Sunday 22 April 2018

Steve Jobs’ early computer mouse unearthed in Colorado

New video shows early eighties computer mouse from Apple’s Lisa system

Steve Jobs in 2007 holding the iPhone
Steve Jobs in 2007 holding the iPhone

Joanna Walters

An early computer mouse used by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs during a lecture where he heralded the future of wireless technology and devices like the iPad has been unearthed from a time capsule more than 30 years after it was buried.

The late technology genius used the computer navigation device when he gave a talk at the Aspen International Design Conference in Colorado in 1983.

He was talking about technological advances that had yet to happen but in which his US computer giant Apple played an instrumental role.

After the conference the mouse, along with hundreds of other items donated by delegates, was packed into a large metal pipe and buried several feet underground.

At one stage the location of the capsule was lost and there were fears it would never be found.

Now video has been released of it being dug up last autumn – during a television show, naturally.

The National Geographic Channel plans to show the tape of the unearthing on its TV programme ‘Diggers’ about treasure hunters.

The pipe filled with mementoes became known as the Steve Jobs time capsule because of the single most famous item amongst its contents – the mouse.

It was known at the time as a Lisa mouse because it attached to the so-called Lisa computer developed by Apple Inc as one of the first personal computers. The machine type was superseded not long afterwards by Apple’s Macintosh line of personal computers.

The Lisa mouse will make early personal computer users nostalgic with its top-mounted “clicker” button, cumbersome square shape and wire “tail”.

Co-hosts of the TV show Diggers told the technology news website CNET, which first posted the video link, that they “went crazy” when their excavating machine unearthed the time capsule and they knew they had found Mr Jobs’ mouse.

When they sawed open the long metal pipe there was a strong smell of mildew, but the mouse had been protected by being placed in an airtight plastic bag, the co-hosts told CNET.

Steve Jobs died of cancer in 2011.

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