Happy 27th Birthday to the Mac!

Jan 24, 2011 - 9 Comments

happy-birthday-mac-27

Happy Birthday to the Mac! Apple introduced the very first Macintosh on January 24, 1984, beginning an era that is still going strong 27 years later.

Here are some fun facts about the first ever Mac, known as the Macintosh 128k:

  • It ran Mac OS System 1.0 (if you’re already nostalgic you can run classic Mac OS on your iPhone today)
  • It featured an 8 MHz processor, 128kb of RAM, 9″ black and white display with a 512×342 resolution, and a 3.5″ disk drive
  • The base price started at $2,495, which is $5,095 in todays inflation adjusted dollars, an additional external disk drive was another $495
  • The first Mac shipped with two pieces of software, MacWrite and MacPaint, these apps were chosen to emphasize the operating systems revolutionary Graphical User Interface
  • Apple’s obsession with reducing hardware noise started at the very beginning, with the original Mac not including a fan in order to insure quiet operation
  • The original Mac 128k was not considered to be upgradeable, any upgrades required an entirely new motherboard
  • The Mac 128k had the signatures of Apple’s Macintosh division engraved on the inside of the case (see picture below)
  • Although it was announced several months prior, most people first heard of the Mac upon airing of the now famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial (shown below)

These are the Macintosh teams signatures inside the Mac 128k case, Steve Jobs and Woz are included:

mac 128k signatures

This is what MacPaint looked like:
MacPaint screenshot

And don’t forget the very first and famous Macintosh commercial that aired during the 1984 Super Bowl, embedded below:

It’s amazing how far things have come, isn’t it?

The above pictures of the Mac 128k are from Wikipedia.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, Mac

9 Comments

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  1. Critique says:

    Very interesting facts, I enjoyed them. Unfortunately, you have a few typos and some run-on sentences Paul. I give you an A for content and effort, but a C on coherence.

  2. hans says:

    i can’t find steve j or steve woz signature, anyone see them?

  3. DD says:

    My first Mac was a 512K. I bought a 20mg external drive. Thought I was smokin’!

    Fun to look back, thanks

  4. CCM says:

    Looks like Woz’s signature is on the silver smudge above the bottom-right “+”

  5. SEF says:

    I bought one of these in 1984 through the “Own-A-Mac” program at ComputerLand, where I worked at the time. I also bought the external FDD and an ImageWriter dot matrix printer! I ended up upgrading the Motherboard to 512KB and the external drive to a double-sided floppy drive. I got serious use of it for a number of years and then donated it to a missionary. I’ve had 10 other Macs in various sizes and shapes since, including the PowerBook 100.

  6. […] Mac just had it’s birthday, but don’t you long for the days before a GUI? Don’t you wish you were in the […]

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