Saturday, January 24, 2009
A dent in the world
Twenty-five years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh at an event in the Flint Center for the Performing Arts to an audience of about 3000 people.
The above link has links to many historical resources about the occasion, including a YouTube video of that event a quarter century ago. Highly recommended!
It would be fair to say that the Macintosh changed the course of my life. Believe it or not, at one time I was fairly well known in the Mac shareware community for my user interface designs and was training to go to work for Apple itself. Some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life have been connected with Apple hardware and software and the people I met because of them.
And if you're reading these words now, you can say the same thing. You owe the web itself to Tim Berners-Lee developing his global hypertext system on the NeXTstep platform -- which was both successor to the Macintosh and direct ancestor of the current OS X operating system. But more than that, by marrying the vision of Jef Raskin back in the late Seventies of a relatively affordable computer for ordinary people to the mouse-driven graphical user interface borrowed from Xerox PARC, the Macintosh so fundamentally altered the way people thought of computers that we can't even see it anymore.
Computers used to be Colossus: The Forbin Project and math geeks with pocket protectors handling stacks of punched cards with loving care. All of a sudden, the world of computers became a space ordinary people could see and reach into. In one sense, the Internet had existed back in late 1969, well before there was an Apple Computer...but we would not now think of it as a place for us to be in, if not for the innovations brought to us by the Macintosh.
That is some big dent in the world right there.
at 7:56 PM