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Happy Birthday Macintosh

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Phil Hoppes
Happy Birthday Macintosh
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:26:00 pm

The Apple Macintosh was introduced to the world 30 years ago today. Love them or hate them they have certainly changed the world.

It is interesting to note as the closing article states. At the time Steve Job's was musing about Apple becoming a 10 Billion dollar company and the evil empire was IBM. Today IBM does not even sell PC's and Apple has become over a half Trillion dollar company. Who would have thought.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Happy Birthday Macintosh
on Jan 24, 2014 at 1:35:18 pm

There's no internal expansion. It'll never succeed. ;)



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Mark Dobson
Re: Happy Birthday Macintosh
on Jan 24, 2014 at 1:46:17 pm

30 years eh.

I got my first Mac 28 years ago and can blame Apple for everything that has happened since then!


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Bret Williams
Re: Happy Birthday Macintosh
on Jan 24, 2014 at 4:39:24 pm

I remember sometime around 1990 or 91 in writing for radio/tv/film class we had a macintosh on every desk. The teacher said stay after class a minute if you've never used one, so I did. I remember him pointing at a file on the "desktop" and double clicking. Maybe he showed me the file>save process too. But I don't think I've ever needed further training. I was sold. At the time, IBM PCs (my Dad worked for IBM) were words on a black screen. DOS. Utter cave writing by comparison. Unless you were "cutting edge" Windows 1 or 2, but I don't think anyone cared about windows until 3.1. And even then. Apple literally had a 11 year head start on Windows 95 and still lost that war.


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Mitch Ives
Re: Happy Birthday Macintosh
on Jan 24, 2014 at 5:08:44 pm
Last Edited By Mitch Ives on Jan 24, 2014 at 8:19:08 pm

Had my first Mac 30 years ago. Had my first Lisa2 two years before the Mac...

Had the same experience that others have had. In 1982 my partners and I were about to buy a networked Burroughs mini system for $50K for the business. Walked into a computer store and saw the Lisa2 with the graphical interface. Was blown away. It could open all the programs simultaneously... something the Mac couldn't do until three years after it's debut.

We bought five Lisa2 systems. I used that leverage to con them into selling me the LaserWriter that was on allocation for a store still under construction at the time. So, I had the first Laser printer here in our state (western region actually) for the bargain price of $7995. Back then they sold you a roll of wire and all the connectors, that we ran through the ceiling and soldered connectors on to network the LaserWriter to the Lisa2's. Star Trek kinda stuff in those days.

I remember that three of the Lisa2's had internal 10MB hard drives. Yes MB. Someone told us that we were being ridiculous, because we would never be able to fill that hard drive in our lifetime! Reminds me of the guy that said everything that could be invented had already been invented so we could close the patent office. Of course, back then most IBM PC's were still booting from floppies, so you could understand how someone could think that.

Apple had an office here, that was across the street from us. We were unaware of their location until they started bringing people over to show them our LaserWriter and networked Lisa2's... because they didn't have a LaserWriter yet!

A lot has changed since then, as I type this on a MacBook Air... and await my new MacPro.

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Tim Wilson
Re: Happy Birthday Macintosh
on Jan 24, 2014 at 6:04:52 pm

My teensy slice of the story: my father was the one who introduced Steve Jobs on the stage of that event. He worked for Apple from 1978 or 79 through 85. He was also sitting next to Steve in the conference room with a dozen other guys when Sculley unveiled a new org chart that didn't have Steve on it. Not EXACTLY fired, but...

Anyway, among his first responsibilities before he moved to Cupertino was running Apple's manufacturing facility in Carrolton, TX. Here's a picture I found of Apple II machines in that 150,000 square foot plant.



It's easy to forget now, but Apple II was in full effect until 1993. There was a real concern among dealers, developers, and who knows, maybe customers, that this would remain a viable platform, so, also in 1984, Apple hosted the "Apple II Forever" event to assuage their fears.




Echoing the observation that IBM was the arch villain, here's the most bizarre artifact of the era, an internal "Psych up! This is war!" promo video -- a newsreel-style thing that morphs into a war B-movie with IBM as the enemy. ("They have the plague, but we have the cure!", and "the Big Blue Mono-blob!"....and this absolutely priceless line, "They are the elephant, and we are....the mouse!" Dude, IBM is leading prisoners through an office in chains!

Best of all: Steve Jobs as Franklin Delano Roosevelt!!!

You might THINK you don't need to spend 8:45 watching this, and you are really, truly mistaken -- you DO need to watch this. I guarantee you've never seen anything like it.

Assault! Landing! The first beachhead of freedom on a vast continent of oppression! The start of a long fight for liberation, a fight against all odds, and leading the forces of freedom...is...MACINTOSH!






This was actually an important point to establish, because it wasn't clear even within Apple exactly what Mac was supposed to represent. Given Steve's penchant for secrecy, most folks at Apple didn't see it before WE did. But it's still absolutely ape-spit bizarre.

Not that this REALLY has anything to do with anything, but this is some of what I think of when I think of the Mac launch.


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David Mathis
Re: Happy Birthday Macintosh
on Jan 24, 2014 at 7:33:52 pm

Thank you Tim for this! Really neat to see the early version of what would become a very popular computer. I remember playing "Brick" when growing up. Was not all that good at it but still a fun game to play.


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Mathieu Ghekiere
Re: Happy Birthday Macintosh
on Jan 24, 2014 at 6:01:09 pm

If you look at the special webpage Apple made to celebrate, it's almost all focused on content creators.


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