29 Years Ago: Apple Unveils the Mac

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On January 24, 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh. Wearing a suit and snappy bow tie, Steve Jobs sped through his introductory speech, rattling off specs and taking every opportunity to stick it to the IBM PC. "It eats [Intel] 8088s for breakfast," Jobs said of the Mac's Motorola 68000 CPU. "We're storing over 400 k-bytes of information on one side of a disk that can be put in your pocket," he said of the 3.5" floppy drive. "Macintosh has four-voice sound and speech built in," he intoned. The coup de grâce came when Jobs pulled the computer from its bag, retrieved a floppy from his pocket, and let the Mac run a demo as the crowd roared.

It was 29 years ago. For kids these days, it's important to see this stuff -- to understand how exciting it was to see a computer that cost "only" $2,495, could display various fonts of different sizes, drove a bitmapped display, and had (admittedly crappy) speech synthesis built-in. Take ten minutes and watch this video of Jobs introducing the Mac.

See also: Here's to the Crazy Ones.

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January 24, 2013 - 2:03pm
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