Retro Friday: Why The Macintosh Was Insanely Great
The death of Steve Jobs this week has brought about a ton of stories about the life and times of the man in the technology industry.
Apple as a company brought about several game-changer products including iPod, iPad and iPhone, but before all the i’s, the one that started it all was the Macintosh.
Now granted, the preceding Apple II line of computers was also wildly successful, but it was the Mac that really stood out as the first game-changer Apple product.
"Insanely Great" is a phrase Steve used on-screen when he originally introduced the Mac, but what made it so insanely great?
What made the original Mac great wasn’t its point-and-click GUI interface, the apps it could run, its speed or anything like that. Mac was great because it was designed for humans.
You knew you were in for a good experience the moment you turned a Mac on, as the system actually welcomed you with "Welcome to Macintosh", followed by a "Happy Mac" face as the environment was loading. Computers simply didn’t do that before Mac.
Additionally, compared to other computers of the time, the Mac provided you with a true business-class computer that treated you like a person rather than just another user. Aesthetically speaking, the Mac just ‘felt right’ both in and out.
Something not mentioned too often in computer history is that Mac users really, really didn’t want to give the original Mac up. The original was the design they loved more than any other. While the later iMac was better in every way, many Mac users felt it didn’t have the magic that made owning a Mac so great.
If you’ve ever sat down and used one of the original ‘duffle bag’ Macs (because the whole computer could fit in a duffle bag), you do wish that the little 9-inch screened computer could be used in modern computing today.
The original Mac is arguably the last computer ever made that didn’t intimidate the user.