The way we work with computers was forever changed that day.
My world revolves around all things digital. I remember the first computer in our household — some old MS-DOS machine — and when we decided to switch over to Macintosh as our operating platform of choice. It was a choice based off of creative software needs, but to this day, it remains my favorite operating system (even though I work with macOS and Windows on a daily basis). Even those who aren’t fans of Macintosh can’t deny the impact the computer and operating system have changed the way we interact with computers. The introduction of the first Macintosh computer in 1984 revolutionized what people thought of computers and how everyone could use them — not just business people. Today, we celebrate Macintosh’s 35th birthday with joy and respect for the system that started it all.
On this day in 1984, the first Macintosh computers went on sale. This was two days after the famous “1984” Apple computers ad directed by Ridley Scott aired during the Super Bowl. The original Macintosh, first called Apple Macintosh and later renamed, Macintosh 128k (because it had 128K RAM), had a beige case and included a built-in 9-inch black and white CRT monitor, keyboard, and mouse. There was a handle built into the top of the case, a design feature later replicated with the original iMac release, and the computer had an initial selling price of $2,495. If it were sold in 2018, it would have been more than $6,000. Macintosh computers were showing a strong sales record with 70,000 units sold by May 3, 1984. The computer had two pieces of software pre-installed — MacWrite and MacPaint — and it was powered by a Motorola 68000 CPU running at 8HMz.
Apple founder, Steve Jobs, introduced the Macintosh to the world during one of his famous keynote speeches on January 24, 1984. During this speech, he shows the computer and its software off and he highlights the text-to-speech feature to have Macintosh say, “Hello.”