Top 5 Macintosh Innovations that Blew Minds in 1984

by Guest Author on January 27, 2012

Macintosh circa 1984Flashback to 1984. Ms. Pac-Man had struck a blow for women’s rights and a young Joe Piscopo taught us all how to laugh. A young, cocksure Steve Jobs stepped into the spotlight to introduce a machine destined to revolutionize the personal computer. The Macintosh (128k) was born and home computing was never the same again.

Flash forward to 2012—the Macintosh and Apple brands have become such a ubiquitous part of our lives and culture that it’s hard to imagine just how “mind blowing” the Mac was back then.

Mouse

The mouse pointer had been around since the 1960s, but the Mac brought the mouse out from relative obscurity and into the mainstream. Whereas early home computers relied heavily on text-based UIs and command prompts, the Mac’s graphical UI was a perfect match for the mouse. Rather than memorizing long, complicated commands, the mouse blew minds by allowing you to interact with the computer by simply pointing and clicking.

Graphical UI

Until the Macintosh, unless you had an incredibly rare and expensive machine, the world of computing was a very bland text-based experience. The Mac changed everything with its affordable graphical user interface. It’s hard to overstate just how revolutionary this shift was at the time. Nearly all the conventions of modern GUIs in home computing like “desktops,” “trash bins” and file “folders” owe their roots to that first mind-blowing Macintosh’s GUI.

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What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) Word Processing and Printing

Before the Macintosh changed the game with its GUI, word processing and document production on home computers was a much more abstract affair. All the characteristics of your document had to be coded on the page with markup language more reminiscent of today’s HTML than what you would imagine from a modern word processor. MacWrite and MacDraw blew minds by allowing users to actually see what their documents would actually look like on-screen as you were working on them.

The Idea that a computer can be used for non-serious games and home applications

Home computing has infiltrated so many aspects of our day-to-day lives that it’s hard to believe there was a time when computers were considered so important that they were to be reserved only the most serious of uses like business and research. The Macintosh blew minds by daring to make computing fun for the masses. Its compliment of fun, useful programs, flashy graphics and a simple to understand UI, took the stuffy, business-only, no-fun model of early home computing and shattered it—ushering in home computing as we know it today.

Sleek Design

In early home computers, design and style were afterthoughts to function. To put it kindly, most early machines were clunky, ugly, space hogs. The Macintosh changed everything with a sleek, compact, design that seemed years ahead of the competition. The Mac wasn’t just some ugly pile of components to hide away in some office cubicle or back room—the Mac was an attention getter, status symbol, and so much more.

Sources:

http://www.aresluna.org/attached/computerhistory/articles/macintoshbytereview
http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_classic/specs/mac_128k.html
http://www.larrysworld.com/2009/01/21/larry-magids-1984-la-times-review-of-original-mac/

is a writer and marketer for CableTV.com.

Posted in: Computers

{ 4 comments }

jason scott Feb 20, 2012 at 1:19 AM

There's a padintosh for the iPad 2 coming out soon as well and its probably more than for "girls who just wanna have fun."

ajit kumar Mar 9, 2012 at 3:25 AM

In 1984. Ms. Pac-Man has done a superb work, whole world is now using this technology. its very fruitful for all the world.

prasanna Mar 9, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Now the world is using 41mp camera. technology eventually becoming better but start matter most. its a really great work.

David Nov 9, 2012 at 12:46 AM

No love for the mac air? I think it is one of the coolest inventions ever. Check out my macbook keyboard stickers concept.