Today in Apple history: The first portable Macintosh arrives

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The Macintosh Portable presaged Apple's move into mobile
Remember the Macintosh Portable?
Photo: MacWorld

September 20 Today in Apple history September 20, 1989: Apple releases the Macintosh Portable, its pre-PowerBook attempt at introducing the world to a battery-powered Mac you could take on the move.

At a time when Tim Burton’s Batman is flying high in theaters, and Madonna is shocking audiences at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, this ahead-of-its-time product lays the groundwork for Apple’s later laptop revolution.

Today in Apple history: NeXT customers get early taste of OS X

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NeXTstep
NeXTSTEP was an operating system ahead of its time.
Photo: NeXTSTEP

September 18 Today in Apple historySeptember 18, 1989: Steve Jobs’ company NeXT Inc. ships version 1.0 of NeXTSTEP, its object-oriented, multitasking operating system.

Incredibly advanced for its time, NeXTSTEP is described by The New York Times as “Macintosh on steroids.” In an ironic twist, the operating system Jobs plans to use to compete with Cupertino turns out to be one of the things that saves Apple a decade later.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs leaves and rejoins Apple

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Steve Jobs before and after, with maybe a little judgement about water sales.
Two significant days in Jobs' career took place on this day.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

September 16 Today in Apple history September 16, 1985 and 1997: Twice on this date, Steve Jobs makes significant moves with regard to his career at Apple. In 1985, he quits the company he co-founded. Then, more than two decades later, he officially rejoins the company as its new interim CEO.

In terms of the emotions associated with those historic occasions, it’s hard to think of two more polarizing days in Jobs’ life.

Today in Apple history: The final Apple II model arrives

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The Apple IIc Plus was the sixth and final model in the Apple II line.
The sixth and final model in the Apple II series of computers.
Photo: TanRu Nomad

September 15 Today in Apple historySeptember 15, 1988: Apple releases the Apple IIc Plus, the sixth and final model in the Apple II computer series. It’s a great machine, with impressive capabilities, but suffers from poor marketing and support.

With the Mac around, Cupertino simply doesn’t seem interested in the Apple computer anymore.

Today in Apple history: One of Apple’s earliest rivals bites the dust

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The Osborne 1 portable computer proved ahead of its time.
Remember the Osborne 1 computer?
Photo: Tomislav Medak/Flickr CC

September 13 Today in Apple historySeptember 13, 1983: Osborne Computer Corporation, one of Apple’s early rivals, declares bankruptcy.

Many consider the company’s Osborne 1 the world’s first truly portable, full-featured computer. It packed everything users needed to set up shop at home or on the road. Alas, it doesn’t last!

Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512K, aka the ‘Fat Mac,’ quadruples the memory

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Apple Mac
Do you remember the Fat Mac?
Photo: Apple

September 10 Today in Apple history September 10, 1984: Apple ships the Macintosh 512K, the first upgrade to the first-gen Macintosh 128K.

Coming less than eight months after the original Macintosh, the 512K Mac makes no sweeping changes to the computer’s form factor. Instead, the big upgrade is quadrupling the RAM. This leads Apple fans to refer to the computer as the “Fat Mac.”

Today in Apple history: Woz stages an epic concert

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Unite US in Song
The Us Festival was Woz's first venture outside Apple.
Photo: Glenn Aveni/Kickstarter

September 3 Today in Apple history September 3, 1982: The Us Festival, an extravagant music and technology event staged by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, kicks off in California. The fest costs $8 million to stage, and boasts appearances from some of the biggest musical acts of the day.

It’s a wild venture for Woz, who is on hiatus from Apple after a serious plane crash in 1981.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs prepares to take on Apple

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Apple-at-40-What-Steve-Jobs-Said-About-Computers-in-1981
1985 was a major turning point in Jobs' life.
Photo: ABC

2 September Today in Apple historySeptember 2, 1985: Reports claim Steve Jobs is on the verge of setting up his own company to compete with Apple. The rumors fly after Jobs sells Apple stock holdings worth $21.43 million.

For anyone who thinks speculation about Apple’s future is an invention of the blog era, today’s “Today in Apple history” is a reminder that the tech rumor mill was alive and well in 1985.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s war with IBM commences

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IBM PC 5150: The IBM Personal Computer
This unassuming IBM Personal Computer started the Apple versus PC feud.
Photo: Boffy B/Wikipedia CC

August 12 Today in Apple history August 12, 1981: The launch of the IBM Personal Computer ignites the long-running Apple-versus-PC rivalry.

Secure in the Apple II’s technical superiority over the new PC, Apple welcomes IBM to the personal computing party in the pages of The Wall Street Journal. Things won’t stay positive for long.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh SE gets supersized storage

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The Mac SE FDHD was a mouthful to say -- but what a computer!
The Mac SE FDHD was a mouthful to say -- but what a computer!
Photo: Vetronic's Apple World

August 1 August 1, 1989: Apple gives the Macintosh SE a storage bump, courtesy of the new SuperDrive. Capable of handling high density floppy discs, the drive offers an astonishing 1.4MB of storage.

In terms of portable storage, it’s a big step up for most Mac owners. The HD floppy disks compare very favorably to the 400KB Single Side Double Density (SSDD) disks and 800KB Double Side Double Density (DDSD) disks in use at the time.