Macintosh Turns 40
The Macintosh computer, which has played a pivotal role in shaping personal computing and design principles throughout the entire tech industry, has turned 40 years old.
The first Macintosh debuted on January 23, 1984 as a groundbreaking product. Distinguished with friendly unique hardware design, a revolutionary graphical user interface, the ability to speak text aloud, and equipped with a keyboard, and mouse, it offered user-friendly features that brought the potential for computing to the masses.
The original Macintosh came equipped with what were powerful specifications for the time; a 9″ black and white display, 8Mhz processor, 128KB RAM, and a 3.5″ floppy drive with 400kb capacity for storage, for $2499.
After a powerful Super Bowl commercial debuted the Macintosh name just a few days earlier, on January 24, Steve Jobs used his stage magic to introduce a wow’ed audience to the Macintosh computer. If you’ve never seen this video before, and you like Apple history (or Steve Jobs presentations), you’ll certainly enjoy it. There’s about 28 minutes of young Steve Jobs stage wizardry, and then a nice demo with the Macintosh team, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
At one point, Steve Jobs prophetically compares the Macintosh to the telephone, and states his desire to bring the technology to “tens of millions of people”… 40 years later, the Macintosh has over 100 million users in the world, and the Mac-inspired iPhone has 1.5 billion global users.
Happy Birthday to the Macintosh! Here’s to 40 more years!
And, you can’t help but wonder, with the Apple Vision Pro being released just around the corner, and with a core feature being that you can output your Mac display to the spatial computing realm to have a private virtual 4K display, just where we are heading with this platform. Exciting times, right?
Overall, the original Macintosh undeniably played a pivotal role in shaping the future of personal computing. By introducing user-friendly design principles, and pairing them with innovative technologies, it’s easy to see how the Mac became one of the most influential computing platforms in the world, to this day.