HIPSTER COMPUTER the Apple Macintosh is thirty years old.
During the third quarter of Superbowl XVIII on 22 January 1984, a groundbreaking TV advertisement showed an athlete smashing a screen in an Orwellian nightmare while a voiceover explained to the viewing audience that "1984 won't be like 1984". It was shown on television only once.
The reason for the Superbowl ad was Apple's release of the Macintosh computer, known these days simply as the Mac, which has been responsible for brand loyalty approaching the dedication of a religious order.
From its first prototypes in the late '70s through the first production model released by Steve Jobs two days after the TV commercial aired and every subsequent model since then, the Mac has been considered a design classic.
That first model Macintosh, the successor to the failed Apple Lisa, had a mere 128kB of RAM that wouldn't even be enough run a smartphone today, and yet its charm and style won it many fans who experienced their first graphical user interface and mouse on a Mac.
Although because of its high price it holds a tiny share of the overall computer market, its ubiquity is down to it having become the choice of graphics designers, musicians, composers and video editors - the types of people who don't wear suits to work.
Today, loyalty to Mac among its devotees is a strong as ever. The latest model, the Mac Pro is almost as far away from the "little white box" idea as it's possible to go, as it's an ominous looking black cylinder, and yet somehow you instinctively know its a Mac.
So let's raise a toast to the Macintosh, because like it or loathe it, it really did "change everything".
Apple has put together a presentation about the Mac on its website. µ
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