Happy 30th Birthday, Mac!

Apple celebrates Mac, which spurred a revolution in personal computing.

The Apple manufacturing plant in Milpitas, Calif., producing Macintosh computers, is shown in this photo from Feb. 24, 1984. Apple was formed on April Fools' Day in 1976.
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Viewers of the Super Bowl in 1984 saw one of the most famous commercials ever. The spot – directed by Ridley Scott – announced the Macintosh computer and compared tech innovation to defiance against Big Brother conformity.

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Then, on Jan. 24, 1984, consumers were treated to the very first Mac, which changed the way people looked at personal computers. Apple since has sold more than 230 million Macintosh laptops and desktops, according to company statistics.

"It was designed to be so easy to use that people could actually use it," Apple says on its website. "And it came with a promise - that the power of technology taken from a few and put in the hands of everyone, could change the world."


Since the product line's introduction, Apple has sold approximately 230 million Macintosh laptops and desktops, according to company statistics. The company is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the debut with a timeline of the Mac computer, beginning with its unveiling in 1984 and continuing through the creation of the iMac all-in-one computer in 1998 and the vast computing power and memory space of Mac Pro.

Consumers ranging from artists to scientists also reminisce in a video on the site about when they started using a Mac.

The first Mac was 16 pounds and small enough to fit on a desk, so it made computers more home-friendly. It featured a graphics interface with pictures and icons that people could click on and programs that came pre-loaded into the system, says Carolina Milanesi, strategic insight director with the consumer research firm Kantar Worldpanel.

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"It was different from computers at the time, since many computers emphasized productivity for the office, but this emphasized creativity," Milanesi says.

The Mac's paint and writing features made it possible for people to create art, designs and fancy print work, Milanesi says.

"It was allowing things that you could not do with a normal PC, because of the graphics Mac had," Milanesi says. "The colors and pictures on Mac were definitely one of the first things people picked up on."

Apple was not the first company to use a mouse on a computer, an honor that belongs to Xerox. The Mac, however, established Apple as a company that takes existing ideas to the next level and innovates must-have products to make technology easier for consumers.

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