It has been 40 years since Apple’s major breakthrough device, the Macintosh, was launched on the market, preceded by a Ridley Scott-directed blockbuster of an advert and followed by a legacy of success that has seen the company reach a $3 trillion valuation.
The original Macintosh was the first real personal computer, aimed at individual users rather than businesses. Importantly, it was the first computer to include a graphical user interface and a mouse that users could use to interact with the device, as opposed to the previous standard of a command line interface – an innovation that remains with us to this day.
Launched on 24th January 1984, the Macintosh hit the public conscious two days earlier, during the American football Super Bowl, with a big-budget advert directed by the renowned British director (and frequent visitor to Malta) Ridley Scott.
The advert heralded the culture change that the device would go on to make, referencing the George Orwell novel 1984 and positioning the Macintosh as an outsider to the dominant culture.
After British athlete Anya Major throws a sledgehammer into the face of Big Brother and liberates the brainwashed viewers from his oppressive control, the advert ends with the tagline: “On 24 January, Apple will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’.”
In many ways, that promise held up, with the Macintosh introducing wider society to digital life for the first time – a revolution that continues to impact our daily life – at home and at work – to this day.
An illustration of the Apple Macintosh
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