs Time Capsule'

More than 30 years after it was buried, the "Aspen Time Tube" has been discovered and with it, a potentially priceless piece of technology: The Apple Lisa mouse that Steve Jobs during a talk at the Aspen International Design Conference in 1983. CNET "unearthed" and posted excavation video of the "Time Tube," since redubbed popularly as the "Steve Jobs Time Capsule," on Wednesday.

Lisa Mouse
Lisa MouseWikimedia Commons

The mouse became part of the "Time Tube" after Jobs donated it, following his speech predicting such technologies as wireless network, the App Store, and even the iPad. The mouse itself was used to navigate through the presentation.

There were a number of miscellaneous items in the tube, including a canned six-pack of Balantine beer, a Moody Blues tape, and a Rubik's Cube. It was the mouse, though, that led to the rechristening of the "Time Tube" as the "Steve Jobs Time Capsule."

Organizers had planned to unearth the capsule in 2000, but there was a problem: They couldn't find it in the Aspen, Colo. field it was buried in. Finally, though, it was found, though it took the assistance of a reality TV show -- the National Geographic Channel show "Diggers" -- to do so. Last September, local crews finally found the capsule.

George Wyant, one of the two "Diggers" co-hosts, said:

We just freaked out. 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.

"Diggers" plans the "Steve Jobs Time Capsule" episode to be its season premiere on Feb. 25 with back-to-back episodes at 10 p.m. ET. The series follows Tim "The Ringmaster" Saylor and George "King George" Wyant as they search with metal detectors for "buried treasure" including, apparently, a mouse.