Happy birthday, Mac!

The Macintosh turns 40 today. Here's how it's changed over the years.

My dear old dad, who passed a few years ago, was a huge fan of Apple.

He worked as a professor at the Open University in the U.K., and as such, had access to one of the first Macs imported into the country.

The OU had a computer lab with an original Macintosh 128K.

My dad used to sneak my brothers and me into the lab at night, when no one was around, and we’d spend hours playing with MacPaint and Lode Runner.

We’d never seen anything like it. At school, we were taught BASIC on horrible early personal computers like the BBC Micro and Apple II. We had no aptitude for programming and found these machines’ prompt-based interfaces and programs boring and irrelevant.

But the Mac was different — really different. It was immediately obvious and intuitive how it worked. It was joyful.

For arty kids like me and my brothers, who were more interested in drawing than programming, the Mac was immediately accessible and useful. We soon graduated to writing and word processing (even if the darn thing often crashed before you had a chance to save hours of work).

Looking at how his kids took to the computer, my dad saw the Mac’s revolutionary potential. He often talked excitedly about how Apple was democratizing computing, and how it’d take over the world.

He was right, of course, even if it was Microsoft’s rip-off OS, Windows, that introduced most people to point-and-click interfaces.

But the Mac set the standard; it pointed the way.

As Tim Cook notes today on the Mac’s 40th anniversary (see the tweet below), the Mac is still around and as strong as ever. In fact, today’s lineup of machines is probably the best Apple has ever made. Happy birthday, Macintosh!

Also in today’s newsletter:

— Leander Kahney, EIC.

A message from the Cult of Mac Deals team

A message from the Cult of Mac Deals team

Tweetz o’ the day

One more thing ...

When people look at an iMac, they think the design is really great, but most people don't understand it's not skin deep. There's a reason why, after two years, people haven't been able to copy the iMac. It's not just surface. The reason the iMac doesn't have a fan is engineering. It took a ton of engineering and that's true for the Cube and everything else.

— Steve Jobs, 2000.

Today’s poll

When did you get your first Mac?

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Results from yesterday’s poll: Should 'Oppenheimer' or 'Killers of the Flower Moon' get Best Picture?

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