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: Letterpad gives us a preview of Apple Watch gaming

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Letterpad was one of the first games we got to see on Apple Watch.
'Letterpad' was one of the first games we got to see on Apple Watch.
Photo: NimbleBit

January 21: Today in Apple history: Letterpad gives us a preview of Apple Watch gamingJanuary 21, 2015: Months before the first Apple Watch goes on sale, users get a glimpse at what playing games might look like on the wearable.

Thanks to Apple making the WatchKit API available to third parties, game developer NimbleBit releases a mockup of its simple work-in-progess word game, Letterpad. Suddenly, we get a desire to play games on our wrist that we haven’t had since the days of the Nintendo Game & Watch three decades earlier.

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.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh SE/30 makes good on Mac’s promise

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The Mac SE/30 was the greatest Mac of its generation.
The Mac SE/30 was the greatest Mac of its generation.
Photo: Danamania/Wikipedia CC

January 19: Today in Apple history January 19, 1989: Apple introduces the Macintosh SE/30, arguably the greatest of the classic black-and-white compact Macs.

The SE/30 boasts a 16-MHz 68030 processor, either 40MB or 80MB hard drive, and a choice of 1MB or 4MB of RAM as standard — which, amazingly, can be expanded up to a whopping 128MB. Oh, and it packs a 1.4 MB SuperDrive, too.

When you picture the ideal 1980s Macintosh, this is likely the machine that comes to mind. And for good reason!

Today in Apple history: Unauthorized Apple II clone sparks big legal battle

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The Franklin Ace 1200 was, in some ways, a literal copy of the Apple II.
The Franklin Ace 1200 was, in some ways, a literal copy of the Apple II.
Photo: Bugbookmuseum

January 18: Today in Apple history: Franklin's unauthorized Apple II clone, the Franklin Ace 1200, sparks legal battle January 18, 1983: Computer manufacturer Franklin Electronic Publishers takes the wraps off its Franklin Ace 1200 computer, an unauthorized Apple II clone that leads to an important legal battle.

Cupertino will soon target Franklin’s line of unlicensed Apple clones with a lawsuit. In the resulting trial, a U.S. court will decide whether a company can protect its operating system by copyright.

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 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 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: MacBook Air becomes ‘world’s thinnest notebook’

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A plain manila envelope became a key stage prop for selling the MacBook Air.
A plain manila envelope became a key prop for selling the MacBook Air.
Photo: Apple

January 15: Today in Apple history: MacBook Air becomes 'world's thinnest notebook' January 15, 2008: Steve Jobs shows off the first MacBook Air at the 2008 Macworld conference, calling the revolutionary laptop the “world’s thinnest notebook.”

The 13.3-inch laptop measures only 0.76 inches at its thickest point and 0.16 inches at its tapered thinnest. It also boasts a unibody aluminum design. Apple’s engineering breakthrough allows the crafting of a complicated computer case from a single block of finely machined metal.

In a brilliant piece of showmanship, Jobs pulls the super-slim laptop out of a standard interoffice envelope during his keynote. (You can watch his introduction of the MacBook Air below).

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs takes a leave of absence

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Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs put his leave of absence down to a "hormone imbalance."
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

January 14: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs takes a leave of absence because of cancer January 14, 2009: Steve Jobs’ cancer worsens to the point that he takes a medical leave from Apple.

He is reluctant to take the time off. When he does, he keeps quiet about exactly how unwell he actually is. He calls “the curiosity over my personal health” a distraction caused by prying bloggers and reporters. Nonetheless, he acknowledges that his health problems “are more complex than I originally thought.”