My Color Classic and iPad Pro as imaged by an iPhone 7+ in June 2017.
It's been a long, fun ride. I bought #MyFirstMac, a Color Classic, in 1993 to write my masters thesis. I used it for 4 years to create a community newsletter using ClarisWorks and a variety of flyers for our community organizing efforts in Memphis. It was the beginning of a long, fun ride.
At some point a few years later I bought my second Mac so that I could get on the internet and begin creating websites. It was with the second Mac that I started to fall into the Mac and computing as a bit of a larger obsession. I had no idea what I'd fallen into.
I'll add a few links here during the day.
Back in June 2017 I'd shared this post and photo about Apple computing. The photo is the same as the one shared today, my iPad at the time and my original Color Classic. Jonathan Zufi, creator of the coffee table book ICONIC - A Photographic Tribute To Apple Innovation saw that post and contacted so that he could send me a copy of his book. It's a beautiful documentary of decades of Apple's devices.
Today Jonathan is marking the celebration with his website, mac40th.com. He's also releasing an update to his book: He writes:
Over the past 40 years Apple developed and launched hundreds of products in and supporting the Macintosh line - culminating in 2024 with the latest range of M3 powered desktops and laptops which are technological marvels of speed, power management and design.
To celebrate this milestone, mac40th.com showcases every Macintosh desktop and portable Apple has ever made with hundreds of the photos taken as part of the work creating the coffee table book ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation (3rd edition now available up to date as of the end of 2023). The site also includes photos taken by Kevin Taylor, Forest McMullin and others (including video) that I’ve collected over the past 14 years.
The Computer History Museum celebrates with INSANELY GREAT: The Apple Mac at 40:
In January 1984, Steve Jobs unveiled the Apple Macintosh, an “insanely great” computer “for the rest of us” that changed the world—and Apple itself. Exemplifying a (counter) culture of changemakers, the Mac brought the graphical user interface to the masses and launched new connections for computing and creativity. It became the foundation upon which Apple built an empire and grew into the world’s largest company.
Join CHM on the 40th anniversary of the Mac’s launch to celebrate one of the most iconic and impactful products ever created, and don’t forget to wear your favorite Apple swag!*
Watch the program on YouTube here!
On Mastodon, Michael Steeber:
MyFirstMac was an iMac G3, in 2008. It was next in line for the dumpster where my dad was working, and he got clearance to let me take it home. I remember finding it on the floor in a pile of dusty boxes in a warehouse, and crouching down on the ground to see if it booted. At that point I’d never touched a Mac OS computer before, and it was so bizarre — but so fascinating. And well, it’s still fascinating today.
Jared White, The Mac Turns 40, and My Love Affair Turns 23:
The trajectory of Apple’s core hardware and software technologies from that time have continued into the present day as I type this out on my iPad’s multitouch display using a Pencil and my fingers—an incredible achievement. Even the iPhone in my pocket is, in many ways, a tiny mobile Mac. And while even in 2001 Apple’s products had changed substantially from the original Macintosh of 1984—thanks mainly to the monumental
takeover byacquisition of NeXT—that brand DNA of creativity, whimsy, user-friendliness, and consistency has remained the hallmark of the Apple computer experience for 40 years and counting.
After a misfire with the expensive Apple Lisa – Jobs was removed from the project – Jobs devoted all his time and energy to the Mac. With his flair for the dramatic, Jobs had a young director, Ridley Scott, create what would become an iconic Mac Super Bowl 1984 commercial, portraying the Mac as a symbol of individuality and freedom. That vision of the Mac and Apple products as rebel products remains with us to this day.
Mac users — and I’ve been one of them for 34 of those 40 years — have been on the defensive for most of the platform’s existence. The original Mac cost $2,495 (equivalent to more than $7,300 today), and it had to compete with Apple’s own Apple II series, which was more affordable and wildly successful. The Mac was far from a sure thing, even at Apple: in the years after the Mac was first introduced, Apple released multiple new Apple II models. (One even had a mouse and ran a version of the Mac’s Finder file manager.) It took a long time for the Mac to emerge from the Apple II’s shadow.
The Mac is 40. But it wouldn’t have lasted 40 months had no apps been there to support it. So as Apple’s mighty creation starts convincing itselflife beginsthis year, we have, fittingly, compiled a list of 40 classic apps that made the Mac.
Instead of solely listing the usual suspects, we’ve covered the range from giants to much-loved indie fare, given that smaller developers were for years the lifeblood of the system. If we’ve missed your favourites, let us know by adding them to a TeachText document, printing them on a LaserWriter, turning them into a paper airplane, and aiming for the letterbox at Stuff HQ.
The original Macintosh popularized the computer mouse, allowing users to control an on-screen pointer. This point-and-click method of computer navigation was still a novel concept to most people at the time, as personal computers in this era typically had text-based command-line interfaces controlled with a keyboard.
An excerpt from Apple’s press release in 1984
Forty years ago today, Apple released the first Macintosh. Since that fateful day in 1984, Apple has released hundreds of Mac models that run the gamut from amazing to strange. In honor of this birthday, we thought it would be fun to comb through history and pull out the rarest and most unusual production Mac models ever made—including one from another company.
On 24 January 1984, the Apple Macintosh 128K personal computer was unveiled to the world, but 40 years later it still has a loyal following of fans – and users.
David Blatner still has practically every Macintosh computer he ever bought. But one in particular stands out – the first. He remembers the neat way the screen was laid out; the glossy manual; the cassette tape tutorials explaining how to use the machine. It was everything he felt a computer should be.
On January 24, Apple’s Macintosh computer turns 40. Normally that number is an inexorable milestone of middle age. Indeed, in the last reported sales year, Macintosh sales dipped below $30 billion, more than a 25 percent drop from the previous year’s $40 billion. But unlike an aging person, Macs now are slimmer, faster, and last much longer before having to recharge.
My own relationship with the computer dates back to its beginnings, when I got a prelaunch peek some weeks before its January 1984 launch. I even wrote a book about the Mac—Insanely Great—in which I described it as “the computer that changed everything.” Unlike every other nonfiction subtitle, the hyperbole was justified. The Mac introduced the way all computers would one day work, and the break from controlling a machine with typed commands ushered us into an era that extends to our mobile interactions. It also heralded a focus on design that transformed our devices.
The 40-year history of Macintosh computers is a roller coaster of ages golden and dark.
Anything that lasts so long in the forefront of technology has to change to stay relevant. This once-plucky computer that began as an antithesis to the IBM PC, which dominated the world in 1984, is now itself a dominating force, ever pushing the needle in the world of technology.
How did this all happen? Let’s walk through 40 years of Macintosh.
Before I started writing my piece on the Mac’s 40th anniversary for The Verge, I was thinking of different ways to plot out the arc of the Mac’s history. I ended up going with the fact that the Mac has been the underdog for most of its existence, but I also considered plotting the Mac’s history as defined by the Mac’s four distinct processor eras.
A lot shifted when the Apple Macintosh was introduced, and it wasn’t about the RAM, the chips or the processor speed. Our world changed forty years ago today. Marketing, technology, commerce, luxury brands, communities, communication and our expectations for how we might spend our future all shifted, and fairly quickly.
Apple Introduces Macintosh Advanced Personal Computer
CUPERTINO, Calif., January 24, 1984–Apple Computer today unveiled its much-anticipated Macintosh computer, a sophisticated, affordably priced personal computer designed for business people, professionals and students in a broad range of fields. Macintosh is available in all dealerships now. Based on the advanced, 32-bit architecture developed for Apple’s Lisa computer, Macintosh combines extraordinary computing power with exceptional ease of use–in a unit that is smaller and lighter than most transportable computers. The suggested retail price for Macintosh is $2,495, which during the introductory period also includes a word-processing program and graphics package.