Personal computer? Happy birthday Mac!

Forty years ago the personal computer revolution began. There would be no Apple Vision Pro and Apple would not be a trillion-dollar company if it were not for the Mac launched in 1984--the first successful computer with a graphical user interface marketed on a large scale.

The original Macintosh popularized the computer mouse, allowing users to control a pointer on the screen. This method of navigation by pointing and clicking was still a new concept to most people at the time, as personal computers at this time had text-based interfaces controlled by text-line commands used with a keyboard.

An excerpt from Apple's 1984 press release:
Users tell the Macintosh what to do simply by moving a "mouse"-a small pointing device-to select functions listed in menus and represented by graphic symbols on the screen. Users no longer have to memorize the many confusing keyboard commands of conventional computers. The result is radical ease of use and a significant reduction in learning time. In effect, the Macintosh is a desktop device that offers users increased utility and creativity with simplicity.
Apple claimed that learning to use the Macintosh took "only a few hours" and boasted what are now basic computer features, such as a desktop with icons, the ability to use multiple programs, drop-down menus, and the copy-and-paste function.
A quote from Jobs in Apple's press release:
The Macintosh fits easily on a desk, both in terms of operating style and physical design. It takes up about the same space as a sheet of paper. With the Macintosh, the computer is a support for spontaneity and originality, not an obstacle. It allows ideas and relationships to be visualized in new ways. The Macintosh enhances not only productivity, but also creativity.
The price of the original Macintosh started at $2,495, equivalent to over $7,000 today. Key specifications and features included an 8 MHz processor, 128 KB of RAM, a 400 KB floppy disk drive for storage, and serial ports to connect a printer and other accessories.


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