Apple released the first Macintosh 30 years ago today; January 24th. That’s really something to celebrate. 30 years of the Mac computer. 30 years of innovation. Or should I say disruption? You can read about this anniversary all over Internet, and there is no need for me to write a long article about this magnificent story. I just wanted to honor this day by this short post.
Back then – in 1984
The first Apple Macintosh (later referred to as the Macintosh 128K) was released on January 24th in 1984 for $2,495. Quite expensive back then. The first model had a 9-inch 512 x 384 monochrome display, a Motorola 68000 processor and 128KB of memory. Wow! It even had a handle to make it easier to carry. Not exactly a laptop, but very compact at that time. It was also one of the earliest computers to use the 3.5-inch floppy disk format that later dominated the market. If you’re keen to take a closer look at the hardware back then, iFixit has published a commemorative teardown of the Macintosh 128K. Have a look here, it’s interesting as a tech time-travel.
Steve Jobs unveiled the Macintosh himself on stage that day, and it was a magic moment for everyone there – and it has become a legendary launch. Just have a look yourself:
This launch was accompanied by one of the most iconic commercials in the history of television: Apple’s “1984”. It debuted in the third quarter of the Super Bowl that year and was an instant success. It railed against the likes of IBM’s computers in favor of the sleeker Mac. You can see it below, it’s very strange – and has become iconic. Maybe Apple will run a new commercial in this year Super Bowl final to celebrate this?
Right now – in 2014
Those were happy days, back in 1984. And it still is for Apple thinking about the huge success and impressive growth of the company since then. There have been several crises in the meantime, but that’s another story.
In celebration of the Mac’s 30th birthday, Apple has updated its Apple.com website. At present, it looks like this wishing happy birthday to the Mac:
If you click the link “Explore 30 years of innovation on the Mac“, you’ll get the screen below with a celebration of the original computer and its descendants. And if you scroll down the page, you’ll get a timeline that acts as a look at the various Mac models:
Apple also crafted a video celebrating the birthday, “Thirty Years of Innovation”, in which innovators and creative individuals explain how the Mac has helped them work over the years. It’s cool, here it is:
Other anniversary resources
There’s a ton of resources and information on the Internet on this anniversary. I just want to finish off this post with links to some resources supplementing my post:
- CNet has made a special report on the anniversary looking at the beginnings of Apple’s landmark machine and its impact over the last three decades.
- PC Magazine has a nice visual history of the Mac containing 16 pictures and text of important milestones in the life cycle of this computer.
- The same magazine has an interesting spec comparison between the first Macintosh and most recent iMac, and 14 things you didn’t know about the Macintosh.
Lastly, you don’t have to be a blood fan of Apple to celebrate them. I’m not, I got my first Mac a couple of years ago after being a Windows guy my whole life. And I got an iPhone at the same time after having used Android since it first was introduced in the market. I’ll use them as long as they innovate.
Apple and the Mac is an important piece of the tech history. That’s why we celebrate them today. That’s why I wrote this blog post.
Happy birthday, Mac!