The 40th Anniversary of the Macintosh

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On a recent episode of MacBreak Weekly, hosts Leo Laporte, Andy Ihnatko, Jason Snell, and guest Stephen Robles talked about the 40th anniversary of the iconic Macintosh computer unveiled on January 24th, 1984.

They discussed the innovative concepts the Macintosh introduced at the time - being one of the first mainstream computers with a graphical user interface, mouse input, and overall focus on ease of use and visual design. This made it groundbreaking as a consumer-oriented alternative to the text-based interfaces of machines like the IBM PC.

Jason Snell first used Macs in high school and college for newspaper layout and writing papers. As a college student, he bought a discounted Mac SE once he realized he preferred using Macs over his Apple II computer.

Andy Ihnatko bought a discounted 512K Mac while working at a UK department store in the late 1980s by taking advantage of an employee purchase program. He reminisced about early Mac user group "soldering parties" to upgrade 128K models to 512K RAM.

Stephen Robles never used the original Macintosh, but he recalls his first Mac was a 12-inch PowerBook G4 he saw in college in 2005 and felt compelled to buy, not knowing much about Macs then.

The group reflected on the extremely high price of the early Mac models, especially adjusted for inflation, representing a major purchase at $2,500. They talked about some of the early growing pains in terms of software availability and the need to regularly swap floppy disks to run programs.

The panel expressed appreciation for Steve Jobs' vision in pioneering this direction for personal computing and the incredibly talented team he assembled to design the first Macintosh models. Leo Laporte also showed off the inside of the original Macintosh case, where the original engineering team's signatures were embossed.

After 40 years, the Macintosh concept has had a long-lasting influence, surviving many challenges over the decades and continuing to evolve into Apple's current Mac lineup. The panel credits it as an inspiration for modern computing.

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