back to article Apple’s Mac turns 30: How Steve Jobs’ baby took its first steps

Thirty years ago this Friday, at approximately 9:45am on Tuesday, 24 January, 1984, the Macintosh introduced itself after Steve Jobs unveiled it at an Apple shareholders' meeting in Cupertino's Flint Center for the Performing Arts. "Hello. I'm Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag," the odd-looking 16.5-pound box …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MacBook Air

    I have a two year old, 2011 13" model, and it runs better today (thanks to Mavericks) than it did the day I first switched it on! It is by far the best laptop I've owned. I hope Apple don't delete the MacBook Air line, in favour of a MaxiPad!

    1. Mark 65

      Re: MacBook Air

      Especially given it sounds like it should have wings.

  2. Jedit

    "Such a simple, obvious idea"

    Moving the keyboard on a laptop from the front to the back was far from an obvious idea. To get the maximum screen size on the minimum footprint, the screen needs to be as close to the hinge as possible. If the keyboard is at the back of the case, the user's hands will block his view of the bottom of the screen. Apple got around this by raising the screen, but users paid for it with a slightly smaller display and a significantly thicker device.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Such a simple, obvious idea"

      Were you using a laptop as you typed that? Any laptop will do. I'm typing this on a MacBook Air. If you were and bothered to check your assertion, you would realise how laughable it is. The screen could be all the way to the bottom of the display, with no bezel, and it would still be perfectly visible and obstruction free when you type. Where did you get your idea from? If it was a little 4 inch high red man with spiky horns who appears above the left side of your head whenever the topic is Apple, I suggest ignoring him in the future as failing to verify what he says reflects badly on you not him.

    2. TS

      Re: "Such a simple, obvious idea"

      "To get the maximum screen size on the minimum footprint..."

      LoL... are you kidding? Have you ever actually seen an old laptop from that era?

      There was *no* "maximum screen size", they all had small screens centered with 2"+ bezels around them. There's no need to "raise the screen", there was always plenty of room between the hinge and the screen.

      I loved my PB140 despite the passive matrix screen, it was much more usable than any PC laptop at the time. Spare batteries also helped. And the Portable Stylewriter, that was amazing, loved being able to work anywhere, creating designs and printing them out immediately to show clients was a huge boost back then.

  3. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Windows

    Alright, now I feel old.

  4. Alan Bourke

    Wired ethernet is not a rarity for laptops

    It was never common in the home, and in the office they're still most cabled in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wired ethernet is not a rarity for laptops

      Most offices I go into have wireless. Aside from the proliferation of various devices like phones, tablets and laptops which connect, we even ended up putting wireless dongles on our desktops as it just made networking so much easier without cabling and to manage everything in the same way.

      I think the Macbook air was ahead of the field here, kind of like when the first iMac came out, everyone thought it was nuts there was no floppy drive. I have an Asus ultrabook, it is my main work computer now and although it has an ethernet adaptor that comes with it, I have only used it twice in two years or so. Wireless isn't great if you need the optimum network speeds, but it's fine for 99% of users.

      1. Alan Bourke

        Re: Wired ethernet is not a rarity for laptops

        Fair enough, but I'm betting those offices are mainly Apple

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Mushroom

        Re: Wired ethernet is not a rarity for laptops

        Network EASIER with wireless? You're all on crack.

        Ethernet is a stable well established standard and a mature technology. It's cheap, reliable and secure. Meanwhile, anything wireless has to deal with multiple protocol variants and even more protection schemes. NONE of that extra complexity is present with wired networking.

        Then there's the whole speed thing.

        Wireless is only OK if you have very low expectations.

        1. jai

          Re: Wired ethernet is not a rarity for laptops

          in our office, only the ethernet ports that are in use are enabled. ethernet is all locked down, i guess they don't want anyone just wandering in and plugging their laptop into the network.

          and even then, they're hidden under floor panels or in the cable runs underneath the middle of each set of desks, so even if you can get the networks team to switch one on for you, it's a right pain in the proverbal to find out what it's number is, let alone get an ethernet cable plugged in.

          whereas the wireless shows up, and works with the same user/pass that i log into my work pc with.

          far, far easier to use for the general user.

  5. Decade
    Coffee/keyboard

    Later passive matrixes weren't that bad

    These days, I'm looking for high-DPI IPS or OLED screens, but back in the day I had a PowerBook 190cs. Apple actually continued to use passive matrix screens until they finished selling the budget "Wallstreet" PowerBook G3 in 1998.

    The early passive matrix screens were a blurry mess. You had separate brightness and contrast controls, where the contrast varied between washed out and completely dark, with no good image in between. Operating systems included a pointer trails feature, because the screen updated so slowly that you would easily lose your pointer if you moved it faster than 1 mm per second.

    The later passive matrix screens weren't so bad. Sure, due to the crosstalk between the display transistors, there was a massive amount of image bleeding, and the colors were horrible. But the display refreshed quickly enough to be usable, and most importantly they were relatively cheap.

  6. Decade
    Unhappy

    I wish my MacBook Pro had a palm rest!

    The palm rest is a feature that I unexpectedly miss in my new MacBook Pro. Jony Ive has gone all minimalist industrial in his designs. To keep the lines all straight and clean when the laptop is closed, the laptop's base is now ringed by a sharp edge that cuts into my wrist if I rest on it.

    1. Mike Bell

      Re: I wish my MacBook Pro had a palm rest!

      It's not a sharp edge; it's a blunted edge.

      I appreciate that some people have delicate skin, but it's not something that I've ever noticed myself as any kind of issue whatsoever. Ever.

      Personally, the clean lines work very well for me. You might benefit from some fluffy wrist cuffs, or a 3rd party wrist cushion for deluxe comfort :-)

  7. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    "although IBM used it for some of its RS/6000 boxes"

    The CHRP platform formed the basis of all RS/6000, pSeries and Power systems from the second generation 43P (the 7043 models, not the original 7248 which was a PReP model) right up to the current day.

    Although modern Power systems use PCIe rather than PCI or PCI-X, they are still under the covers CHRP platforms, although they are not categorised as such any more, because it is not important. I'm sure CHRP has evolved, but it is still CHRP.

    If I look at one of the Power7 systems running AIX that I help look after, I can see "devices.chrp.base.rte" along with 25 other support packages that mention chrp.And I can tell that this is not for legacy systems, because amongst them is "devices.chrp.IBM.HFI.rte", which is the support package for the HFI interconnect that does not appear on any other IBM Power server than the 9125-F2C Power 775 HPC system.

    So CHRP is alive and well, but only in IBM supplied systems.

    It is possible that the Power8 systems will not be CHRP, because the fundamental GX++ Power bus is no longer used as the primary system bus, and has been replaced by the PCI Express 3.0 based Coherent Attached Processor Interface (CAPI). Whether CHRP will be extended to include CAPI or replaced, I do not know.

  8. Ben Rose
    Paris Hilton

    Floppy Eject

    I used an early Apple Mac to help create the school newspaper and it was quite an eye opener - I'd already been using PCs at home for a while.

    I remember saving my file to a floppy disk and then trying to eject it to go home. There was no eject button. I hunted around the operating system and could find no obvious way of getting it out. I was there ages, refusing to accept my failure and ask a teacher. In the end I had to ask for help and I was told I needed "command+E" or something. Not only did Apple not have something as simple as an eject button, it also had an extra key on the keyboard that nothing else had.

    From that moment onwards I hated Macs and still do. I'll never have one in my house.

    Of course, the beauty of all this is that when they break and my friends ask for help I can comfortably say "sorry, I've never used a Mac and can't help you". I recommend them to all my friends and family now :)

    Paris - because even she has buttons in the right places.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Floppy Eject

      Let me get this straight, you "hate" Macs because you were too stupid to operate the floppy drive?

      1. Ben Rose

        Re: Floppy Eject

        I knew how to operate a floppy drive, had done for years. They came with eject buttons, always did on PCs. Apple chose not to include one. I still have no idea why.

        I remember once getting the disk out using a paper clip in the hole. The OS instantly displayed some kind of horrible error and wouldn't operate again until it was powered off and back on.

        How could this possibly be a good thing?

        1. cheveron

          Re: Floppy Eject

          As I understand it Jobs actually had a phobia of buttons (koumpounophobia).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Floppy Eject

          Simple reason why. If you want to improve disk performance you buffer up data before writing it. If you allow the user to eject without the data being committed then they lose their work.

          Having a "software eject" mechanism ensures the disk is always in a correct state before being ejected.

          Linux is the worst offender for floppy buffering, you can write an entire disk full of data to a floppy in Linux and it won't write a single byte until you "unmount" the disk.

          Software ejecting is something USB drives do today, or do you just pull your USB memory stick out and enjoy losing your data?

          1. Lamont Cranston

            Re: Floppy Eject

            Most people I know never bother to eject their USB drive before pulling it out, and I've yet to see this cost someone their data (I've yet to see one pulled mid-write).

            Still, at least this thread has taught me why Word'95 used to throw such a hissy fit when people would eject the disk whilst the document was still open!

            1. Efros

              Re: Floppy Eject

              Pulling a USB flash drive out of a Mac without ejecting properly can trash the drive let alone your data. You also have to allow the mac time as the drive will continue flashing after the drive icon has disappeared from the screen, it lies I tells ya!

          2. Ragarath

            Re: Floppy Eject

            The two ACs above me may not have heard of such a thing as a progress bar before. You know, something that that lets you know when the disk is finished being used (not that you could have missed the grinding noise of a floppy in use.)

            This fandangled connivance allows the user to be in control, both hardware and software and not at the whim of some egomaniac that requires that the software be working to access your hardware.

            Oops I left the disk in the MAC when I powered off. Darn now I have to power up again.

            1. jai

              Re: Floppy Eject

              Oops I left the disk in the MAC when I powered off. Darn now I have to power up again.

              Not a problem with a Mac, because when you powered it down, it would eject the disc before it shut down. That's because the eject was software driven, not reliant upon a mechanical device.

              1. Ragarath

                Re: Floppy Eject

                Not a problem with a Mac, because when you powered it down, it would eject the disc before it shut down. That's because the eject was software driven, not reliant upon a mechanical device.

                And we all know software never fails, ever and especially because it is Apple software and we all just "believe" huh? And you know that elec-e-electricity stuff that powers these strange devices. That never fails either.

                1. jai

                  Re: Floppy Eject

                  And we all know software never fails

                  Sure, if there was a crash, you're floppy disk was still in there when the machine booted. And if it wasn't a bootable disk, the machine would automatically eject it, and then it would continue to boot. What's the problem?

          3. Ben Rose

            Re: Floppy Eject

            "If you allow the user to eject without the data being committed then they lose their work."

            But that is no reason to lose the button. Apple put a motorised eject system into the drive, far cooler than a mechanical button. There was no reason at all not to include an electronic eject button in that process that first flushed the drive buffer and then ejected the disk. It's really not rocket science and far more useful than a hidden OS command.

          4. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: Floppy Eject

            > Software ejecting is something USB drives do today, or do you just pull your USB memory stick out and enjoy losing your data?

            If your OS is doing that to you then it's inferior trash that belongs back in the 80s. Every little hiccup should not be a total disaster. Sometimes those hiccups aren't even caused by the end user. Ensuring that they get kicked in the balls is just bad engineering.

    2. jai

      Re: Floppy Eject

      I hunted around the operating system

      Not very far then? It would have been right there in the Special menu!

      From that moment onwards I hated Macs and still do.

      Good grief!! whatever you do, don't visit a foriegn countries then - you'll hate everyone you meet, they speak a totally different language!!

      1. Ben Rose
        Megaphone

        Re: Floppy Eject

        "It would have been right there in the Special menu!"

        The Special menu, for special people? Sounds about right.

        Of course I spent a light of time trying to right click on the floppy icon, which just opened it because there was actually only one mouse button - another eternal source of frustration for users of proper PCs.

        I've just always found Macs completely non-intuitive. People says they are so much easier to use than Windows but I couldn't agree less. For example, the window management buttons. On Windows the buttons represent the action. A big square to make it bigger. A little line to minimise. An X to close. All logical. On Macs I get some odd coloured traffic lights. How is a new user supposed to have any idea what red, green or yellow will do? No labels, no help if you hover over. Nothing. Just seemingly random coloured buttons. MS Windows and X-Windows got it right, why do Apple have to be different?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Floppy Eject

      You drag the disc to the trashcan to eject. Simples.

      1. Dinky Carter

        Re: Floppy Eject

        To me, dragging a disk into a trashcan means you want to *trash* the disk, not eject it.

      2. Efros

        Re: Floppy Eject

        Logic of that has never scanned for me. I want to eject the disk so let's throw it in the trash.

        1. Gavin_Wlby

          Re: Floppy Eject

          You'r not ejecting it, you'r unmounting it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Floppy Eject

            When developing software for the Mac in '90s I always kept a stiff wire by the drive to use the force eject feature, used several times a day as MacOS System 7 had a habit of crashing often without a even the courtesy of a blue screen. Like DOS, MacOS made lots of sense in the mid 80s when RAM was horrendously expensive but for years lived on as an obsolete design until OSX emerged to start to compete with XP/NT. Back then I wrote and debugged as much code as possible on NT before integrating with the Mac-specifics on Mac itself - otherwise I'd have been using that wire several times an hour.

          2. Hyper72

            Re: Floppy Eject

            Ejecting? Unmounting? As long as you're not Ejaculating it. Perhaps in Windows 8.2...

            Seriously, what's with all this intolerance? I've used everything imaginable: DOS, TWM, FVWM, OS/2, Windows galore, OS X, GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, iOS, Android, etc. and I've just figured out how they work and happily gotten on with my business.

            Only scary moment was when I feared MS BOB might be the future and some annoyance occurred when a certain ribbon managed to effectively hide all advanced functions, though it was fine for simple documents.

            1. JEDIDIAH
              Linux

              Re: Floppy Eject

              > Seriously, what's with all this intolerance?

              The myth of Apple superiority and improved usability is pushed hard and often.

              That trash can nonsense is a good example of how bogus the mythology is and always has been.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: JEDIDAH

                It's a quirk. An counterintuitive one, sure. Still, clicking "Start" to shutdown is considerably worse. Since you're a freeboard, you don't care, right? So do us a favour. Stop with your self righteous gum flapping. You're fanboy polemic is boring.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Floppy Eject

                > That trash can nonsense is a good example of how bogus the mythology is and always has been.

                It's not super great. If you're that upset about it, as someone else pointed out above, you could also have used a simple menu item to eject your disk.

                If you're willing to put more than 2 seconds of thought into why Apple made this design decision, the obvious answer is that the trash can was not meant exclusively to delete things, but as a way to get things off of your virtual desktop. If you look at things that way, it does make perfect sense. Actually I'm not sure what else you could use as a simple "gesture" to eject a floppy, considering the idea of a context/right-click menu didn't exist back then.

        2. Graphsboy

          Re: Floppy Eject

          So does 'Start > shutdown' make more sense?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So does 'Start > shutdown' make more sense?

            It is irrelevant. When you click on Start you see the Shutdown command, really close to where you're looking, so you know where it is. And if you fail to notice it the first time, it shouldn't take long to locate given the likelihood of clicking Start again.

            Also, if the meaning of 'Start' in this context is 'Start doing whatever it is you want to do', if possibly a little strained, 'Start shutting down' nonetheless makes sense. It would probably be more confounding if instead of 'Shut down' the command was 'Stop'.

            It seems less likely to encourage dubious behaviour than ejecting a floppy by dragging it to the Trash, although Microsoft are equally to blame for the many users who store files in the recycle bin. Obviously 'Recycling' is not the same concept as storing documents you want to keep, but that is possibly closer to intuitive to novices than the concept of recycling disk space. That or they're idiots.

      3. JEDIDIAH
        Devil

        Re: Floppy Eject

        > You drag the disc to the trashcan to eject. Simples.

        Yes. Because THAT is oh so intuitive.

        That sounds like something you would do to WIPE a disk, not eject it.

      4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Floppy Eject

        >You drag the disc to the trashcan to eject. Simples.

        A level of UI design which makes the Windows "press start to stop" button seem like genius

        You save all your vital work (no hard drives in those days) and the operation to take it away with you is "delete"?

        1. Ted Treen

          Re: Floppy Eject

          @Ben Rose

          They don't do it the way I want to do it so I hate them with a vengeance and issue a fatwah on all their products.

          Obviously the kind of rational, reasoning purchaser every supplier yearns for...

      5. Purlieu

        Re: Floppy Eject

        Surely that would definitely imply "delete everything on this floppy" ?

    4. jai

      Re: Floppy Eject

      it also had an extra key on the keyboard that nothing else had.

      and here i am at work, in 2014, looking at the keyboard, and there's this "windows" key, which no other operating system has a use for.....

      and a right-click menu button too for some reason

    5. Shoot Them Later
      Windows

      Re: Floppy Eject

      My first encounter with a Mac - back in the 90's some time - also featured an embarrassing failure to understand how to eject a floppy. When I finally asked someone, I found the idea of dragging the floppy icon to the trash to eject it ridiculous and just plain wrong. In fact lots of things about Macs seemed stupid to me (single button mouse anyone?)

      But here's the thing - every computer has flaws, and if I was crazy enough to permanently reject a whole line because of one or two flaws I would by writing this with a biro[*] rather than typing it on my fine MacBook Air.

      * - well obviously I wouldn't, because I wouldn't have read this article on the interwebs because I would have given up on the whole web browser concept when Netscape Communicator came out

  9. jai

    Powerbook 170

    my dad had one of those, which inevitably i pinched whenever i could, and looking at the picture, surprising how much i miss the old thing. real pang of nostalgia.

    yes, my macbook air totally out classes it these days, in every respect. but back in those days, it was a very nice machine to use, very capable, and it ran and ran and ran without a hitch until long past the point when we should have upgraded to the more powerful machine.

  10. ukgnome
    Trollface

    Doesn't the OS look just like windows?

    1. Peter Storm
      Trollface

      A little

      but then so does Linux

    2. Ted Treen
      Boffin

      @ukgnome

      "Doesn't the OS look just like windows?"

      Maybe so - but that was in the days when Windows looked like nothing on earth (Win 3.1) and it wasn't until Windows 95 that Microsoft had begun to look more like Apple (but without the fluid functionality).

      So it would be more appropriate to ask "Doesn't the OS look just like the Windows of the future?"

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Lisa had a GUI and OS first, the Mac was just the more affordable version. Funny how Jobs actually made something more affordable for once.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My first work on bitmapped GUIs was back in 70s (early enough I named this thing a selector, not knowing the term menu) so it was nice to spend a little time with the Lisa in 83, wild hardware very hand-made look when opened the box, idiosyncrasies but nice to see a company commercialising GUI concepts. The first Mac in '84 (known among some as the door-stop), not bad hardware or OS but rather crippled by the limited memory space. Even so good to see another step in GUI commercialisation - the only negative I had about Apple as a company was the way some marketing guys made claims to inventing stuff that people had been working on for years (not just at Xerox). Technical people at Cupertino I worked with not smug types fortunately, don't know about nowadays.

      First Mac was hardly affordable by most standards but yeah not a years salary like the Lisa.

  12. Julian Taylor Silver badge

    Oh deary, deary me

    What, no mention of the iMac?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Oh deary, deary me

      Look at the address bar on your browser, and you will see the last characters are 'p1/'

      Kindly navigate to Page Two of Part 2 to find what you seek!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh deary, deary me

        Doesn't work for me either. Just shows a 404

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. mastodon't
    Gimp

    Floppy dicks

    When email could handle a 1mb attachment the floppy was dead, steve saw it, then everyone else did, after a load of bullshit dissing of course.

    When Phone development could handle a decent OS & GUI steve built one, then everyone else did the same, after a load of bullshit dissing of course.

    Then laptop development reached a stage where you could go light and breezy, guess what happened next?

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Floppy dicks

      "Then laptop development reached a stage where you could go light and breezy, guess what happened next?"

      Laptop manufacturers tried to do the same, failed, and started a load of bullshit dissing?

      1. mastodon't
        Gimp

        Re: Floppy dicks

        Laptop manufacturers tried to do the same, failed, and started a load of bullshit dissing?

        nope, iPad happened next, cue bullshit dissing and it'll never catch onnery ad nauseum

    2. JEDIDIAH
      Mushroom

      Re: Floppy dicks

      > Then laptop development reached a stage where you could go light and breezy, guess what happened next?

      What really happened? PC manufacturers delivered.

      Apple waited another 5+ years and then all of the blithering fanboys assumed that Apple invented the idea.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Floppy dicks

      My first recollection of discussions on desirability of removing removable media devices out of chassis in compact PC designs go back to '84, a well known aspiration for hardware manufacturers if you hung in the right circles (i.e. designed PC tech not sat around as a passive consumer waiting to see what appeared in the shops). Unfortunately it was to take 10 years before USB 1.x standards were agreed and chipset support built. Prior to USB none of the proprietary approaches took off in a real big way although Iomega and others used the old serial bus with some success for standard 3.5" and higher capacity 100Mb+ removable discs.

      Love the way real, interesting, history gets turned into an ignorant 'steve saw it first then everybody followed' type comment. The actual problem was persuading customers to buy the more rational floppy-free models, fair dues Jobs in his inimitable way helped a little here.

  14. myhandler

    In 1987 the Mac changed my life - quite literally. Working in design, one arrived at the place I worked , with a freelance operator.

    Previously I'd [luckily] turned down the offer of buying for the company a closed system DTP typesetter - made by god knows who...

    So I saw the Mac and thought 'yeah glorified typesetter big deal..'

    Next week I wanted something graphic done, thinking it might take till the next day to fit it in.

    The operator said 'oh, ok hold on' switched to a draw package (this was pre Illustrator 88, so must have been Aldus Freehand).. and went biff baff boff and the thing I wanted came out of the printer.

    It really was a revelation.

    I became a Mac wiz, then a multimedia wiz and now a web nerd.

    Thank you Apple - I may not touch your Macs with a bargepole now, but without that moment I'd have missed the future.

  15. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is Woz?

    He invented the thing, Jobs just promoted it (And got most of the glory).

    Steve Jobs without Steve Wozniak would never had gotten out of his garage.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where is Woz?

      You're thinking of the Apple I/II – Wozniak had squat to do with the Mac.

    2. PJI

      Re: Where is Woz?

      And without Jobs, Woz would have been just a hobbyist with an incomplete, if neat, idea.

      One needs both sorts, working together. Each drives the other. Jobs was the one who spotted the possibilities, realised how to sell them and had the fanatical detail and balls to demand perfection. Woz had the technical ability and imagination to do the practical side and technical design.

      Jobs would have got nowhere without a fun product to build on and Woz would have got nowhere without Jobs's foresight and wider imagination.

      How lucky that they found each other.

  17. banjomike
    WTF?

    A Mac article with no mention of Xerox or PARC...

    Difficult, I would have thought, since Apple acquired their GUI and mouse stuff from there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A Mac article with no mention of Xerox or PARC...

      Xerox categorically did not invent the mouse, they stole it from SRI where Engelbart et al had developed it around 1963. Other GUI concepts were also heavily borrowed; linking etc was developed in the 50's and 60's. Pull down menus and overlapping windows were all Apple's work...

      Read this before trying to be a smartalec...

      1. qwarty

        Re: A Mac article with no mention of Xerox or PARC...

        I personally wrote a pull down menu implementation in 1977 (PL/1, used a trackball rather than mouse for input, ran on mainframe with 'smart terminal' not PC, but functionally and visually the same). Overlapping (character-based) windows were definitely around by then, probably on bitmapped displays too.

        In fact none of the GUI concepts introduced by Apple on Lisa then Mac were new, not by any means just a Xerox PARC thing either. Apple did a fair job at assembling a mass market oriented product a year or two ahead of others working in the area, although at the cost of poor performance to get there early (this approach would be reprised more recently with the iPad 1).

      2. mastodon't
        Pint

        Re: A Mac article with no mention of Xerox or PARC...

        Read this before trying to be a smartalec...

        Great link, "Are you really gonna do it?" made my day

        Cheers!

      3. banjomike

        Re: A Mac article with no mention of Xerox or PARC...

        The words of Steve Jobs from the Isaacson book after his umpteenth visit to Xerox PARC.

        'The Smalltalk demonstration showed three amazing features. One was how computers could be networked; the second was how object-oriented programming worked. But Jobs and his team paid little attention to these attributes because they were so amazed by the third feature, the graphical interface that was made possible by a bitmapped screen. “It was like a veil being lifted from my eyes,” Jobs recalled. “I could see what the future of computing was destined to be.”'

        ALSO:

        'The Apple raid on Xerox PARC is sometimes described as one of the biggest heists in the chronicles of industry. Jobs occasionally endorsed this view, with pride.'

        AND:

        'bs and his engineers significantly improved the graphical interface ideas they saw at Xerox PARC, and then were able to implement them in ways that Xerox never could accomplish. For example, the Xerox mouse had three buttons, was complicated, cost $300 apiece, and didn’t roll around smoothly; a few days after his second Xerox PARC visit, Jobs went to a local industrial design firm, IDEO, and told one of its founders, Dean Hovey, that he wanted a simple single-button model that cost $15, “and I want to be able to use it on Formica and my blue jeans.” Hovey complied.'

  18. Mark Pawelek

    Steve Jobs orchestrated Silicon Valley wide conspiracy to keep tech workers wages low

    1) How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages:

    http://pando.com/2014/01/23/the-techtopus-how-silicon-valleys-most-celebrated-ceos-conspired-to-drive-down-100000-tech-engineers-wages/

    2) Why George Lucas, Eric Schmidt, (and yes, Steve Jobs) Should Go to Jail: Conspiring to Reduce Wages of 100,000 Tech Pros

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/01/george-lucas-eric-schmidt-steve-jobs-go-jail.html

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Steve Jobs orchestrated Silicon Valley wide conspiracy to keep tech workers wages low

      What the actual fuck has this got to do with Mac being 30?

      (You do realise that Google and Adobe are equally as complicit?)

      Twat.

  19. Levente Szileszky

    Dear Jesus... is that a bowtie?

    I mean Jobs always dressed horribly, apparently he had no taste (and I'm talking about everything, not just clothing: remember those god-awful, cheesy Mac designs? Or was it "Sir" Ive who committed those visual atrocities like the leopard-print background, plush-furry-feeling iOS etc?) - but this bowtie with a white shirt is really goes beyond anything a sane person would put on himself (forget knowing it's going to be a promo photo day)...

  20. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    'Machine that changed everything in my life'

    "Stephen Fry is one of Apple's most long-standing fans"

    www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/10595503/Mac-at-30-Stephen-Fry-on-Apples-genius.html

    I feel sick

  21. Tommy Pock

    Powerbook 170

    I've got one of those in a cupboard. No operating systen though, I don't know where that went, it was given to me in that state.

    The System 7 diskette images are free to download from Apple but as far as I know the .BINs can only be put on a floppy by a Mac with a floppy drive - rare as hens' teeth these days.

    Pity.

    1. Ted Treen
      Boffin

      Re: Powerbook 170

      Not so!

      "...a Mac with a BUILT-IN floppy drive - rare as hens' teeth these days..." - Correct.

      But get a Mac WITHOUT a built-in floppy drive, attach a USB floppy drive (Circa £7.00) et voila..

      Not exactly rocket science

      1. Tommy Pock
        Coat

        Re: Powerbook 170

        Oh. Oh yeah. I'll get my coat

        and go shopping for a floppy drive

  22. Charles Manning

    "Steve Jobs' baby"

    If you want a nice looking baby, go to the nursery at the maternity hospital and nick the prettiest one.

    As with pretty much all Apple products, Mac was not so much new technologically as a well executed delivery to market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Steve Jobs' baby"

      "As with pretty much all Apple products, Mac was not so much new technologically as a well executed delivery to market."

      A common complaint leveled at Apple, but who really invents any technology anyway? Name any piece of software or hardware and I'll give you a dozen previous inventions that were necessary to make it possible.

      "The iPhone isn't innovative, give credit where credit is due, Samsung (or whoever) makes all its internal components"... that sort of thing... sure, but did Samsung invent liquid crystal displays, lithography to make chips, or lithium-ion batteries? No. Did they even make all the equipment they use in their factories? Not by a long shot. If we're going to play this sort of game, all discussions will eventually end at Pythagoras or somebody.

      Give credit where credit is due, Apple took existing components and technologies and arranged them to form something new and desirable. Nobody looks at a painting and says, "yeah, but, the painter didn't invent paint."

  23. no-one in particular

    Ah, the old Mac - how fondly I recall picking up that neat little case by the built-in handle, walking (not running) to the fire exit at the end of the office whilst my colleagues followed with the fire-extinguishers. That was the second time, when we'd had some practice. The first time one went up we spent more time goggling in disbelief: Just how much magic smoke did they need to put into those things?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      goggling

      was that around before teh interwebz????

      :)

  24. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Every?

    Love it or loathe it, the Mac shapes every nook and cranny of your computing life

    Really, Rik?

    How has the Mac shaped the work I do with CICS, IMS, and JCL? How has it shaped the work I do with embedded systems? How has it shaped the work I do with machine learning and analytics?

    I could go on, but I hope the point is clear. All the world is not a fucking WIMP GUI.

    Kids.

    1. Rik Myslewski
      Headmaster

      Re: Every?

      Fair enough; permit me to rewrite:

      Love it or loathe it, the Mac shapes every nook and cranny of 99.99 per cent of users' computing lives.

      Better?

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