NPR celebrates 20 years of the Mac

“As fans watched the 1984 Super Bowl, a stark commercial directed by Ridley Scott appeared on the screen. In the spot, a female athlete smashes a large screen projecting the image of an autocratic Big Brother. With that 45-second advertisement, Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh, a line that would come to revolutionize computer design and functionality,” NPR writes.

“Over the years, the small beige box has undergone numerous transformations (think Bondi blue, ruby and sage.) Macintosh design has influenced everything from paper-clip holders to vacuums. NPR’s Neal Conan and guests look at the 20-year history of the Macintosh and discuss how a 17-pound cube, a mouse and a smiley face changed the face of computing,” NPR writes.

Full article here.


  1. I’d really hate to see what computing would look like today if we didn’t have that original Mac. I remember when we got our first in 1984 – the “wow factor” was huge. With each new product Apple puts out, they continue to Wow me. Thanks, Apple.

  2. Nice article but, I am amazed that the only offer Real or MS player to stream their content. What a shame. You would think that they may want to offer QuickTime as a format for streaming audio. Let’s see, QuickTime streaming using Darwin on a PC box is a FREE download! Not to mention unlimited licenses. Doh! Maybe Mr. Conan can inform NPR’s IT staff.

  3. Jimbo, If Apple never did what it did we would be using DOS 2000 and the Internet would not exist as it does. We would have no email, and most of the technology that lives in cell phones would only be on the original Star Trek. Beep Beep Scotty, One to beam up.

  4. I dont think so. We would still have the GUI, (a couple guys from Xerox invented this). We would still have an internet… However, none of it would be the same cause it wouldn’t have the values instilled by Apple and the Mac. We most certainly wouldn’t have evolved to this level yet either.

  5. Those Xerox guys had given up at trying to actually bring the GUI to market, it would have died like so many other innovations if it hadn’t been for Jobs taking a huge risk….

  6. I got a Macintosh Plus from a friend at work, and it still works. I powered it up yesterday just for fun, and it was like a trip down memory lane…I promptly shut it down and got on my iBook right afterwards, but it was cool to see how far things have evolved.

  7. strictly in response to Jimbo’s comment at the top…

    Please tell me what wowed you out of the machines pumped out from 1990-1997? Sure, the 3400 was cool, but not ‘wow.’ The case design on the 8600 with the fold out ability was nifty, but not ‘wow.’ Not much impressed me with the macs in this period. It was more like they were coasting along with the industry without really innovating.

  8. Jeff, I mostly agree with you. There wasn’t a whole lot of growth or innovation on the Mac in that period of time, with the exception of the birth of the PowerPC chip, and the PowerMac 6100 that natively ran both Mac OS and Windows. That was pretty impressive.

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