Almost a week ago, 30 years into the past, Steve Jobs introduced the world to Macintosh. The first personal home computer 'for the rest of us.' It was apparently a beautiful machine. One square cube that housed all the components to run a computer and all you needed to do was attached the keyboard, mouse and plug it in. Spawning a graphical user interface using technology inherited from the Lisa project, this machine would turn out to kickstart the personal computer revolution. Users would no longer have to write lines of code to perform a function, they would simply just point and click just like we do today. The Macintosh launched with only 128 KB of memory and a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive but despite all of that it was one of the most important computers of the time.
Fast forward to today and the Macintosh is now abbreviated as Mac. Gone are the beige cubes and CRTs of the past. They're now replaced by sleek, grey, metallic sculptures that mean business. Processors are now measured in the gigahertz instead of the megahertz. Memory is offered in multi gigabytes, vastly outperforming the original Macintosh and screens are now offered with pixels so dense that you can't even make out any individual one. The Mac is now offered in many different form factors than just the all-in-one. Many sizes of laptops with various thicknesses (some so thin they can fit in a manilla envelope) have become the predominant form factor.
We've come a long way from 1984 but we've even come a long way from my first Mac experience. Way back in 2001, after Steve Jobs had been fired and rehired back at Apple, when I was just starting primary school, our classroom had a Bondi-Blue iMac G3. It was the weirdest looking but the most colourful piece of technology I had ever seen. There was no beige tower that came with it. Everything (like the original Macintosh) was inside that blue plastic case. I also remembered the mouse, shaped like a hockey puck even matching in colour to the iMac. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I remember always wanting to play the classic Pangea video games, Cro Mag Rally, Bugdom and Nanosaur (and later OttoMatic). That and programs such as making silly drawings in Kid Pix or finally progressing through the first level in Adventures in Typing with Timbon & Pumbaa were highlights of my computing experience as a kid. We didn't just use the desktops though, we also had the famous clamshell iBook with its integrated handle and wrap around charging puck. I remember figuring out how to remove the keyboard panel to find the Airport card underneath and thinking that was the coolest thing in the world.
Throughout my schooling, I would almost exclusively use a Mac at school and a PC at home but the Mac really stuck for me. More than 10 years later I still only used Macs at school at now at home. My first Mac experience will always remind me of battling out with friends on the desert course on Cro Mag Rally or looking up the cheat codes to jump levels in Bugdom on those colourful egg-shaped boxes of magic with Mac OS 9 and its two panel menus. Here's to the next 30 years of Mac.