Today in Apple history: Mac’s ‘1984’ ad debuts in theaters

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1984
Before it won the Super Bowl, Apple's iconic Mac ad invaded theaters.
Photo: Chiat/Day/Apple

January 17: Today in Apple history: Mac's '1984' ad debuts in theaters January 17, 1984: A week before its famous airing during Super Bowl XVIII, Apple’s iconic “1984” ad debuts as a trailer in movie theaters.

To hype its revolutionary new Macintosh computer, Apple buys several months of promotion from theatrical ad distributor ScreenVision. Cupertino’s sci-fi-tinged “1984” spot — which depicts a sledgehammer-wielding freedom fighter taking on a Big Brother figure supposed to represent IBM —
gets such a favorable audience reaction that some theater owners continue to roll the ad after Apple’s contract ends.

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 is also the first Macintosh to include a SCSI port, the main way of attaching a Mac to other devices until Apple abandoned the tech on the iMac G3 upon Jobs’ return. The Mac Plus also boasted an expandable 1MB of RAM and a double-sided 800KB floppy drive.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces the MacBook Pro

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The original MacBook Pro brought innovative features (and stirred up a bit of controversy).
The original MacBook Pro brought innovative features (and stirred up a bit of controversy).
Photo: Apple

January 10: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs introduces the MacBook Pro January 10, 2006: Steve Jobs unveils the original 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple’s thinnest, fastest and lightest laptop yet.

Building on the previous PowerBook G4 laptop, the new laptop adds dual-core Intel processors for the first time. The MacBook Pro immediately makes waves in the tech community. And did we mention its awesome MagSafe connector?

Today in Apple history: Apple’s ‘unreleased’ Mac OS ships to devs

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Remember Mac OS Copland? Probably not from using it.
Remember Mac OS Copland? Probably not from using it.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac/Ste Smith

November 17: Today in Apple history: Mac OS Copland, Apple's 'unreleased' Mac OS, ships to developers November 17, 1995: Apple releases the first beta version of its new Copland operating system to around 50 Mac developers.

Not so much a Mac OS update as a totally new operating system, it offers next-gen features designed to help Apple take on the then-mighty Windows 95. Sadly, it will never reach the public.

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: When initial Mac sales prove disappointing, Apple CEO John Sculley dreams up the “Test Drive a Macintosh” campaign to encourage people to give Apple’s revolutionary new computer a chance.

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

Today in Apple history: Apple preps for Mac App Store’s big debut

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The Mac App Store opens its doors to developers.
The Mac App Store opens its doors to developers.
Photo: Apple

November 3: Today in Apple history: Mac App Store launchNovember 3, 2010: Apple prepares to launch the Mac App Store, publicly accepting app submissions from registered developers — and kicking off a gold rush among coders.

After witnessing the enormous sums of money raked in by early entrants in the iOS App Store, developers flood Apple with new Mac apps.

Today in Apple history: Dell PCs overtake Macs in education market

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eMac
Steve Jobs was accused of failing one of Apple's most popular markets.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

October 27: Today in Apple history: Dell PCs overtake Macs in education market October 27, 1999: Dell Computer overtakes Apple in the educational market, stealing Cupertino’s crown as the top company selling computers to U.S. schools.

Steve Jobs, who is still in the process of rebuilding Apple after its near-collapse in the 1990s, faces heavy criticism for ignoring one of the company’s strongest markets.