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Apple Mac turns 40

This week, Apple’s most impactful computer turned 40. The original Mac may look old-school compared to the sleek and powerful laptops and desktops we use today, but without that original focus on experience and design, fought for by Steve Jobs, the world may look very different today.

It’s hard to remember the world before the Internet, let alone when computers were a rare thing, only owned by geeks and operated by keyboards. I was definitely one of those guys!

No fancy mouse or windowed GUIs to get things done. All text input, all keyboard commands and definitely not set for mainstream adoption.

The Macintosh wasn’t the first system to introduce the WYSIWYG window, icon and mouse based interface. Even from Apple, there was the insanely expensive Apple Lisa before it, but the Mac did something very important. It took the computer from being a niche play thing for nerds and hobbyists and made it look appealing to the general public. No complex command lines, just easy clickable icons and buttons. Need to print? Just plug in a printer and click “Print”.

We take this for granted these days, but for Joe Public to see this, it was a game changer, sending the competitors off to catch up, and try to match this ease of use.

The computer race began, and paved the way to what we all enjoy today. Smart TVs, smart phones, smart watches, in-car systems… it all starts with a friendly, easy to use interface that may not have happened if not for the likes of the Apple Macintosh.

So here’s to the Apple Macintosh, and all it helped to achieve in the last 40 years! 🥂