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Apple Businesses Hardware

Happy 25th, Macintosh! 296

bradgoodman writes to tell us that tomorrow will mark the 25th anniversary of the first Macintosh, debuting just 2 days after the famous Super Bowl XVIII commercial. "'The Macintosh demonstrated that it was possible and profitable to create a machine to be used by millions and millions of people,' said Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, research director for the Institute for the Future, a Palo Alto, California, think tank, and chief force behind 'Making the Macintosh: Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley,' an online historical exhibit. 'The gold standard now for personal electronics is, "Is it easy enough for my grandmother to use it?" People on the Macintosh project were the first people to talk about a product in that way.'"
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Happy 25th, Macintosh!

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  • Kinda Telling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:30PM (#26582149)

    That you mention "Apples Superbowl Commercial" and people know it. My dad knows, and is a real estate manager! That commercial really sticks in peoples mind. I would love to see apple come out with another commercial of that caliber. The Hal9000 commercial wasn't nearly as cool...

  • by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:39PM (#26582281)

    25 years and computers still don't boot any faster. A 8MHz 128k Mac would boot in about 20 seconds. Now computers are clocked about 500 times faster and it takes 10 times longer. What's a factor of 5000 among friends?

  • by dingen ( 958134 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:03PM (#26582633)
    Why should your grandmother care? If she wants to surf the web, she clicks on Safari in the dock. If it's already running, she'll get a window to browse the web with. If it's not running, it will load and she'll get a window to browse the web with.

    Keeping track of which applications are currently running is something for techies who are concerned with memory usage and such because they actually know how their computer works. Your grandmother doesn't so neither does she needs to know the difference between closing a window and closing an application.

  • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:21PM (#26582839)

    Pioneers get the arrows, settlers get the land, is the operating phrase of most major technology companies. Apple did not invent the mp3 player, but they most definitely settled it. They did not invent postscript, but they definitely established it. And they did not invent the GUI but they settled it.

    But taken as a whole, the mac was really a pioneering achievement, When you consider what was available at the time. Sure Xerox had their star systems, people used floppies and so on. But to put it all together in (relatively) cheap system that did not have a command line at all and sell it to consumers was a huge risk. And one that took a lot of innovations to make all work together. It had an original OS. It used software driven instruments to do everything (apple desktop bus. disk timing, character generators, etc...)

    a huge leap and worthy of the boldness of that ad.

  • Re:Mac World (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Idiomatick ( 976696 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:37PM (#26583023)

    Man your karma is going to take a massive hit ... getting dozens of +1funny from humans and -1troll from the macs. Kudos

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:40PM (#26583063) Journal

    She'll care when it's "Why does my computer keep running slow?" or even that she doesn't have enough memory to open applications. Especially 25 years ago, when OSs didn't swap out RAM, and RAM was very limited.

    Are you actually saying that users never closing applications was intended behaviour?

  • by funky49 ( 182835 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:47PM (#26583147) Homepage


    You are so awesome and I'm so glad the mother of your child was willing to go along with the picture.

  • by brre ( 596949 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:23PM (#26583579)
    The gold standard now for personal electronics is, "Is it easy enough for my grandmother to use it?"

    My last three consumer electronics purchases (DVR, car audio, component HD radio) all fail that test handily. Not even close.

    So 25 years later, there's a lot of room for improvement toward meeting that standard.

    Congrats Apple on meeting it earlier and more often than most.

  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:47PM (#26583839)

    Mac LC - my first Mac. Cashed in my 401k and bought it, a color monitor, and printer for about $6,000

    A truly stupid (among many truly stupid) reasons to cash on ones 401k. Unless it's provided you 10X the income since, and you've stashed that income away for retirement, a very bad move indeed.

  • Re:Mac World (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MindlessAutomata ( 1282944 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:58AM (#26585825)

    No, the joke is precisely what it appears to be: making fun of pretentious Apple fanatics. In reality it doesn't matter what OS you use so long as it suits your purpose, but when you debate the relative pros and cons of apple products versus anything else, you're going to get marked down if you even imply the big A's products are overhyped and, at times, overpriced.

    You don't see very many Windows zealots, and Linux evangelists are often still capable of pointing out Linux's own flaws. When it comes to Apple products, hey, the Ipod is a great device because of it's features--point out it lacks a lot of features that other, lower-priced mp3 players have, and suddenly that's a great boon because it's "simpler" to use.

    The Apple fanboy is like the Nintendo Internet Warrior in this regard. You know the type, the type who responds angrily when you so much as criticize Nintendo's lack of good third party support (this has been a complaint for years, not much has changed) or the lack of quality titles on the Wii. They do exist, and so does the Apple fanboy.

    Ipod users are generally like Windows users in the regard that they simply don't know about the alternatives. One difference, though, is that there aren't hordes of Windows users proclaiming that Window's popularity is due almost entirely to its features and qualities. Talking with people about mp3 players most that have, say, Ipod nanos typically got them because they just didn't know what else was on the market. Generally they weren't fans of iTunes and thought some of the features of other, common mp3 players were cool. Granted, if you like iTunes then Ipods may be a good idea, and Ipods do have some features other mp3 players don't have such as gapless playback. But the Applevangelists will proclaim the Ipods success is not due to marketing but because of it having either lots of features or not as many features, depending on which argument is convenient. Any feature the Ipod has is great, fantastic, amazing, so on and so forth, while any other feature other MP3 players have, such as FM tuners or expandibility through sdhc cards are just cruft and make it harder to use (a ridiculous accusation, but they must defend Apple at all costs) I think, though, if someone steps back and analyzes the pros and cons of mp3 players on the market a person honest with themselves will probably make a selection other than the Ipod. I suspect that actual act of owning an Ipod (and this potentially applies to many other products, from other companies, too) makes the owner value the product and its qualities more than they would if they didn't own it and let it grow on them. Buying something because of the brand name is stupid, whether it's t-shirts or music players.

    Each OS will obviously have its pros and cons. Linux is rough around the edges and one wrong command in root can destroy all your data. Windows (yes, Vista is a good OS too, with many of its own great qualities) . And a lot of people apparently have their reasons for choosing Macs for video editing (I don't edit videos) and sometimes even Linux users set up their desktops to emulate desktop features of Mac OSX. But the dyed-in-the-black-turtleneck-wool Apple fans that describe themselves as being "part of the Mac community" and buying whatever Apple products come out simply because it's an Apple product are rather unique.

    Actually, this isn't even a point about operating systems. I only mention operating system a little. It's the Apple worship this is about. When people start fawning over Microsoft products the same way (please shoot me if they do) then you'll see a story about a dystopian Microsoft future.

    (I'm willing to let Linux and *BSD etc guys have more of a pass because Linux and the *BSD guys are not centered around for-profit companies; thus the projects truly have community backing them)

  • Re:Mac World (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dangitman ( 862676 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:45AM (#26586307)
    Of course, your rants about uncritical Apple worship are nothing but bullshit. Apple fans can be aggressively critical of Apple, and they aren't conformists. The problem is that on forums like this, so many people spout utter lies and bullshit, that it needs to be debunked before we can get to the constructive and rational criticisms. Posts like yours do nothing but drive the discourse away from that and towards the "zealotry" you supposedly despise. If you actually made reasonable accusations and criticisms, then you'd find plenty of Apple fans who would agree with you. But I guess I'm just responding to a troll again. Sigh.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"