The Macintosh officially turns 25 on January 24, 2009, the anniversary of Apple’s announcement of the original Macintosh.
Here at Low End Mac, we’ll be celebrating 25 years of Macintosh with 25 days of Macintosh – starting on Monday, January 12, we’ll look at Macintosh history on a year-by-year basis.
Before that, we’re going to spend a week preparing for that with a look at Apple from 1976 through 1983 – the original Apple computer, the Apple II family, the ill-fated Apple III and Lisa – as well as the broader personal computing context of the early 1980s.
Rather than choose the 25 most important Macs or the 25 most important events in Mac history, we’ve posed a different question to our staff: What were the most significant Mac-related events of each year?
I’m sure we’ll each bring a different perspective to that, as we look at hardware, operating systems, software, networking, and who knows what else.
Here’s what’s planned for Jan. 5-9:
Jan. 5 – Apple Origins
- Origin of the Apple I and Apple II computers, Tom Hormby, Orchard. From the first behemoth computers to the Apple II+, the computer that drove the personal computer revolution.
- Apple Has Always Been a Niche Player, Dan Knight, Mac Musings. “Despite the myths, Apple has never been a dominant player in the personal computer industry.”
- Personal Computer History: The First 25 Years, Dan Knight, Low End PC. A brief history of personal computing.
Jan. 6 – The Apple II Family
- VisiCalc and the rise of the Apple II, Tom Hormby. “VisiCalc was first released for the Apple II, which quickly became an invaluable tool for businesspeople – at least until IBM moved into the ‘personal computing’ market in 1981.”
- Interview with Dan Bricklin, inventor of the electronic spreadsheet, Cortland. Until 1979, a spreadsheet was something you did by hand. VisiCalc changed all that and gave personal computers the first “killer app”.
- Apple IIe nostalgia: A reunion 15 years in the making, Tommy Thomas. Sometimes nostalgia is all you remembered, like when you get to recreate your first computing experience from the Apple II era.
- Apples from other orchards: Apple II clones, Joshua Coventry. Before the IBM PC spawned compatibles, companies around the world cloned the Apple II – some with more success than others.
Jan. 7 – The Apple ///
- The Ill-Fated Apple III, Jason Walsh, Apple Before the Mac, 2005.01.05. “…not only was the Apple III mind crunchingly expensive, it was made with none of the passion of the Apple II or Macintosh.”
- Apple III Chaos: Apple’s First Failure, Cortland, 2006.09.01. Apple had known nothing but success with its Apple II product line, but when it tried to enter the business world with the Apple III, the learned the cost of failure.
- 2 Apple Failures: Apple III and Lisa, Tom Hormby, Orchard, 2005.05.16. Apple’s two not-so-great product lines between the Apple II line and the Macintosh.
- Apple’s Worst Business Decisions: Another Perspective, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2006.10.03. Apple’s poor business decisions predate the Macintosh. Let’s hope they learn from their mistakes.
Jan. 8 – Lisa
- A history of Apple’s Lisa, 1979-1986, Tom Hormby, Orchard, 2005.10.05. Originally envisioned as a business computer to replace the Apple II, the Lisa brought the mouse and GUI to the computer market – only to be felled by the less costly Macintosh.
- The innovative Lisa, Dan Knight, Online Tech Journal, 2001.05.31. Apple’s Lisa and how it paved the way for the Macintosh.
- The Lisa legacy, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2003.01.20. We should always remember how Apple’s innovation paved the way for all future computers.
- Lisa’s DNA is all over modern computing, Ray Arachelian, Apple Seeds, 2007.06.06. Those who label Apple’s Lisa a failure are ignoring the computer’s legacy that shows up in every personal computer sold today.
Jan. 9 – IBM Enters Personal Computing
- Thanks for the IBM PC, Dad, L. Victor Marks, My First Mac, 2001.08.30. Dad, thanks for bringing home that first IBM PC way back in 1981.
- What a legacy: The origin of the IBM PC, Tom Hormby, Orchard, 2006.08.11. IBM introduced its PC on August 12, 1981, shaking up the entire personal computer industry. Today even Apple makes its computers IBM compatible.
- Our debt to the IBM PC, Dan Knight, Mac Musings, 2001.08.13. A Mac user looks at the legacy of the IBM PC.
We hope you’ll join use for our six-week look at Apple history.