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Introduced January 1984
Discontinued September 1984
Original 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 Disk Storage
Processor: Motorola 68000, 8 MHz
PMMU: none
FPU: none
Data Path: 16-bit, 8 MHz
L1 Cache: none
L2 Cache: none
2nd Processor: none
Slots: none
Bus type Apple proprietary
Data Bus width 16 bit
Address bus width 24 bit
CMOS real time clock Yes
USB: none
ADB: none
Video: none
Floppy: DB-19
SCSI: none
Serial: RS-232 / RS-422
Parallel: none
Geoports: none
Ethernet: none
FireWire: none
Mic Type: none
AirPort Ready: n/a
Other Ports: Printer, Modem, Speaker,
Floppy Size: 400K
Floppy auto
Int HD Size: none
Int HD Interface: none
Orig CD Speed n/a
Int CD Support: n/a
Internal drive bays 1
Standard floppy drives 1 - 3.5" x 400k
Optional floppy drives: 1 - 3.5" x 400k
* 5 1/4 inch 160k none
* 5 1/4 inch 1.2MB none
* 3 1/2 inch 400k 1 external
* 3 1/2 inch 1.44MB none
* 3 1/2 inch 2.88MB none
Hard disk controller included none
Memory Video and Graphics
Logic Board: 128K
RAM Slots: 0, n/a
Min - Max RAM: 128K - 128K
Min RAM Speed: 150 ns
RAM Sizes: n/a
Install in Groups of: n/a
System board memory socket type DIP Chips
Number of memory module sockets 18 Soldered
Notes: This system has no built-in memory expansion, however third-party upgrades could take this system to 512K.
Graphics Processor Uses CPU
Screen size - columns & rows bitmapped
Video on board Built in Monitor
Video RAM n/a
Max colors Mono - B & W
RGB output n/a
Composit Video Output none
Screen Resolution 512 x 384 *note: Screen size is 512x342
Sprites or Missiles none
Physical Specs. Software Power
Introduced: 1/24/1984
Discontinued: 10/1/1995
Form Factor: 128
Gestalt ID: 1
Weight (lbs): 16.5
Dimensions (in): 13.6 H x 9.6 W x 10.9 D
Notes: Support Discontinued 9/1/98
Keyboard Specs  
Number of Keys 58
upper/lower case Yes/Yes
Sound interface device  
Sound Generation 4 voice
ADSR capable no
Addressing Modes: 24-bit
Orig SSW: 0.0
Orig Enabler: none
ROM ID: $0000
ROM Ver: n/a
ROM Size: 64K
AppleTalk Ver: n/a
Mac OS Supported: 1.0 to 7.0.1P
Max Watts: 60
Amps: 0.50
BTU per Hr: 205.2
Voltage: 105-125
Freq Range: 50-60 Hz
Battery Type: 4.5V #523
Soft Power: n/a
Pass Through: n/a
Programming language  
Built in language none
Built in M L monitor none