TIAH: 1980s - page 2

Today in Apple history: Macintosh Plus brings big changes to Mac

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The MacIntosh Plus was arguably the first truly great Mac.
The MacIntosh Plus was arguably the first truly great Mac.
Photo: Rama/Wikipedia CC

January 16: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Plus brings big changes to Mac January 16, 1986: Apple introduces the Macintosh Plus, its third Mac model and the first to be released after Steve Jobs was forced out of the company the previous year.

The Mac Plus boasts an expandable 1MB of RAM and a double-sided 800KB floppy drive. And it’s the first Macintosh to include a SCSI port, which serves as the main way of attaching a Mac to other devices (at least until Apple abandons the tech on the iMac G3 upon Jobs’ return).

Today in Apple history: Apple IPO mints instant millionaires

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
December 12, 1980, was an incredibly important day for Apple.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/401Calculator

December 12: Today in Apple history: Apple goes public at $22 per share, minting instant millionaires December 12, 1980: Apple goes public, floating 4.6 million shares on the stock market at $22 per share. The Apple IPO is the biggest tech public offering of its day, and more than 40 out of 1,000 Apple employees become instant millionaires.

As Apple’s biggest shareholder, 25-year-old Steve Jobs ends the day with a net worth of $217 million. However, the big payday triggers internal tensions as it highlights Cupertino’s class divide.

Today in Apple history: Too little, too late for Apple III

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Apple relaunched the ill-fated Apple III, hoping to fix the computer's big problems.
Apple relaunched its ill-fated Apple III, hoping to address some serious problems with the original model.
Photo: Alker33/YouTube

December 1: Today in Apple history: Apple III relaunch December 1, 1981: After the disastrous rollout of the “next-gen” Apple III the previous year, Apple corrects the computer’s most glaring hardware faults and relaunches it.

Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. Apple experiences its first “flop” product with the Apple II‘s doomed successor.

Today in Apple History: Bill Gates hails Mac as the future of computing

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates offered high praise for the Mac in 1984.
Image: Fulvio Obregon

November 26: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates praises Macintosh November 26, 1984: “The next generation of interesting software will be done on the Macintosh, not the IBM PC,” claims Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a BusinessWeek cover story.

The claim would seem almost unthinkable coming out of Gates’ mouth just a few years later. But it lands at a time when Microsoft is best known as one of the biggest Mac developers.

Today in Apple history: Microsoft reveals its plans for Windows 1.0

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This is how Windows 1.0 looked when it shipped.
This is how Windows 1.0 looked when it shipped.
Screenshot: Microsoft

November 10: Today in Apple history: Microsoft Windows 1.0 November 10, 1983: Microsoft tells the world about an upcoming product called Windows that will bring the graphical user interface to IBM PCs. Although Microsoft’s announcement about the new operating system comes before Apple launches the Mac in 1984, Windows 1.0 won’t actually ship until November 1985, earning it an early reputation as “vaporware.”

At the time, Apple doesn’t view Windows as much of a threat. That doesn’t take long to change, however.

Today in Apple history: World gets a chance to test-drive a Mac

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Apple's innovative
Apple's innovative "Test Drive a Macintosh" ad campaign urged potential customers to take a Mac for a spin.
Photo: Apple

November 8: Today in Apple history: Test-drive a Mac November 8, 1984: After initial Mac sales prove disappointing, Apple CEO John Sculley dreams up the “Test Drive a Macintosh” campaign to encourage people to give the revolutionary new computer a chance.

The promotional strategy advises people in possession of a credit card to drop into their local retailer and “borrow” a Macintosh for 24 hours. The idea is that, by the time potential customers need to return the Mac, they will have built up a bond with it — and realized they can’t live without one of Apple’s computers.

While 200,000 would-be customers take advantage of the offer, Apple dealers absolutely hate it.

Today in Apple history: The world prepares for the NeXT Computer

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People couldn't wait to discover Steve Jobs' next move at NeXT Computer.
People couldn't wait to discover Steve Jobs' next move.
Image: Newsweek

October 24 Today in Apple history: World prepares for the NeXT Computer October 24, 1988: Three years after leaving Apple, Steve Jobs prepares to launch the NeXT Computer, a machine he hopes will cement his reputation as a tech genius and blow away the machines produced by Cupertino.

The new NeXT Computer receives a wave of positive publicity. Fawning stories show exactly what the 33-year-old Jobs has been working on — and what’s coming next.

Today in Apple history: Apple lays out its core company values

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Cupertino sums up
Cupertino sums up "Apple Values" in an exuberant document.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Sep 23 Today in Apple history: Cupertino lays out its core Apple Values September 23, 1981: Years before Steve Jobs would tell us to “think different” and Tim Cook would say Apple should act as a “force for good,” Cupertino lays out what it calls its “Apple Values.”

In a memo, management defines Apple Values as “the qualities, customs, standards and principles that the company as a whole regards as desirable. They are the basis for what we do and how we do it. Taken together, they identify Apple as a unique company.”

Today in Apple history: The first portable Macintosh arrives

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The Macintosh Portable presaged Apple's move into mobile
The Macintosh Portable offered a (really heavy) glimpse of the future.
Photo: Macworld

September 20: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Portable, the first battery-powered Mac, arrives September 20, 1989: Apple releases the Macintosh Portable, the first battery-powered Mac you could take on the road.

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

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: Steve Jobs leaves and rejoins Apple September 16, 1985 and 1997: Twice on this day, Steve Jobs makes significant moves with regard to his career at Apple. In 1985, he quits the company he co-founded. Then, a little more than a decade later, he officially rejoins Apple 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: 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 history: Osborne Computer Corporation, one of Apple's earliest rivals, bites the dust September 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 didn’t last!

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

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Apple Mac
The "Fat Mac" solved one of the original Mac's biggest problems.
Photo: Apple

September 10: Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512K, aka the 'Fat Mac,' quadruples the memory 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 Steve Wozniak's first venture outside Apple.
Photo: Glenn Aveni/Kickstarter

September 3: Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak stages athe first US Festival, an epic music and tech event September 3, 1982: The Us Festival, an extravagant music and technology event staged by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, kicks off in California. The festival 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 surviving 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 history September 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: Apple's war with IBM commences with IBM Personal Computer launch August 12, 1981: The launch of the IBM Personal Computer ignites a long-running Apple-versus-PC rivalry.

Secure in the Apple II’s technical superiority over the new PC, Apple welcomes International Business Machines to the personal computing party in a full-page ad in the pages of The Wall Street Journal. Things won’t stay positive for long.

Today in Apple history: MultiFinder brings multitasking to Mac

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MultiFinder running on the Macintosh
MultiFinder let you switch between running applications from the Apple menu — you could even see two apps side by side on your desktop!
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

August 11: Today in Apple history: MultiFinder brings multitasking to Mac August 11, 1987: MultiFinder brings the biggest software update to the Mac since its launch: multitasking with two apps on screen at once.

While MultiFinder brings an undeniable boost to the Macintosh’s technical capabilities, it is built on a shaky foundation that soon will begin to show its age.

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: Today in Apple history: Macintosh SE gets supersized storage August 1, 1989: Apple gives the Macintosh SE a storage bump, courtesy of the new SuperDrive in the new Mac SE FDHD. The high-density floppy disks the SuperDrive uses offer 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.

Today in Apple history: Apple launches ill-fated Lisa project

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Take a sneak peek at upcoming Apple Lisa documentary
The Lisa became one of Apple's first flops.
Photo: Auction Team Breker


July 30, 1979: Today in Apple history: Apple launches ill-fated Lisa computer project July 30, 1979: Apple engineers begin work on the Lisa computer, the company’s first machine to come with a graphical user interface and mouse.

Incorporating technology Steve Jobs saw at Xerox PARC, the Lisa looks like a surefire hit for Apple. Things don’t turn out exactly like that, however.

Today in Apple history: Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman is born

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Kate Winslet (left) plays Joanna Hoffman (right) in Steve Jobs.
Kate Winslet (left) played Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman in Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic.
Photos: Kate Winslet/Apple


July 27: Today in Apple history: Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman birthday July 27, 1955: Joanna Hoffman, who will join the original Macintosh and NeXT teams and become Steve Jobs’ first right-hand woman, is born in Poland.

Six months younger than Jobs, the marketing executive is one of the few people willing and able to stand up to the oftentimes-fierce Apple co-founder during the first part of his career.

Today in Apple history: Windows scores big victory over Mac

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac


July 25: Today in Apple history: Windows scores big legal victory over Mac when judge throws out Apple's copyright infringement claims July 25, 1989: Apple suffers a major setback in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against Microsoft for allegedly stealing the Mac’s “look and feel” to create Windows.

Apple sued Microsoft on 189 counts of copyright infringement relating to Windows 2.0.3. The judge overseeing the case throws out 179 of them. This paves the way for Microsoft’s dominance over Apple in the coming decade.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs visits the Soviet Union

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Soviet Apple flag
Steve Jobs' one and only trip to the Soviet Union yielded lots of intrigue.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac


July 4: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs visits the Soviet Union July 4, 1985: Steve Jobs visits Moscow for the first time, with the aim of selling Macs to the Russians.

During his two-day trip, Jobs lectures computer science students in the Soviet Union, attends a Fourth of July party at the American embassy and discusses opening a Mac factory in Russia. He also reportedly almost runs afoul of the KGB by praising assassinated Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates took this strategy and made himself a multibillionaire.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon


June 25: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS June 25, 1985: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates sends a memo to Apple execs suggesting that Cupertino should license its Mac operating system and additional technology to other companies.

Apple CEO John Sculley and Macintosh boss Jean Louis Gassée ignore the advice of the 30-year-old Gates, who at the time is best known as a Mac developer. Five months later, Microsoft releases Windows 1.0.