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A game changing computer: Apple’s first Macintosh turns 40

Technology Jan 27, 2024 at 10:40

A game changing computer: Apple's first Macintosh turns 40

The computer, which came with an inbuilt screen and mouse, was revealed to the world in a high-budget Super Bowl advert, directed by Sir Ridley Scott, in January 1984.

Apple’s first Macintosh – a device that revolutionised personal computers – turns 40 today.

The “game-changing” computer first went on sale on 24 January 1984, two days after being introduced to the world in a big-budget Super Bowl advert, by renowned British director Sir Ridley Scott.

The advert, referencing George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, was itself considered a watershed moment in advertising – later being described as “more successful than the Mac itself” by Apple’s then-marketing guru Regis McKenna.

Starring the British athlete Anya Major launching a sledgehammer into a screen of the book’s chief antagonist Big Brother, the advert ended with the tagline: “On 24 January, Apple will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’.”

Ron Gutman, an inventor, healthcare and technology entrepreneur and Stanford University adjunct professor, said the “legendary” video correctly foreshadowed the change the new machine was about to bring.

“[It was] a symbol of overturning the era of Big Brother PC makers that was more functional and business management-focused into a consumer-facing, easy to use and beautifully designed Macintosh”

“Apple highlighted the geeks behind the scenes – engineers and designers – making them the rock stars that created a new paradigm of relationship-computing and delightful user interaction.”