If You Can Point, You Can Use a Macintosh [What’s Old Is New]

If You Can Point

I picked up a Magic Trackpad this weekend, and while browsing Apple’s instructions printed on the box was struck by the similarity between the tagline and photo of the hand with the trackpad, and the original ads for the Macintosh and its revolutionary mouse back in 1984. As well as how much simpler the directions for use are today.

Look familiar?

Back in the day, Apple said if you can point, you can use a Macintosh. Point and click. That tagline and the photo of a finger about to click a mouse is an iconic image from the launch of the Mac.

If You Can Point Ad

Oldtimers may recall that it took three pages in the original Macintosh owner’s manual to explain to the user how to use this newfangled thing called a mouse. Here’s an excerpt:

Using Mouse 001

• • •

Fast forward almost three decades, the mouse is on its way out, and the tagline now reads let your fingers do the clicking, scrolling, and swiping. Nice nod to Ma Bell. Insert an updated photo and it’s like nothing has changed – except today we can swipe, pinch & zoom, and the complete set of instructions for using the Magic Trackpad fits on the back of the box!

Using Trackpad001

Covers the topic pretty adequately though. And there’s still only one button on the thing.

The more things change…

Let your fingers do the clicking

  • Bob Forsberg

    I don’t see the similarity…one is left handed the other is right handed.

  • Jeff

    It’s still not ideal for photo editing and layout and design. 

  • netnerd258

    the trackpad is pretty awesome for some things, but I fell back on using a mouse because of Click+Drag is difficult for things like sliders, is there a way to tap+drag? I know you can tap drag windows and apps around.

    And for webpage drop down menus, with a mouse that has a scroll wheel, you can scroll the contents easily, but you can’t do that on a trackpad, or am I missing something. But I do love scrolling using this, and the back and forth gestures is so good, so is activate Expose.

  • Adam Rosen

    I’m finding the trackpad very nice for scrolling around pages, but for fine cursor control and finding my target quickly the mouse still wins.  I have both side by side on the desk right now.

  • MacAdvisor

    I agree, the hands look completely different. Notice the prominent lunula in the thumb of the track pad user, but there is only a trace of one in the hand clicking on the mouse. The hands are clearly from two entirely differently people. 

  • TylerHoj

    I love the magic trackpad, I can’t be the only guy who hates the magic mouse. It awkward using swipe gestures on something non stationary. I’m all about the trackpad. Once you go track, you never go back. 

  • TylerHoj

    Your missing something bud. Go to system pref > trackpad you can enable tap to drag and two-finger scrolling. The days of the scroll bar are over, especially with Lion. 

  • xinu

    thats why the mouse is unlikely to be replaced any time soon. Mice and touch screens are not sensitive and precise enough.

  • joewaylo

    They are from two different people. The Mac photo of then was 1984 and probably was 30 then (guessing, don’t know for real). If he was 30, then today he would be 57 years old and the hand would be more aged.

  • joewaylo

    I agree. I like the trackpad better. After leaving gaming behind and swapping to more important things like editing photos and videos, trackpad makes more sense to utilize.

  • joewaylo

    Goto system preferences-trackpad-then press one of the top tabs to show more options
    There are several abilities not enabled by default. One of which includes tap one then tap+hold to drag.

    It takes practice to slowly tap as rapid double tap zooms in.

  • joewaylo

    You can adjust the scroller speed to rapidly get there. Open system preferences-trackpad-then on the top there’s a slider that adjusts the cursor speed. After you adjust, it’ll zip across the screen from a single swipe.

  • Adam Rosen

    Yes, they are two different people.  The similarity is in the composition of the photos, and the pithy text copy.  

  • Adam Rosen

    Yes, they are two different people.  The similarity is in the composition of the photos, and the pithy text copy.  

About the author

Adam RosenAdam Rosen is an Apple certified IT consultant specializing in Macintosh systems new and old. He lives in Boston with two cats and too many possessions. In addition to membership in the Cult of Mac, Adam has written for Low End Mac and is curator of the Vintage Mac Museum. He also enjoys a good libation.

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