News Column

Thirty years of Macintosh

January 25, 2014



Thirty years ago, Apple Inc., then known as Apple Computer, introduced its latest addition to the computing world, the Apple Macintosh, at Super Bowl XVIII in its now famous "1984" ad. Two days later, Apple would release the Macintosh to the public, making computing accessible to almost anyone. Prior to the Macintosh's release, computers with graphical user interfaces, or GUIs, were relegated to the wealthy and corporations, with prices that started around $10,000 to even access such graphical power in a computer. Using GUI designs from the Apple Lisa and some concepts from Xerox'sPARC project (Jobs managed to see the Xerox Alto and Smalltalk development tools in exchange for Apple stock options), the Apple Macintosh started a "revolution" of sorts. Before the Apple Macintosh, the general personal computing world that was dominated by IBM and computer companies such as Commodore International that focused their efforts on text-based interfaces. While this shift to a GUI-based environment by Apple initially irked software developers who had to recode and redesign their software to work with the new environment, the revolutionary design by Apple, coupled with the Macintosh's affordable (by middle-class standards) price of $2,495 (about $5,594 today adjusted for inflation) served to make the Macintosh accessible to more than just computer enthusiasts. It was a computer for everyone.

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Source: Daily Tribune (Bahrain)


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