Thirty years ago today — January 24, 1984 — the Apple Macintosh went on sale for the first time.
Arriving in stores two days after the SuperBowl airing of the famous “1984” television commercial directed by Ridley Scott, the Macintosh 128K forever changed the way people look at personal computers. It wasn’t Apple’s first mass market computer (that would have been the Apple II), it wasn’t the company’s first machine to use a WIMP interface (windows, icons, mouse pointer), and it was pretty underpowered in its first iteration — but this was the computer that brought everything that was good and innovative about the Apple brand together: the ease of use, the focus on personal creativity, and the idea that there was something better going on in computing than the green-text-on-black-screens that were more or less ubiquitous everywhere else.
The Macintosh 128K (the 128K was your RAM) raced along at 8 MHz, featured two serial ports, and was able to accommodate one 3.5’ floppy disc. It ran Mac OS 1.0, arrived with a 9’ black-and-white monitor, and carried a price tag of $2,500 (the equivalent of around $5,000 today.)
Apple Macintosh, we salute you!
To celebrate, here’s the original contact sheet featuring many of the names of those who worked on the Mac, reproduced inside first edition versions of the Macintosh 128K, “because real artists sign their work”:
- Thanks Macintosh team