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Snapshots in History: January 24: Remembering the first Macintosh Computer

January 24, 2015 | John P. | Comments (0)





On January 24 and beyond, take a moment to remember the sales introduction of Apple Inc.’s first Macintosh (Mac) personal computer, the Apple Macintosh, or alternatively known as the Macintosh 128K on January 24, 1984, where Steve Jobs revealed the tall rectangular computer with a device attached called a computer mouse and the ability to insert a 3.5 inch floppy diskette into the computer.  The “1984” television commercial aired on January 22, 1984 during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII. Steve Jobs set the stage at an Apple Inc. sales meeting in October 1983 when he described the tough competition between Apple Inc. and IBM and showed the “1984” advertisement to Apple Inc. employees. On October 23, 1983, Steve Jobs discussed the launch of Apple’s Macintosh 128K launch by presenting its main competitor, IBM, in a negative light by criticizing IBM for passing up opportunities to develop mini- (read: personal) computers as opposed to large, mainframe computers. According to Jobs, IBM (International Business Machines Corporation) missed out on an opportunity to buy Xerography in 1958 (that became Xerox in 1960), and allowed other companies such as Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) to work on developing mini-computers in the late 1960s/early 1970s that became a large consumer market before IBM entered the fray. Jobs said that IBM saw mini-computers as too small to be taken seriously and insignificant to their overall business situation. Framing the story as history repeating itself, Steve Jobs then told the audience about Apple Inc.’s introduction of the Apple II, a personal computer, in 1977 which IBM dismissed as too small to be taken seriously and too insignificant to their business prospects.  Now fast forward to 1984 in his story (as a prelude to the January 24, 1984 launch itself) when Steve Jobs set the stage for a competition between Apple and IBM in Orwellian terms (i.e. George Orwell’s novel “1984”) where IBM was presented as the villain company striving to dominate the computer industry. Remember that IBM had introduced IBM Personal Computer XT in 1983 that came with 128K of RAM, a 360K doubled-sided 5.25-inch floppy disk drive, and a 10MB hard drive.

That was then – this is now. Apple Inc.’s Macintosh computers have achieved a loyal following from a segment of the computer-using public. Keeping this in mind, Toronto Public Library offers a variety of titles for borrowing on the subject of Macintosh computers, including the following:




IPhoto the missing manual the book that should have been in the box IWork portable genius Macs all-in-one for dummies 4th edition

MacBook for dummies My iMovie OS X® Mavericks portable genius Switching to the Mac the missing manual

Teach yourself visually complete Mac Pro Teach yourself visually MacBook Air Teach yourself visually MacBook Pro 2nd edition



Macs all-in-one for dummies 4th edition OS X® Mavericks portable genius Switching to the Mac the missing manual

Teach yourself visually complete Mac Pro Teach yourself visually MacBook Air


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