Apple today is the biggest company on the planet and what better way to celebrate it than with the launch of the original Macintosh exactly 29 years ago. Thursday marks exactly 29 years to the day since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh — a computer that would forever change the world of computing.
On January 24, 1984, Apple Computer Inc. (now Apple Inc.) introduced the Macintosh personal computer, with the Macintosh 128K model, which came bundled with what was later renamed the Mac OS, but then known simply as the System Software. The Macintosh is generally credited with popularizing the graphical user interface. The Mac OS has been pre-installed on almost every Macintosh computer sold.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook acknowledged the anniversary in his company’s quarterly earnings call on Wednesday. The CEO took the opportunity to make opening remarks in which he marked the nearly three decades since the Macintosh “revolution” began.
“On January 24, 1984, Steve introduced the first Macintosh right here at a shareholder meeting in Cupertino,” Cook said. “On the evening news that night, they said it was supposed to be one of the easiest computers to use, and thanks to the new mouse, you hardly had to touch the keyboard.
“We’ve come a long way since 1984, but we rely on the same spirit and drive that brought the original Mac and other revolutionary products like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad into the world.”
The now-iconic presentation from company co-founder Steve Jobs given in 1984 featured the Macintosh 128K cloaked within a bag, adding an element of mystery to the proceedings. Jobs then removed the Macintosh and its accompanying mouse from the bag, and pulled a 3.5-inch floppy disk from the inside of his jacket pocket to boot the machine, drawing laughs and applause from the audience.
Upon starting, the Macintosh began to play the theme song from “Chariots of Fire” and scrolled the word “MACINTOSH” across the screen. The demonstration also had Jobs’s signature phrase, “insanely great,” written out in cursive on the Macintosh display.
Other features demonstrated showed word processing, fonts, graphics editing, a calculator, and a chess game. But the biggest surprise came at the end of the presentation.
“Now we’ve done a lot of talking about Macintosh recently, but today, for the first time ever, I’d like to let Macintosh speak for itself,” Jobs said before the computer’s text-to-speech functionality was showcased.
“Hello, I’m Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag,” the machine read aloud, drawing huge cheers from those in attendance at the shareholder meeting.
The presentation also featured a jab at IBM, the company that was then Apple’s chief rival, as the Macintosh told the audience to “never trust a computer you can’t lift!” Here is the video for your pleasure.