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Tom Nelson

Happy 30th Birthday, Macintosh

By January 24, 2014

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It's been 30 years since the Macintosh introduced itself to the world.

Happy 30th Birthday, Macintosh


Courtesy of Apple

In front of a full house at the De Anza Auditorium in Cupertino, Steve Jobs took the Macintosh out of its bag, plugged it in, turned it on, and inserted a 3-1/2" floppy disk. The Mac then stole the show by uttering its first words:

"Hello, I'm Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag. Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I'd like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM mainframe: Never trust a computer your can't lift."

The 1984 Macintosh (January 24th, 1984) wasn't the first Apple computer to use a graphical interface; that distinction belongs to the Lisa, named after Steve Jobs' daughter, which was introduced a year earlier (January 19th, 1983). But the 1984 Macintosh certainly had the most profound impact on the computing environment, paving the way for graphical interfaces that nearly all computing platforms embraced in the years to come.

Apple created a web site dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Mac. It includes a short video and a Macintosh timeline, showing the major developments in the Mac over the years.

Additional Macintosh anniversary memorabilia:

1984 Macintosh Super Bowl Commercial

Steve Jobs Introduces the Macintosh

Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, and Bub Tribble, Interview on ABC News (preview)

My first Mac was a Mac Plus, with 1 MB of RAM and a single 3-1/2" floppy drive. I eventually upgraded the RAM to 4 MB. Since then, I've owned or used almost every Mac model. I even have the Mac Plus sitting in its protective travel bag, along with its keyboard, mouse, and system diskettes, waiting to be used again.

By the way, I still don't trust any computer I can't lift.

What was your first Mac, and which model was your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know.

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January 25, 2014 at 2:04 pm
(1) KatieB says:

My first Mac was a Mac SE, in the late 80s. I added a 19″ Radius display because I’m a graphic designer, but I also did a lot of work on the tiny SE display. Hard to believe that now, but at the time, it didn’t seem all that difficult. I can’t remember what I paid for the SE, but I think it was somewhere around $1800 (I bought it used). I think it sold for around $3000 new *without* a hard drive, and around $4000 with a 20 MB hard drive.

I’ve owned many Macs since then, and it would be difficult to say which was my favorite. Probably the Mac Pro.

I remember the first “large” hard drive I bought, in the early 90s – 80 MB. It seemed enormous, and I couldn’t imagine ever filling it up. Now there are apps larger than that.

I look forward to seeing the new Mac Pro, although it’s beyond my budget.

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