Macintosh computer

The Macintosh project started in the late 1970s with Jef Raskin (1943–2005), an Apple employee, who envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer. He wanted to name the computer after his favorite type of apple, the McIntosh, but the name had to be changed for legal reasons. In September 1979, Raskin was authorized by the management to start hiring for the project, and he began to look for an engineer who could put together a prototype. <…>

he first Macintosh board, designed by Burrell Smith, had 64 kilobytes (KB) of RAM, used the Motorola 6809E microprocessor, and was capable of supporting a 256×256 pixel black-and-white bitmap display. Bud Tribble, a Macintosh programmer, was interested in running the Lisa’s graphical programs on the Macintosh, and asked Smith whether he could incorporate the Lisa’s Motorola 68000 microprocessor into the Mac while still keeping the production cost down. By December 1980, Smith had succeeded in designing a board that not only used the 68000, but bumped its speed from 5 to 8 megahertz (MHz); this board also had the capacity to support a 384×256 pixel display. <…>

The design caught the attention of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. Realizing that the Macintosh was more marketable than the Lisa, he began to focus his attention on the project. (Read more)

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Apple introduces the Macintosh with a television commercial during the 1984 Super Bowl, which plays on the theme of totalitarianism in George Orwell´s book 1984. The ad featured the destruction of “Big Brother” – a veiled reference to IBM – through the power of personal computing found in a Macintosh. The Macintosh was the first successful mouse-driven computer with a graphical user interface and was based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor. Its price was $2,500. Applications that came as part of the package included MacPaint, which made use of the mouse, and MacWrite, which demonstrated WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) word processing. (Read more)

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Macintosh computer, 1984

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