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Apple celebrates 30 years since the first Mac

Tom Morgan
24 Jan 2014
Apple Mac
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Apple's first Mac computer launched thirty years ago today. Here's some other reasons why 1984 was so great

Steve Jobs unveiled the first Mac Computer thirty years ago today at an Apple shareholders meeting in Cupertino, California. Today, the company is celebrating in typical Apple fashion, with a beautifully designed yet incredibly gushing interactive timeline complete with equally "inspirational" video interviewing Mac owners throughout the years.

The Original Apple Mac, otherwise known as the Macintosh 128K and made famous by the Ridley Scott-directed 1984 Superbowl advert, cost $2,495 when it first went on sale on the 24th of January 1984. It had a Motorola 68000 microprocessor, 128 KB of DRAM, a 9in, black and white CRT display with a fixed 512×342 resolution and a 400 KB, single-sided 3.5-inch floppy disk drive which contained the operating system. Users would have to swap out the disk in order to run programs, as there wasn't enough memory to contain the OS and the program at the same time.

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iFixit, the website best known for its teardowns of the latest Apple products and repairability index, have joined in with the fun by tearing down an original Mac alongside a 2013 iMac.

Apple also wants to hear from Mac owners, past and present. A very slick interactive questionnaire plots Mac owners, their first Mac product and what they mainly use if for. It's illuminating to see the original 1984 owners mainly used their Mac for teaching, engineering or programming, while those that first joined the Apple family in the 2010's almost exclusively use theirs for browsing the internet and checking email.

1984 gave us a lot

We're all up for a bit of a celebration, but it's important to remember 1984 had a lot more to give than just beautifully designed yet incredibly expensive computers. Here are just a few of the highlights:

5. The Space Shuttle Discovery made its maiden voyage. Twenty seven years later it has completed 39 successful missions into space, more than any other shuttle in history.

4. Some of the best TV shows of the 1980's aired for the first time, including Cheers, Dynasty, Knight Rider, The A-Team and Magnum, P.I.

3. Gaming was already growing, but it exploded in 1984. The Russians gave us the original version of Tetris, while the Atari 8-bit had Gauntlet and the BBC Micro had Elite.

2. Music fans had their pick of genres in 1984, with The Smiths releasing their self-titled debut LP, parody band Spinal tap proving they could rock with the best of them, Frankie Goes to Hollywood welcoming us to the Pleasuredome and Van Halen unleashing Hot for Teacher on the world.

1. 1894 was arguably the greatest year of the decade for film, with releases including Gremlins, Beverly Hills Cop, The Karate Kid, Police Academy, The Terminator and Ghostbusters.

What have we missed that first arrived in 1984? Let us know on Twitter

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