SPOTLIGHT ON 

MACINTOSH

Detecting Flash

return

 

Introduced January 1984
Discontinued October 1985
Release Price     $2495.00

 

      In late January 1984, during the 3rd quarter of the Superbowl between the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Raiders, the world was treated to one of the greatest commercials ever produced. That commercial introduced the Macintosh. A computer so great, that to quote Steve Jobs, "it's insanely great!". 

       The Macintosh introduced the world to the GUI (Graphical User Interface). Although technically the Lisa, with its own GUI, was introduced a year earlier and would be considered the first commercially distributed GUI based computer.  But its high price ($9,995) and the targeting of large corporations as its market severely limited sales and exposure to the general public. 

       The Macintosh, with a much lower price, was very successful and reached a much larger portion of the market, introducing the GUI to millions of people and changing the computing world forever. No longer would it be necessary to memorize a bunch of cryptic commands to manipulate files or open programs. Operating a computer now was as easy as pointing to an icon and pushing a button on the mouse. 

     In 1984 the computing world was dominated by IBM and its Microsoft DOS OS (Operating System). With the Mac introduction even Bill Gates realized the GUI was the future of the computer OS and in 1985 he introduced a PC version of it called MS WINDOWS

     In 1983, with the failure of the Lisa to gain a foothold in the corporate market and the failure of the Apple III, there was great concern amongst the financial analysts.  Was the Apple Computer Company finally running out of steam? The computer company that could do no wrong had now twice missed the mark and failed to market a computer for its future. But Apple wasn't done yet.  As it had done many times in the past with its great wealth of talented resourceful people, Apple again performed a miracle. With only the aging Apple II series sales supporting the company, Apple's attention now turned to the Mac project as its last hope to save the company. 

      The Macintosh design team was headed up initially by Jef Raskin who laid the initial groundwork in 1980 on a portable computer based on the Motorola 6800 8-bit microprocessor with 64K of RAM, which would eventually evolve into Macintosh of 1984 with its Motorola 68000 32-bit microprocessor and 128K of RAM

      In early 1983, Steve Jobs was removed from the Lisa project and he took over the reigns of the Macintosh project, eventually forcing Jef Raskin out. The Mac team under Steve Jobs' stewardship was given priority and privilege over other projects at Apple and with ample resources, the project flourished. The Mac team was now able to raid any other project, including the Lisa, to acquire technology and manpower needed to finish the Mac. A lot of the Mac's OS was borrowed from the Lisa's GUI code. Before Jobs took over the Mac team, this was forbidden, as the Mac was considered the poor cousin to the Lisa (Jobs' prior project) and the design team under Raskin was relegated to a small building across the street from the main Apple company complex.  

       The Macintosh truly was a revolutionary computer. Although a little underpowered with only 128K of RAM and no hard drive. Its unique GUI operating system ushered in a completely new era in computing. A person with no computing skills at all could have the Mac up and running in less than a half an hour. The Mac had a style all of its own, it wasn't shaped like any other computer that came before it. It looked like a friendly little robot with a keyboard attached. Even its opening screen was designed to be user friendly: when you first turn the computer on you are greeted with a small Mac computer icon that smiles at you if you have inserted the proper disk and has a sad face if the wrong one is used. 

        The Mac was released with 128K of RAM soldered onto the motherboard so an upgrade of RAM would involve a major project (third party manufacturers would later design add-on boards to piggyback on top of the mother board to increase the RAM  and ROM of the Original Mac). The OS and programs were loaded into the computer using a 400K 3.5 inch single sided floppy drive built into the front of the case. The floppy drive is motorized and self ejects on shutdown (a nice feature that unfortunately wasn't adopted by the PC manufacturers). The built in 9 inch monochrome monitor is capable of producing a 512 by 342 pixel screen in black and white only. This was by far the highest resolution of any of the desktops of that era.

        The Macintosh exhibited in this museum is one of the Original Macs released between January and September of 1984. Apparently there are 2 versions; when the upgraded Mac with 512k of Ram (nicknamed the 'Fat Mac') was released in September, Apple still kept selling the 128k version at a lower price. The distinguishing feature was the addition of the 128K to the Macintosh logo on the rear of the case. The Original Macs only said Macintosh. This Mac was added to the museum on June 6, 2000 and was purchased at a local thrift shop. It is displayed with a 400K external floppy drive and a one button mouse. It also has the original users manual and operating systems disks. 

 

System Architecture Ports Data Storage
Processor: Motorola 68000
PMMU: n/a
FPU: n/a
Data Buss: 16 bits
Address Buss: 24 bits
L1 Cache: n/a
L2 Cache: n/a
2nd Processor: n/a
No. of Expansion Slots: 0
Clock Speed: 7.14 MHz
Buss Type: Apple Proprietary
   
USB: n/a
ADB: n/a
Video: n/a
Floppy: 1 - DB-19
SCSI: n/a
Serial (RS-422): 2 - DB-9
Mouse: 1 - DB-9
FireWire: n/a
Mic Type: n/a
AirPort Ready: n/a
Other Ports:  n/a
Tape Drive: n/a
Disk Drive: 1 internal
Floppy Size: 3.5 inch / 400Kb
No. of FD's: up to 2
Int Hard Drive: none
Int HD Size: n/a
Int HD Interface: n/a
Int CD Support: n/a
Orig CD Speed: n/a
No. of Internl Bays: 1
Memory Video and Graphics
Logic Board: 128K
RAM Slots or Sockets: 18 soldered
Min - Max RAM: 128K
Min RAM Speed: 150 ns
RAM Sizes:  
Install in Groups of:  
Notes:  
   
Graphics Processor uses CPU
Screen size - columns & rows 9 inch bitmapped
Video on board yes
Video RAM Shares Logic Board RAM
Max colors mono - B & W
RGB output no
Composit Video Output no
Screen Resolution 512 x 342
Physical Specs. Software Power
Introduced: January 1984
Discontinued: October 1985
Form Factor: Classic Mac
Gestalt ID: n/a
Weight (lbs): 16.5
Dimensions (in): 13.6 H x 9.6 W x 10.9 D
Notes:  
Addressing Modes: 8 bit
Orig SSW: OS 1.0
Orig Enabler: n/a
ROM ID: n/a
ROM Ver: n/a
ROM Size: 64K
AppleTalk Ver: n/a
Mac OS Supported: n/a
Max Watts: 60
Amps:  
BTU per Hr:  
Voltage: 120
Freq Range: 60 Hz
Battery Type: 4.5V Alkaline
Soft Power: n/a
Pass Through: no
Sound Keyboard Specs.  
Sound Interface Device: uses CPU
Sound Generation: 4 voice
ADSR Capable: no
Sound Output: internal speaker only
Sound Input: no
Notes:  
   
Number of keys: 58 full stroke
Built In: no
Detached: yes
Upper / Lower case yes / yes