Computer Systems
Apple’s Mac Celebrates 25 Years
On Super Bowl Sunday 25 years ago, Apple unleashed Mac on us, and the company's getting some anniversary love for the iconic computer now.
apple mac
Apple’s Macintosh has a silver anniversary this weekend.
January 23, 2009 by Arlen Schweiger

Some youngins may not remember, but Apple was around for a while before iPod, iPhone and iTunes—and yes, it was the innovator it still is now, only back then the crux was the personal computer.

This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Apple Macintosh, so we thought we’d gather up some of how the blogosphere’s commemorating that original launch, itself a leap from other Apple computers already in people’s homes.

Of course, it began with a Ridley Scott-directed 60-second ad during a Super Bowl in which the Raiders beat up on the defending champion Redskins, highlighted by Marcus Allen’s signature touchdown run. For many viewers that day, the other video highlight etched in their minds was the one-time ad that played on the 1984 theme that obviously loomed large that year because of George Orwell’s famed novel. See below to watch that famous Apple ad.

Five days later, the Los Angeles Times published Larry Magid’s glowing review of the 128K Mac, which sold for $2,495. For a sense of time warp, it features lines like:

  • The Macintosh is as innovative today as the Apple II was in 1977.
  • Once you’ve set up your machine, you insert the main system disk, turn on the power, and in a minute you are presented with the introductory screen. Apple calls it your “desk top”.
  • The company is banking on the machine’s simplicity and modest price to attract “millions” of users over the next few years.

Well, it has attracted millions, though in computers only a small marketshare compared with Microsoft. Still, the innovation, aesthetics, ease of use—and a bit of the hip factor—translated into huge success and branding. CNET has a bunch of reader stories about how the original Mac changed their lives (ok, maybe strong but at least their fond reminisces).

To check out how Apple continued to evolve after the Mac introduction—including through the years it somehow continued on in Steve Jobs’ absence—Wired has a cool graphic timeline to go with its coverage.

In fact, there’s so much loyalty to Apple and Jobs that a documentary has been made called “MacHEADS” that details the enthusiasm.

So how about yourself—are you a Mac? Tell us why you love Mac in the comments, and take a trip back and enjoy the 1984 Super Bowl ad below.


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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

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