Friday, 23 January 2009

Happy Birthday Mac!

Saturday marks the 25 anniversary of the little machine that started a revolution. The Apple Macintosh 128K. We should all pause today and wish the little computer that could a happy birthday. In 1984 Apple Computer Corporation launched the Mac during the infamous Orwellian inspired Superbowl commercial touting the new era has arrived.

They were right. 

The Mac 128, was the first personal computer to have a GUI (graphic user interface) and a mouse. It was the first computer to be truly user friendly. The first network computer, the first home machine that could connect the common user (there weren't any 'common users' at this point). The first computer to soak buyers to the tune of $2,495 US, in 1984! A huge sum of money back then (even now)

It boasted a rocketing 128Kb of RAM, running at an astounding 8 Mhz storage was courtesy of 400K 3.5" floppy disks, all this with a monochrome monitor. Wow have we come a long way. The machine I'm typing this on has a 2.4Ghz processor, 300GB hard drive and 1 GB of RAM, and that's a year old. To boot, I paid less than the 128 cost. 

My love affair with Apple goes back to 1992 when I started college. My friend bought a state of the art Macintosh LCII; 16 Mhz 68030 chip, and a 4oMb hard drive. I hung out in his basement with him playing Sim City for hours. I eventually inherited that machine from him thus bringing the affair home. In 1998 I upgraded to the Macintosh 6500 Tower running 250Mhz. In 2002, I bought an iLamp, then finally in 2007, my newest addition, my Intel based iMac. I still have the iLamp running, my kids have it now. The 6500 is in the basement. I can't bear to part with it, even though it's now a 40lb. door stop. It still works, just horrendously obsolete. 

Apple has led the way in the computer market since it started the PC revolution 25 years ago. It has never taken second place. Almost every advancement in computer technology over the years can be attibuted to Apple. The rest just follow suit. It amazes me that they aren't the front runner. But somehow, it's better that way. Here's to the underdog. 

I found a great link today reading news stories about Mac's birthday, go here to find out how it all started. This is amazing, the original development notes, sketches and other tidbits from the very start of the project. I found myself engrossed in the history of it all. 

Something else all Mac aficionados should see is Pirates of Silicon Valley
It's a great movie about the start of the relationship, good and bad, between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. 

Happy birthday Macintosh. You've come a long way. Just like people, you have grown up and evolved. You have become a wiser older version of your siblings. And you will keep growing for years to come. 

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to add my Mac into the household....I love my iBook, even if it is almost 6 yrs old. She runs well and does everything I ask her to.

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