Apple MacintoshApple Macintosh

The Macintosh computer was released in January of 1984, with 128K RAM of memory. It quickly became obvious that this was insufficient, so eight months later Apple released an updated version, un-officially referred to as the ‘Fat Mac‘. It has 512K RAM, four times as much.

Before the Macintosh, all computers were ‘text-based’ – you operated them by typing words onto the keyboard. The Macintosh is run by activating pictures (icons) on the screen with a small hand-operated device called a “mouse”. Most modern-day computers now operate on this principle, including modern Apple computers and most others which run the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Except for the very expensive and unpopular Apple Lisa which came out in 1983, the Macintosh is considered to be the first commercially successful computer to use a GUI (Graphical User Interface), as seen below. The Macintosh has no room for internal expansion options – no other cards or devices can be installed, nor can the graphics capabilities be upgraded. Actually, it takes special tools just to get the case open.

Although adequate for desktop publishing, many found the 9″ (diagonal) black & white screen rather small and limiting. The uniqueness of its GUI operating system probably saved the Macintosh from obscurity like so many others.

Like the Commodore Amiga 1000 and the Macintosh Portable, the Macintosh has the signatures of the designer’s cast into the inside of the case.

Model: M0001
Introduced: January 1984
Price: US$2495
CPU: Motorola 68000, 7.83 Mhz
RAM: 128K, later 512K
Display: 9-inch monochrome screen
  512×342 pixels
Ports: Two DB9 serial ports
  Printer port
  External floppy port
Storage: Internal 400K SSDD floppy
  optional external floppy ($495)
OS: Macintosh GUI
  (graphical user interface)