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Throwback To The First Mac: Macintosh

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The Macintosh, or Mac, is a series of several personal computers, manufactured by Apple Inc. Introduced on January 24, 1984, by Steve Jobs, it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature the mouse and the graphical user interface, rather than the command-line interface of its predecessors.


Photo: OpenCulture


Production of the Mac was based on a vertical integration model in that Apple facilitates all aspects of its hardware and creates its own operating system. The Operating System was initially called System Software and later renamed to Mac OS.  It comes pre-installed on all Mac computers.


This is in contrast to most IBM PC compatibles, where multiple sellers create hardware intended to run another company’s operating software. Apple exclusively produces Mac hardware, choosing internal systems, designs, and prices.

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Apple also develops the operating system for the Mac, currently, the Mac OS X version 10.6 “Snow Leopard”. The modern Mac, like other personal computers, is capable of running alternative operating systems such as Linux, FreeBSD, and, in the case of Intel-based Macs, Microsoft Windows.


However, Apple does not license Mac OS X for use on non-Apple computers.

Named After a Type of Apple

The Macintosh project began in the late 1970s with Jef Raskin, an Apple employee. He envisioned an easy-to-use, low-cost computer for the average consumer. He wanted to name the computer after his favorite type of apple, the McIntosh. However, he changed the name for legal reasons.


In September 1979, Raskin got authorisation by the management to start hiring for the project. Raskin met Burrell Smith through Bill Atkinson, a service technician who worked on the Lisa Team. The Lisa team was developing a similar but higher-end computer.


Over some years, Raskin assembled a large development team that designed and built the original Macintosh hardware and software; besides Raskin, Atkinson, and Smith, the team included Chris Espinosa, Joanna Hoffman, George Crow, Bruce Horn, Jerry Manock, Susan Kare, Andy Hertzfeld, and Daniel Kottke. And the Mac revolution began …


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