Today, Friday the 24th of January 2014, marks the 30 year anniversary of the first ever Apple Macintosh computer debut. Whether you love or loathe Apple, their innovative machines are successful to say the least and continue to wow people to this day. Let’s take a look back at Macs through the years and how they’ve developed into the slimmest notebook in the world…
Apple Macintosh – January 24th, 1984
The original Macintosh was used largely for music creation and photography. It opened up a whole new era of creativity – and best of all it was simple to use. It had to be – most people didn’t know how to use it!
Apple Mac XL – January 1st, 1985
The design of the Apple Mac XL was inspired by the predecessor of the original Mac – the Apple Lisa, which was largely unsuccessful due to its high price tag. The Apple Mac XL featured 1MB of RAM, a 400k disk drive and a monochrome screen – it completely changed the way music was taught and catalogued.
Macintosh Plus – January 16th, 1986
The Macintosh Plus saw the introduction of SCSI port, allowing the connection of external hard drives, printers, scanners and modems. Anyone could design and create text and image documents to print in their very own home and desktop publishing took off in a big way. Understandably, people say the primary use of their Macintosh Plus was for business and finance, though gaming followed close at second!
Macintosh II – March 2nd, 1987
The Macintosh Plus boasted a much larger screen that could support a wider range of displays – even colour! Users could add a video card that allowed a 256 colour display, revolutionising graphic and multimedia design.
Macintosh IIx – September 19th, 1988
The Macintosh IIx was so much more than than a follow up to its predecessor. It introduced the 1.44MB floppy disk drive which almost doubled the memory capacity.
Macintosh Portable – September 20th, 1989
The Macintosh Portable was the world’s first portable computer – though at 16lbs you wouldn’t want to cart it very far! It was taken aboard the Atlantis space shuttle in 1991 and sent the very first email from space.
Macintosh LC – October 15th, 1990
As a lower priced colour compatible Mac, the Macintosh LC made colour computing available to many more people. It featured a built in audio input tool so people could use sound as a creative tool.
PowerBook – October 21st, 1991
Apple had another go at a portable computer with the PowerBook – and this time they were successful. The sleeker, more compact design made it easier to type and navigate around the screen – not to mention its substantially reduced weight made it much more convenient to carry round .
Macintosh Quandra 950 – May 18th, 1992
The Quandra was the first tower design Mac and featured an Ethernet port for high speed (at the time of course!) connections to computer networks. It was highly powerful; a world away from the Macintosh II and became the tool of choice for photographers and publishers.
Macintosh TV – October 25th, 1993
The Macintosh TV was the first example of Apple combining multiple devices into one. It was the first Macintosh with built in TV capabilities and introduced gaming to a whole new world of vibrant colours and 3D exploration.
Powerbook 540c – May 16th, 1994
The Powerbook 540c was the first Mac to use an LCD screen and introduced the trackpad mouse that is still used in Macs today.
Power Macintosh 8500 – August 8th, 1995
The Power macintosh 8500 was like nothing else. It was the world’s first PC with AV import and export capabilities and enabled near broadcast quality video and audio.
PowerBook 1400 – October 1st, 1996
The PowerBook 1400 introduced something truly different – a CD drive. Now portable computers could work with high quality audio and video…
20th Anniversary Macintosh – March 20th, 1997
The 20th Anniversary Macintosh was unlike any other computer, with a futuristic look that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci fi movie. It had a custom Bose sound system and would be delivered and set up by a white glove concierge service.
iMac – August 15th, 1998
The iMac introduced the lower case i that we’re all familiar with nowadays. In this model it actually represented the internet; the iMac was designed to show that Apple was prepared for the next generation of computers and they were the first computers to get rid of the floppy disk drive and popularise USB ports.
Power Mac G4 – August 31st, 1999
The Power Mac G$ was so powerful it was classified as a weapon by the US government and is heralded as the world’s first supercomputer.
iBook – September 13th, 2000
The iBook was the first computer to have built in WiFi connectivity and is said by some to have paved the way for the mobile revolution.
PowerBook G4 – January 9th, 2001
The PowerBook G$ was made from titanium and was the world’s first widescreen notebook. It featured a re-engineered operating system – the Mac OS X – and was introduced the same year that iTunes hit the market.
iMac – January 7th, 2002
The iMac looked like no other Mac and featured an LCD screen – hence the much thinner screen. The iMac is an iconic design that is recongised across the world.
PowerMac G5 – June 24th, 2003
The PowerMac G5 was immensely powerful and fuelled creativity for the next decade. It featured the tower design that would shape pro computer for years to come.
iBook G4 – October 19th, 2004
The new iBook was slimmer with a sleek new look. It included the iLife suite which allowed users to easily be creative with imagery, photos and audio.
iMac G5 – October 12th, 2005
The iMac G5 introduced a new sleek look, with the screen – which the computer was actually built into – hovering on an aluminium foot. It included an iSight camera and allowed for instant video chatting.
MacBook Pro – January 10th, 2006
An Intel processor was added to the MacBook Pro and was the reason behind the name redesign. It featured more power than ever and allowed professionals to create anywhere.
iMac – August 7th, 2007
The ultra modern design of the iMac was all glass and aluminium. It was incredibly powerful and was popular for both work and home use.
MacBook Air – January 15th, 2008
The world’s thinnest notebook, the MacBook Air saw the loss of a CD drive and ehternet port thanks to the wide availablity of WiFi and downloadable music.
iMac – October 20th, 2009
This iMac introduced the ‘magic mouse’ which allowed multi touch gestures for intuitive scrolling and panning. It featured a wide screen for crisp clear browsing and viewing.
MacBook Air – October 20th, 2010
Newly compact with flash storage for a longer lasting battery, the MacBook Air weighed just 2.3lbs and pushed Apple even further into the limelight.
MacBook Pro – February 24th, 2011
This MacBook Pro introduced ThunderBolt technology for lightning fast data transfer (hence the name). It also introduced the new downloadable Mac App store, so you could just download and go.
MacBook Pro with Retina Display – June 11th, 2012
The brand new Retina display introduced a stunning 2880 x 1800 resolution – individual pixels can’t even be seen with the human eye! It had a huge impact on photography, design and moviemaking.
iMac – September 24th, 2013
Years of design exploration saw the introduction of the slimmest iMac yet – the screen was just 5mm at its edge! The big, beautiful display has nothing else to distract you from it…
And there you have it, 30 years of Apple Mac technology. Looking back at this, we can’t help but wonder what the computers (if there are any…!) of 2044 will look like…