29 years ago today a young Steve Jobs introduced the world to the new generation of Apple computers, the Macintosh . The idea behind this new machine was to bring the graphic interface closer to the domestic market, which was emerging at the time and dominated by IBM. As a reminder, today we will go over ten curiosities from the moment the mythical and legendary Macintosh was launched:
1.- The original Macintosh was on sale for $2495 of the time. Despite the high price, it was considered affordable compared to its predecessor, the Apple Lisa, which cost $9995.
2.- The Macintosh project was known in its early stages as “Project Annie”. Jef Raskin, one of the key people in the development of the Mac and a genius of machine-user interfaces, changed the name to “Macintosh”. Originally they wanted it to be called McIntosh , like the well-known apple variety, but the brand already existed and Apple couldn’t buy it.
3.- During the legal battle, Apple considered acronyms such as MAC , in reference to “Mouse Activated Computer” ( ), which in the end, is how we know it today (even though it is not an acronym, but the shortened word “Macintosh”). The development team made jokes with the MAC acronym saying that it meant “Meaningless Acronym Computer” ( computer with a meaningless acronym ).
4.- The first Apple mice only had one button. This was also Jef Raskin’s “fault”. When they saw PARC prototypes, with three-button mice, Raskin thought they were too complicated. ” How do you know which button to press at any given time? “, Raskin used to say. Let’s remember that the mouse at that time needed an instruction manual because users didn’t know what it was. Raskin designed the single button mouse for Apple but gave it all the other software features . He had just invented the graphical selection of multiple elements by dragging an area and dragging objects across the interface.
5 .- During the launch of the Macintosh, journalists of the time referred to it as a ” Lisa mini “. From Apple several people in charge of the Macintosh project said that they considered it to be exactly the opposite, the Lisa was a “Macintosh maxi”.
6.- The original Macintosh File System (MFS) was completely flat: all files were in one directory . The hierarchical representation was organized by the operating system via software.
The first Macintosh operating system, called System 1 , fit on a 400KB floppy disk that was included with the computer.
8.- One year after the launch of the Macintosh, Apple renamed the latest generation of the Lisa to Macintosh XL , to present it as a high-end model. Due to the low sales of the original Lisa, Apple lowered the price of the XL to $4000, which tripled their sales, something they were not prepared for. They lost money by increasing production to meet the new demand.
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The mouse, the graphic interface, new applications, portability, miniaturization of components…
10.- During the first 100 days of the launch, Apple gave away MacWrite and MacPaint with the purchase of a Macintosh. MacWrite amazed the journalists of the time with its ability to change the typeface and size, as well as being the first “affordable” computer with a real “what you see is what you get” When you sent a document to be printed on Apple Image Writer’s (also new) printer, the result was the same as on screen. MacPaint as a basic drawing program sought to demonstrate the capabilities of the mouse and could export files to MacWrite to create illustrated articles in a very simple way.