Today in Apple history: Apple clears the ‘bozo explosion’

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This was one of the worst (but significant) days in Apple history.
Photo: Bonhams

February 25 Today in Apple historyFebruary 25, 1981: Apple CEO Michael Scott oversees a mass firing of employees, then holds a massive party.

“I used to say that when being CEO at Apple wasn’t fun anymore, I’d quit,” he tells a crowd of Apple staffers. “But now I’ve changed my mind – when being CEO isn’t fun anymore, I’ll just fire people until it is fun again.” For many people at Apple, the day is the worst in company history — and an early sign that the fun startup culture of the early days is already behind it.

Today in Apple history: Mac creator complains about Steve Jobs

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Jobs
Young Steve Jobs wasn't exactly easy to work with!
Photo: Esther Dyson/Flickr CC

February 19 Today in Apple historyFebruary 19, 1981: Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh project, sends a memo to Apple CEO Mike Scott, listing his many complaints about working with Steve Jobs.

He claims that Jobs, who joined the Mac team the previous month, is tardy, shows bad judgment, interrupts people, doesn’t listen and is a bad manager.

Today in Apple history: Young Steve Jobs appears on Time cover

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With Steve Jobs first Time magazine cover, he becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Steve Jobs becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 15: Today in Apple history: Young Steve Jobs appears on Time magazine cover February 15, 1982: Steve Jobs appears on the front cover of Time magazine for the first time, becoming the public face of successful tech entrepreneurship.

The first of many Time covers for Jobs, the article — titled “Striking It Rich: America’s Risk Takers” — casts him as the prototypical young upstart benefiting from the still-new personal computing revolution. It also identifies him as part of a surge of freshly minted millionaires running their own businesses.

Today in Apple history: Mac mania sweeps magazine racks

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The Macintosh? It'll never catch on!
The Macintosh? It'll never catch on!
Image: Cult of Mac/Ste Smith

February 13: Today in Apple history: Mac mania sweeps magazine racks February 13, 1984: The arrival of the first Macintosh is met with enormous amounts of excitement by the tech press, as epitomized by InfoWorld magazine.

Given the pre-internet lead time delay with the print media, it takes a few weeks after the January 24 release of the Macintosh for the computer to appear in magazines. When it does, it’s a pretty immediate hit.

Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak survives a plane crash

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The Woz tells it like it is.
A plane crash marked the beginning of a leave of absence for Woz.
Photo: Universal Pictures

February 7: Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak survives a plane crash February 7, 1981: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is involved in a serious plane crash, resulting in his first lengthy leave of absence from the company.

At the time, Wozniak is flying a turbocharged single-engine, six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza A36TC. In the plane with Woz is his fiancé, Candi Clark, her brother and her brother’s girlfriend. Fortunately, nobody dies in the crash, although Woz suffers minor head injuries.

Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak leaves Apple

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Steve Wozniak wax sculpture fake eyes
Woz was upset at the lack of respect shown to the Apple II division.
Photo: Madame Tussauds

February 6: Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak leaves Apple February 6, 1985: Frustrated by Apple’s shifting priorities, co-founder Steve Wozniak leaves the company to pursue outside interests.

His departure from Apple — which comes the same year that Steve Jobs leaves to form NeXT — represents a big change for the company. It is brought about by Woz’s dissatisfaction at how the Apple II division is treated, and his desire to start a new company.

Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first Mac

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Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K in an original Mac ad.
Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K.
Photo: Apple

January 24: Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first MacJanuary 24, 1984: Apple ships its first Mac, the mighty Macintosh 128K.

Bringing a mouse and graphical user interface to the masses, and heralded by an acclaimed Super Bowl commercial that’s still talked about today, the first-gen Mac will quickly become one of the most important personal computers ever released.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh Office gets down to business

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Macintosh Office delivered on the dream of Macs that could talk to one another.
Macintosh Office delivered on the dream of Macs that could talk to one another.
Photo: Apple

January 23: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Office gets down to business January 23, 1985: Apple introduces Macintosh Office, a combination of hardware and software that represents the company’s first real attempt at cracking the business world dominated by IBM.

Macintosh Office allows Macs to talk to one another and introduces amazing new devices like the LaserWriter printer that work with the business-oriented platform.

Sadly, it won’t work out quite as Apple had hoped.

Today in Apple history: Sequel to ‘1984’ Mac ad bombs hard

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The "Lemmings" ad was a massive disaster for Apple.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

January 20: Today in Apple history: 'Lemmings' sequel to '1984' Mac ad bombs hard January 20, 1985: Apple attempts to build on the triumph of the previous year’s “1984” Macintosh commercial with another Super Bowl ad.

Called “Lemmings,” the ad for a new business platform called The Macintosh Office depicts blindfolded executives marching to their doom. The widely reviled ad will go down in history as one of Apple’s biggest stinkers.