Friday, Jan. 23, 2009

Dawn of the Mac

When Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh at the company's annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984, pandemonium apparently ensued. At $2,495, the Macintosh was the first affordable computer to offer a graphical user interface, replacing fusty text-based operating systems with an intuitive layout of folders and icons.

If anything, the Macintosh's world debut was even more noteworthy. The Mac's famous Superbowl ad, directed by Alien auteur Ridley Scott, would become a pop icon in its own right, reappearing more than 20 years later as a political parody wielded by tech-savvy Barack Obama supporters. Much of the message behind the ad — Conformity sucks! Non-conformity rules! Apple is for non-conformists! — has stayed, albeit stripped of its none-too-subtle Orwellian overtones.

See pictures of vintage computers.