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Desktops (Apple) Hardware

Watch Steve Jobs Demo the Mac, In 1984 129

VentureBeat is one of the many outlets featuring recently surfaced video of Steve Jobs doing an early demo of the Macintosh, 30 years ago. I remember first seeing one of these Macs in 1984 at a tiny computer store in bustling downtown Westminster, Maryland, and mostly hogging it while other customers (or, I should say, actual customers) tapped their feet impatiently.
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Watch Steve Jobs Demo the Mac, In 1984

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  • Also see.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by scubamage ( 727538 )
    ...Steve Jobs take credit for other people's work in this video, just like always.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...Steve Jobs take credit for other people's work in this video, just like always.

      How dare you speak of Him that way. May you be forced to use Windows Phone for the remainder of your days!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Actually, Steve during the demo has a slide show that credits the people who did the actual design and implementation of the Mac.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by osu-neko ( 2604 )

      ...Steve Jobs take credit for other people's work in this video, just like always.

      Where? I didn't see him claiming at any point to have single-handedly developed it. Are you claiming he didn't play any part at all in it? If not, then you're just plain wrong and you know it.

      • Actually, historically speaking, he did not have any part in the original apples. That was all Woz. Steve Jobs was just notoriously good at selling; he was in no way, shape, or form an engineer.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Woz built the machines. Jobs built the company.

    • by DTentilhao ( 3484023 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:02PM (#46074747)
      ..."Steve Jobs take credit for other people's work in this video, just like always", scubamage

      1:18:20 []: "Remember when you use a Macintosh, these are the people that did it and they're sort of hiding out in that ROM", Steve Jobs
      • not good enough. he should have at least named every single person who took part in creating any aspect of that computer, back to the Industrial Revolution. Or earlier.

        To begin with, I'd like to thank the people that made this happen: Socrates, Plato, ...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          It's kinda ironic that just at the moment, the Apple campus has posters up, listing the name of every single employee who's ever worked for Apple, thanking them.

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:03PM (#46075923)

      If Jobs were wanting to wholly take credit would he have wanted everyone's signatures embossed on the inside of the case? I don't think so.

      • by dk20 ( 914954 )
        Sleight of hand. He was the only public face of Apple. Many feel he took credit for everything by never allowing anyone but himself to be seen.

        Flip side, having them sign the case makes it seem you are part of a team and its a small token for the workers which doesn't actually do much.

        Here's a good one about Jobs claiming credit for "revolutionizing the PC power supply" []
  • by fozzy1015 ( 264592 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @03:05PM (#46074363)

    How about a demo of Jay Miner demoing the Amiga 1000?

    • OK! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm really nostalgic for the days when Silicon Valley was an innovative hotbed when some sharp brash kid could not only make it big, but provide a product that has some value.

      Now, Silicon Valley is a bunch of whiny bitches who are trying to get ever cheaper labor for their social media/advertising app/user-data pimping service in order to market crap to a population in a downward spiral of their living standard.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @03:53PM (#46074669)

        Silicon Valley used to be a truly remarkable place. It was where industry and the future truly did collide head-on. And because of this, great things happened there.

        Hewlett-Packard. Fairchild Semiconductor. Xerox PARC. Intel. Sun Microsystems. Cisco Systems.

        Those were the kind of names we came to associate with very advanced technological achievement. They earned our respect with the tremendous advances they made.

        But then something happened. Silicon Valley ceased to be about a productive, beneficial future. It became about a shitty, rotten future. It became about "social media". It became about advertising. It became about a disturbing level of data collection and mining.

        The Silicon Valley of today is a mere shell of what it once was. Clad in fedora hats and rampant hipsterism, Silicon Valley of today is a sissified, degenerate place. Gone are the real scientists and engineers who advanced technology for all of mankind. Gone are their advances. Gone are the hope they brought.

        I weep for Silicon Valley. It truly does make me quite distraught to think about what has happened to it. One of the greatest intellectual creations ever to existed has been crushed by men who wear tight jeans and glasses without lenses. It has been dragged through the mud by overweight, unshaven manchildren wearing stained shirts with shitty Japanese drawings on them. It has been shit upon repeatedly by self-styled "entrepreneurs" and "engineers" whose only talent is unjustifiable self promotion.

        It is too late to save Silicon Valley. But other technologically-inclined regions should take note of what happened there. Keep away the hipsters. Keep away the bearded manchildren. Keep away the "entrepreneurs" and "engineers" who spew forth about Ruby on Rails. These people are an infection, and this infection will destroy even the most robust of technological and industrial communities. Do not let them ruin your community like they ruined Silicon Valley's.

    • The better video is one of Job's earlier talks on the founding of Apple []. Quite apart from the bespectacled, obviously geeky Jobs on display, a very striking aspect of the talk is Jobs' discussion of his visit to a local elementary school where he witnessed primary school students using computers. This event was one Jobs' continually referred back to later in his career, but this is probably first public discussion of the event which formed or else solidified his view that the PC industry could have/was havi

    • > How about a demo of Jay Miner demoing the Amiga 1000?

      Or how about a video of the 1982 Comdex where supposedly VisiCorp showed off a development version of their brand new "GUI" environment Visi On? Doubt anyone recorded that, but it would be interesting to see.

      And there is actually a video on Youtube of the fall 1983 Comdex with a demonstration of a brand new product in development from Microsoft called "Wiindows". Stole all the thunder from VisiCorp, but obviously didn't put a damper on Apple's Macint

    • What surprises me about all this coverage is that I don't remember the Mac being all that influential or popular at the time. I guess it was too expensive for the people around me. If you want to celebrate an Apple computer, celebrate the Apple II.
      • by dryeo ( 100693 )

        It was influential as it gave Jobs the excuse to stop developing the Apple II line and a money sink that almost sank Apple.
        The IIx could have come out years earlier and when it did come out as the GS it could have been less crippled. A souped up GS was everything the Mac wasn't, colour, fast, expandable, a large existing stock of software with a GUI that was a rewrite of the Mac GUI with many bug fixes.
        I can still hear Jobs saying users didn't need colour and a computer should be like a toaster, closed and

    • How about a demo of the company crashing and burning?

  • by pubwvj ( 1045960 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @03:19PM (#46074463)

    I keep pushing for legacy support of especially software but also hardware and formats and some people claim it doesn't matter. Well this is a beautiful example of why it does matter. Without legacy support we lose access to old data. Pretty soon we'll be repeating history on big things, not just some presentation.

    • I agree. There's a lot Apple themselves could be doing, by publishing private file formats that were used for early apps such as MacWrite, Claris Works and so on. A lot of people have unusable files in those formats, and many others. It's not really good enough to have to reverse-engineer them (as some are doing), but a published spec would at least make it possible to write converters.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @03:23PM (#46074475)

    VentureBeat's story appears to be nothing but a re-writing of the original, which is

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Also interesting is Dan Bricklin's blog entry on the history and restoration of this video:

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Geez, this was news like what, 30 years ago!?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This submission really isn't about the news article at all. It's about the most important Holy Day in the Religion of the Hipster. It's a celebration of His Graceful Holiness, Steve Jobs. It's a tribute to The Creation of The Master Of All Creation, the Macintosh. It is The Most Important of Days. Please show some respect.

  • I grew up in Westminster. Bustling in 1984? It wasn't bustling in 1994, even, unless one was from say, Taneytown.
  • That's not Steve Jobs! Where's the black turtleneck? And what's with all the hair?


  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was the last door stop that I owed. C'mon guys, those old Macs couldn't even multitask. Think I'm lying. Open a session with a modem and then start any other application. The modem would close. Even Winders 3.0 could run a modem in the background.

    • Re:I had a door stop (Score:4, Informative)

      by GrahamCox ( 741991 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @02:45AM (#46078309) Homepage
      You're right, but only up to a point. By '87 a system add-on called Multifinder ran multiple apps and that was integrated into the OS in system 7. This was co-operative multitasking for sure (same as Windows 3) but it was easy enough to make your app co-operate (actually harder to write it so that it didn't). You could also write system tasks that ran under the 680x0 interrupt if you needed something pre-emptive (though that was fraught with danger if you didn't know the system pretty intimately). I managed to do plenty of productive work on early Macs.
  • This demo video proves that Apple & Steve Jobs always have been marketeers from day 1... I finally understood why geeks started working on the linux kernel 8 years later :D

  • Funny (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by sjames ( 1099 )

    Funny that. I remember looking over an original Mac, and asking "does this actually do anything?"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @04:42PM (#46075023)

    It's tough to describe how space-age that stuff was in the 1980s, where 4k and 8k home computers with 8 bit processors was the norm. The 32 bit Motorola 68000 series were used as workstation processors in Sun Microsystems' Sun 1 and Sun 2 workstations & servers, so it was quite surprising to see one in a personal computers.

    Note also how Jobs hammers away at IBM, the evil empire who had held foul dominion over computing at that time for longer than MS has existed today. My, how times change.

    • by ribuck ( 943217 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:02PM (#46075527) Homepage

      It's tough to describe how space-age that stuff was in the 1980s

      They were amazing times. I remember having my mind blown by a demonstration of the Apple Lisa in 1983.

      In this video, when they show the Paint program, listen to the gasps of wondrous amazement when the "eraser" tool is demonstrated.

      • by CODiNE ( 27417 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:24PM (#46076061) Homepage

        Just 20 years before that making a typo meant retyping the whole document. Businesses had secretary pools for duplicating letters.

        Cutting and Pasting were how you designed business art and I'm not even sure if white-out and corrective typing ribbons existed yet.

        So yeah cleanly erasing something with a single pass WAS amazing. Fixing mistakes with no smudges or seams! WOW

        • by rworne ( 538610 )

          IBM Correcting Selectric. The Selectric was one of the mainstays of business typewriters with that wonderful dancing ball typing out the letters.

          It also had a correction ribbon. This was available in 1973 and the Selectric II and finally the Selectric III in the mid 80's.

          Awesome typewriters.

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          It was also an amazing technical achievement.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        In this video, when they show the Paint program, listen to the gasps of wondrous amazement when the "eraser" tool is demonstrated.

        Which just shows how even back then Jobs was good at packing the audience with fans who would coo over anything and everything he did. That kind of thing had been demonstrated before, and was available to home users of 8 bit machines. Okay, this was better, but not amazing. It's the way Jobs presents it, not the actual demo.

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          You have just demonstrated how you are simply a hater.
          No one had that in the home at that time. It was a real technical challenge.

    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      Home computer in 1984 was the C64 with 64K of RAM
      The original Mac had 128K

      The C64 had 8 times as many colors though

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      it wasnt space age as a 128k machine was already entering a well saturated 64-512k universe, partly why the mac tanked the first couple years

  • Does anyone have a direct link to the video? I can't figure out what I have to enable to be able to see it.

  • My favorite quote (Score:4, Interesting)

    by laing ( 303349 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:11PM (#46075581)
    "We think Unix is a pretty lousy operating system to put inside a workstation. It's old technology and it's really big and you need a Winchester so you can never make the workstations cheap..."
    I'm glad that Jobs was open minded enough to recognize the value of Unix, and to eventually migrate MacOS to BSD Unix.
    (I watched the video and typed this post from a laptop running Linux.)
    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      it is old, it is big, and you still cant boot it from a floppy, whats your point

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      Actually, he was right. Unix and it's various incarnation changed a lot in that time period.

      In fact, putting UNIX in the home would be a disaster today, unless you put a GUI on it people could understand.

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:27PM (#46075685) Homepage

    I've heard Apple people describe this with the too-kind phrase "tradition of demonstrating a wolf in sheep's clothing." That is to say, the Mac he was demonstrating was different from the Mac Apple was selling: it had 512K of RAM. The only Mac available for purchase at launch had 128K and was not capable of running the MacInTalk speech synthesis software.

    This was indeed a Steve Jobs tradition; I recall him demonstrating a NeXT in Boston--brilliant demo, brilliant showmanship--and the NeXT he was demonstrating had an internal hard drive, which delivered much better performance than the product available for sale which ran entirely off a read/write optical drive.

    • by Smurf ( 7981 )

      That is to say, the Mac he was demonstrating was different from the Mac Apple was selling: it had 512K of RAM. The only Mac available for purchase at launch had 128K and was not capable of running the MacInTalk speech synthesis software.

      True, true. But the the 128K Mac was upgradable to 512K [] (albeit by an authorized reseller, not by the end user), and Macs that already came with 512 KB of RAM [] were introduced later that year.

      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        its upgradeable cause the engineers ignored jobs, and its still shady to show off a product touting its capabilities that it could not actually do, until a year later for more money

  • Expensive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver ( 864662 ) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:36PM (#46076139)
    There's no denying the Mac was a game-changer, but it's also important to note that when it was released it cost $5600 in today's dollars - Adding a printer pushed you well north of the $6000 mark.

    No wonder nobody I knew had one.
    • by rossdee ( 243626 )

      I bought a "fat Mac" in 1985 (that was the 512K model
      It cost me 10,000 New Zealand dollars (about $4400US at the time)
      But an uncle had died, so I had the money
      It was the worst decision I ever made
      (I had previously had an Apple ][+ which was why I gor the Mac)
      I should of bought Appleshares instead

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not much different than a high end mac today.

  • The Mac was seen as too "out there" by the board so Apple came under control of a soft drink salesman for a while.
  • Is there a reason many such videos are kept secret for decades?

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"