Apple Macintosh

In December 1983, Apple Computer ran its now-famous "1984" Macintosh television commercial on a small unknown station, solely to make the commercial eligible for awards during 1984. The commercial cost 1.5 million and only ran once in 1983, but news and talk shows everywhere replayed it, making TV history. The next month, Apple Computer ran the same ad during the NFL Super Bowl, and millions of viewers saw their first glimpse of the Macintosh computer. The commercial was directed by Ridley Scott, and the Orwellian scene depicted, in analogy, the IBM world being destroyed by a new machine - the Macintosh.

SteveJobs, the co-founder of AppleComputer, had been trying to hire PepsiCo?'s JohnSculley? since early 1983, and in April of that year he succeeded. But Steve and John discovered that they did not get along, and one of Sculley's first actions as CEO of Apple was to boot SteveJobs off the Apple "Lisa" project, the "Lisa" being the first consumer computer with a GraphicalUserInterface. Jobs then switched over to managing the Apple "Macintosh" project begun by JefRaskin. Jobs was determined that the new Macintosh was going to have a graphical user interface like the Lisa, but at a considerably lower cost.

Note: The early Mac team members (1979) consisted of JefRaskin, BrianHoward, MarcLeBrun?, BurrellSmith, JoannaHoffman? and BudTribble?. Others began working working on the Mac at later dates.

Specifications: Macintosh 128K

Seventy-four days after the introduction of the Macintosh, 50,000 units had been sold - not that strong a show. There were some problems: Apple refused to license the OS or the hardware, the 128k memory was not enough, and a single floppy was difficult to use. The "Macintosh" had "Lisa's" user friendly GUI, but initially missed some of the more powerful features of the "Lisa", like multitasking and its whopping 1 MB of memory. Jobs compensated by making sure developers created software for the new Macintosh, figuring that software was the way to win the consumer over.

In 1985, the Macintosh line received a big sales boost with the introduction of the LaserWriter? printer and Aldus PageMaker, making home publishing - DesktopPublishing? - possible for the first time.

The design of the Macintosh won many plaudits; see AppleMacintoshDesign.
The AppleMacintosh line was succeeded in 1994 by the PowerMacintosh line of machines, which used the new Motorola PowerPc processors.
Where can one find answers to questions about errors on the mac? You can find the answer at

There's a whole wiki on MacOsx,
One of the strange thoughts that hadn't occurred to me until I read through a history of the Macintosh (I don't remember which) was that until VisiCalc (a program that got popular on the Apple II family) businesses were not always aware of how much money they had.

<Shiver of sympathetic worry, followed by thrill of challenge> I, a product of the second half of the twentieth century, couldn't believe that the image of clever, thoughtful businessmen was founded on that sort of recklessness. Perhaps the first generation in space will wonder how we don't fear losing our air.


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