The 30 year timeline of Apple Macintosh

The Macintosh computer turns 30 today and what an incredible ride it has been.
Apple created the Macintosh computer in 1984 with the intention of putting the creative power of technology into everyone’s hands. The original Macintosh was a fresh take on the computer that, at the time, had the reputation of being an advanced and complicated technology. But the team at Apple made an easy-to-use computer, which gave its users the first ever user-friendly computer.
A year later in 1985 came a revolutionary method to create music. From the music pioneer, Jon Appleton, came his Appletones software, which was built completely around the Macintosh. Appleton created the world’s first digital music studio and used the Mac’s operating system to get things going. This technology is still inspiring musicians today.
In 1986 the Macintosh Plus was released and desktop publishing was born. This was the first expandable Macintosh and introduced the SCSI port, which enabled the connection of external hard drives, scanners, modems, and printers. Designing and printing documents with beautiful text and graphics became extremely easy.
Then the Macintosh II was created in March of 1987, which saw a new design of the computer and gave it its first option for different displays, including one with color. Through this design came its successor, the Macintosh IIx, which introduced the 1.44MB floppy disk, which doubled the capacity of storage for the Mac line of computers. But the innovating didn’t stop there because in 1989 the Macintosh Portable was unveiled and showcased Apple’s first battery-powered computer. Even though the computer boasted a staggering 16 pounds, it was still the first portable notebook and even sent the first email from Space when the computer was placed aboard the space shuttle Atlantis in 1991. But the first truly portable Macintosh was the PowerBook, which was released in October of 1991. The PowerBook was the first model in the Macintosh line that resembles a laptop that we know and see today.
In the next few years Apple began its strategy of combining multiple devices into one, which introduced the Macintosh TV in 1993. Not to be confused with Apple TV, the Macintosh TV was the first Mac with built-in television capabilities. Then in 1994, the PowerBook 540c was released and trackpad was forever cemented as an Apple staple and has been included in every Mac laptop since.
A truly remarkable Mac computer was released in March of 1997, the 20th Anniversary Macintosh. To celebrate Apple’s 20th, the newest addition to the Mac lineup was a special one that would be personally delivered and installed by a white-glove concierge service. This Mac had a uniquely designed form and had a booming Bose sound system that led it to become the foundation of desktop computer design for the future.
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But it was in 1998 that Apple had truly and completely re-imagined the desktop computer when it unveiled the iMac. The lowercase i stood for a revolutionary contribution to the world of technology and communication; the Internet. This version of the Mac computer saw the exclusion of the floppy disk and popularized the USB port. Simplicity was the goal for the iMac.
In 2000 came the iBook, which was Apple’s next version of their laptop. Known simply as the clamshell, the iBook was the first to use Wi-Fi connectivity, which paved the way for the mobile revolution.
A year later in 2001, iTunes was created and completely revolutionized the music industry and the purchasing and downloading of music. Today, iTunes holds the majority of music downloads and has been the most popular method of downloading music since its inception.
The updated iMac, which was released in 2002, saw the first Mac with an LCD screen, which allowed for its thin frame. This new design instantly became iconic in the world of technology. And in 2005, the iMac was again amped up in design, power, and features. The iMac G5 was the first Mac with a built-in iSight camera and iChat, allowing users to video chat with others.
Then in 2006 Apple decided to transition to Intel processors, which gave its notebook models the boost that they needed. With up to quadruple the speed of its predecessor, the new model needed a new name, the MacBook Pro. With the boost in speed, professionals could now express their creative freedom from anywhere. Through this new notebook technology, Apple then had the opportunity to create the world’s first unibody notebook. In 2008 the MacBook Air was released and featured an aluminum design with a streamlined, built-in battery, which gave the world its thinnest notebook ever.
Apple is always rethinking and redesigning its products and with the advancement in screen resolution, Apple’s computers have the most vibrant displays on the market. Dubbed the Retina display, Apple’s notebooks truly have an incredible amount of pixels that impress any pair of eyes.
Throughout the years, Apple has not only delved into the computer making business, but has created innovative products that are all compatible with a Mac computer. The iPod revolutionized downloading and listening to music, and the iPad revolutionized mobile communication and made it easier for people to travel and connect to the Internet. Apple has cemented itself into the technology world as the leading manufacturer of high quality computer products.
For more in-depth coverage from the event, Laura Locke, a technology reporter from San Francisco gives us an inside look. Check it out here.