The History of the Apple Macintosh
The Apple Macintosh is now a popular series of personal computers, being commonly used all over the world. Designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Inc. The initial Macintosh, released in January 1984, was the first of its kind featuring a mouse, inbuilt screen, and mouse. Of course, a lot of changes have been made to the series ever since 1984, but what is the history behind the first Apple Macintosh?
When most people hear of the Apple Macintosh, Steve Jobs is the name that springs to mind. However, Jobs together with Steve Wozniak co-founded the Apple computer series. The two were introduced to each other by a mutual friend and they quickly discovered their love for technology.
In 1975, Steve Wozniak designed what would later be known as Apple 1. The computer had a typewriter kind of a keyboard and had to be connected to a TV to view the computers screen output.
Steve Wozniak was not by an entrepreneur though, he later admitted that he had not designed the computer with the intention of changing the world’s technology. He had simply wanted to prove that he could design a computer that was so cheap.
When Steve Jobs saw Apple 1, he immediately recognized its potential and convinced Woz to give it a shot. To fund the production, Jobs sold his VW microbus and Woz sold his HP calculator. Together with Rob Wayne, the three founded Apple Computer Inc. on 1 April 1975.
At first, Steve Wozniak made all the computers by hand. With the success of the first 200 Apple I computers, the team was able to further design and sell Apple II. This debuted in April 1977. Just like its predecessor, it had color graphics and tape-based storage. However, the Apple II was quite expensive and most business owners did not see the need to invest in such a machine until the world’s first app was designed. The app, known as VisiCalc could basically be described as today’s spreadsheet.
In 1979, the ‘Macintosh project’ began. This ran alongside the ‘Lisa project’ - both at Apple Computers Inc. Jef Raskin, who headed the Macintosh project targeted smaller businesses and home users with his computer design. He named the computer after his favorite type of Apple, the McIntosh (but the spelling was later changed). However, the ‘Lisa project’, headed by John Couch, was chosen as the next product - becoming the first Apple Computer with a graphical interface in 1983. The classic and iconic ‘Macintosh’ debuted a year later.
This happened, even though the Macintosh was Steve Jobs favorite design. The delays incurred by his constant interference in the project ultimately caused stress and strain on the company at the time.
Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin fell out and this prompted Jef to leave Apple in 1982, right before the Macintosh product was launched.
"But before he left he fired off a memo to his bosses that still stands as an angry summary of Steve's weaknesses," Schlender and Tetzeli report. Here's the memo, as it appears in the book "Becoming Steve Jobs":
"While Mr. Jobs's stated positions on management techniques are all quite noble and worthy, in practice he is a dreadful manager ... He is a prime example of a manager who takes the credit for his optimistic schedules and then blames the workers when deadlines are not met," he wrote, adding that Steve "misses appointments ... does not give credit ... has favorites ... and doesn't keep promises."
Although Jef was the brains behind the Macintosh computer, what was released was quite different from what he had initially designed. The Macintosh underwent a series of tweaks and by the time it was launched, the Macintosh had powerful hardware that would normally cost hundreds of dollars. Apple, however, was targeting home users, and the original Macintosh price tag was too expensive for consumers.
Although the Macintosh was a great invention, it had limitations. The first Macintosh did not have a hard drive and one had to boot from a floppy. Despite this, the Macintosh was a success and many of the original applications are still in use today.