Fact of the day: 24th January

On this day in 1984 the first Apple Macintosh went on sale. Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh 128K on January 24, 1984. This was the first mass-market personal computer featuring a graphical user interface and mouse. When the Macintosh went on sale, and came bundled with two applications designed to show off its interface: MacWrite and MacPaint. It was first demonstrated by Steve Jobs in the first of his famous Mac keynote speeches, and though the Mac garnered an immediate, enthusiastic following, some labeled it a mere “toy.”

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The Macintosh’s minimal memory became apparent, even compared with other personal computers in 1984, and could not be expanded easily. It also lacked a hard disk drive or the means to easily attach one. Many small companies sprang up to address the memory issue. Suggestions revolved around either upgrading the memory to 512 KB or removing the computer’s 16 memory chips and replacing them with larger-capacity chips, a tedious operation that was not always successful.

The original Macintosh was the first successful personal computer to use a graphical user interface devoid of a command line. It used a desktop metaphor, depicting real-world objects like documents and a trashcan as icons onscreen. The System software was introduced in 1984 with the first Macintosh and renamed Mac OS in 1997.

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