This tiny, practically useless and quite expensive computer, like a helmet of a medieval knight or head of the robot from the fantastic animation, really became a very important event in the history of mankind. He actually changed computers, our attitude to them, we and the whole world around us.
He resisted, he was declared worthless, it created a cult — it countless times on the verge of imminent death. Today over him again clouds gather… But will he be able to cope with these troubles, or concerns will be stronger than him, doesn’t matter. He won.
Computers, gadgets, control panels of complex systems — almost all vital interfaces are now based on the principles and ideas that have become popular and affordable thanks to him.
But what if 24 of January 1984, nothing happened, what would the world be? What is the meaning of what happened? What was the main and what is secondary?
Why 1984 will not be like “1984”
For the vast majority of people it all started two days before January 24. During the broadcast of the final match of American football on CBS (in the whole territory of the United States, the most expensive time) were twice shown a strange and confusing commercial.
He was like a fragment of a sci-Fi movie, which is not surprising: it is directed by Ridley Scott. The room is full of stupid looking at the screen people are like one another. On the screen — “Big brother” broadcasting something indistinct and almost illegible. Dark uncomfortable world. And suddenly, running up the aisle with the girl throwing the hammer, unlike the grey and the same listeners, and sends the hammer to the center of the screen… Then the text appears “on January 24 Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 will not be like “1984”, and multicolored bitten Apple logo of the company.
Andy Hertzfeld, one of the key developers of the first Macintosh, along with colleagues watched a live match in the sports bar. The video visitors watched attentively and with interest, but this interest was understandable: the game was not too exciting, the result was predictable, and the movie was mesmerizing. Any particular emotion about it, Andy didn’t notice.
Emotions were, but they appeared later. Since the defeat of the virus before the disease would take some time.
The evening of the same day in TV news on almost all channels this video has devoted more time and attention than the match itself.
Episodes of the video was shown again and again discussed what he saw, tried to understand what he is and what he had in mind. 7/10 audience only from news learned about George Orwell’s dystopia “1984”.
But it didn’t matter: tens of millions of people have learned that 1984 will not be like “1984” because on January 24, 1984 Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh.
Born by revolution
Personal computers (Apple II, Atari, Commodore PET and many others) are available and very useful in the right hands, become a true revolution. Hardworking and talented Amateurs suddenly became millionaires or broke into dust. They were naive and made a terrible mistake — but to stop this process no one could.
The Genie was out of the sealed jar, he played the most secret desires, and it was obvious that his power has no.
Who is closer to us and dearer — a myriad of microorganisms or highly organized creatures like us?
Some of the thrust of Amateurs much more bothered by something else: those who, beside himself with delight, rushed into the depths of the computer revolution, there has been relatively little — 5-7% of effective people. A huge market, but are rapidly saturated, he had to rest on natural boundaries and the end of the story!
People did not believe that they are able to explore these wonders of technology, they did not want or could not spend a lot of time, many were afraid of computers and do not trust them. Turn these 90 percent forage base for the young industry — one goal?
Confident talented Amateurs would not be able to solve this problem, at least in the foreseeable future, but don’t know whether it is good for us or Vice versa — on a solution, and not the first for decades, people thought not of this world, who were considered cranks.
And some of them picked up by the flow of the mass of the computer revolution (at the time), was in the thick of things.
What was it about the Macintosh?
Everyone who reads this text, familiar with the user interface your Mac or Windows PC, or even mobile operating systems (which are controlled by touch, but built on the same principles), and to tell you about them is not necessary.
The world is not and cannot be “intuitive interfaces”: there is always some conventions about which you would never suspect. But if such conventions at least, they are natural and easy to remember, and then, when the instinct is unerringly right action, one feels happy. Screen from Mac was black and white, with a diagonal of 9 inches (22.9 cm), but very sharp and contrast. The texts and images generated by software. Easily be reconfigured to any fonts and different alphabets, such as Cyrillic or Arabic script.
The interface has been designed to the smallest details — his reactions intuition did not arise by itself, inside it was the same cruel and inhuman “iron”, as in all other computers of that time.
Friendliness was one of the main requirements in the specification, and it is the law.
It was a computer for everyone. Including for 90% of those who had the fear of computers. And we can assume that the computer era began that day.
IBM vs Mac
Steve jobs studied in the University poetry, but after the first semester, deciding that it’s boring, quit school. Poetic gift he had, and no joke — the simple allegory about friendly computer who takes a giant inhuman monster, his performance ignited the hearts and conquered the soul.
In 1980, IBM, sensing the danger from personal computers, took action: announced plans to release its own personal computer (IBM PC), without giving any time frame for its release or estimated technical data. Authority at IBM was in those days unique and steadfast, especially managers and heads of companies — purchase of other personal computers in this sector has fallen to almost zero.
With this announcement, IBM undertook the creation of the IBM PC. The task was considered simple, in its solution, no one was going to invest the extra effort or means: after all, professionals, not Amateurs — repeat in a compact size that already exists is easy. A team of 12 people, no reflections, inventions or innovations (the main innovation in IBM PC was 16-bit Intel 8086).
The operating system was going to use the IBM 5100 personal computer to engineering and scientific computing, produced by IBM in 1975 and cost $20 thousand, but in the projected design it to work couldn’t. Then ordered it from Microsoft.
Since August 1981 the IBM PC is gaining industry, and Steve jobs posilaetsya almost a win-win strategy to promote the first Mac.
Superficiality of IBM’s personal computer does not prevent them from becoming the leaders they knew “alignment” and not a mistake. But negligence is still with IBM played a cruel joke: no one attended to the legal formalities of the copyright of the company on the design of a new computer, and manufacturers copies of it with impunity have taken over the market.
The personal computer revolution continued. A Macintosh? The forces were unequal, he was not ready for a serious battle. And the first stage Mac lost.
If you compare the technical data Macintosh data his contemporaries, he was very good — power CPU (32-bit) RAM, floppy drive, SONY floppy disks for which a robust plastic housing at one time was even called “Makovsky”.
What makes him unique, and without which Mac would be forgotten in a year or two — its interface, graphics libraries, friendly operating system — implemented in relatively inexpensive small computer was almost impossible. Almost only due to the fact that the creators of the Mac succeeded.
However, the uniqueness has cost him dearly, she spent almost all of the resources of the computer. He was more of a demo version of the future…
The press admired his ability to speak, but open secret: the very first Macintosh 128 kilobytes of RAM, could not speak. He didn’t have enough for that RAM. During the presentation, used Macintosh with 512 kilobytes the following model, taken at the time of the developers.
Until the end of 1984 to sell a million Mac failed.
After ingenious roller and at least outstanding performance to the public Macintosh with 128 kilobytes of RAM sold like hotcakes. Its price ($2495) mentioned with the particle “only”. Other computers with a graphical user interface was worth four times more expensive.
That’s just the opinions of happy owners were generally not enthusiastic, and around half a million sales hovered. Million Mac was sold in 1987.
I wonder how would react the buyers if they knew that for the promotion of the first Macintosh paid they? Mac was worth $1995, but six months before his release, John Scully, the new head of Apple, increased his price to $500 dollars — for its promotion” and promotion. That is, the creation of commercials (about the exact amount of information there, but we know that it was between $700 thousand and $900 thousand), to broadcast the video in the most expensive advertising time (and in the whole country). Bought a Mac, paid for it all out of pocket.
And in the mid-90s Macintosh already imitated everything. It was repeated in every copy of Windows.
Well, the love of millions of people to the Mac today — fact. And mystery. However, like any true love.
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