The Mac was introduced thirty years ago today on the Super Bowl with the now famous ad directed by Ridley Scott, and won numerous awards. Advertising Age called it the top ad from a pool of the 50 best commercials of all time.
But I had a sneak-peek in November of 1983 when, while in Hawaii with all the other sales and marketing folks from around the world, Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh to the company and showed us the commercial!
Though forced to use PCs at many of the companies I worked at over the years, I did so reluctantly while always owning my own machines…and those machines were almost always Macs (had to buy PCs only for our business accounting). If not for the Mac my wife’s business would never have started 28 years ago (one we now run together…you can read the story about its founding here) and all the creative stuff I’ve done over the years can be directly attributed to, what Steve Jobs describes in this short video snippet, is how Macintosh is like a “bicycle for our minds.”
Every month I get pinged by family, friends, colleagues and clients of mine who are increasingly turning away from PCs and buying Macs (and I’m probably not alone since Apple’s U.S. Mac sales surge 28.5% as Windows PC market drops 7.5%). Though their embrace of the Mac is nice validation that I wasn’t actually nuts and made poor strategic personal computing choices for decades, as I coach and assist folks today with using Macs I continually am asked, “Damn! How do you know all of this stuff!?!” My answer always is, “Um…because I’ve worked, played, created, and loved Macs essentially my entire adult life.“
Though my iPhone couldn’t be pried from my cold, dead hands and I’d be saddened if my iPad was gone, if the Mac went away it would negatively impact everything I do with a personal computer: web development; photography; video; page layout and interactive PDFs; ebook creation; podcasting; and so much more.
Thanks to anyone and everyone who created the original Mac, have worked on it over the years, and are now carrying it in to the future. I’ll keep buying ’em as long as I can.
Here is a short video of my kids using the first iMac, one which I was sent since I worked in Apple Business at the time and needed to demo it:
MACINTOSH HISTORY LINKS
If you’re interested in exploring more about the history of Macintosh, here are some great places for you to go and poke around:
- Folklore.org has compiled 120 anecdotes about the development of Apple’s original Macintosh, and the people who made it, along with a tremendous amount of information about Macintosh
- Andy Hertzfeld, one of the key members on the Macintosh team, wrote this background piece on the 1984 Super Bowl commercial…and how it almost got cancelled!
- Stanford University has this Making the Macintosh archive filled with stuff I’ve not seen available anywhere else. In particular check out this page on the guy with the original vision for Macintosh, Jef Raskin.
- Wikipedia has this page on Macintosh and this page on the History of Mac OS.
- Want to see every Mac make and model ever made? Check out EveryMac.com.
- A fun old page on the original Macintosh here at OldComputers.net.
- Mac History has a very nice compilation of articles, videos, ads and more.