24 Jan 2014

Mac to the future: 30 years of Apple’s Macintosh

As Apple celebrates the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Macintosh computer, Channel 4 News asked Paul Marc Davis of Macsmith to explain why it was such a significant moment in cultural history.

You cannot really overestimate the impact that Apple has had on human lives and on culture, writes Paul Marc Davis. They have changed the way we live, work, communicate.

The Apple I in 1976 made personal computing affordable for the average person, and in 1984 the Macintosh was the first mass-marketed personal computer with a with a graphical user interface.

This changed everything. It meant you could learn to perform simple tasks with a computer after a few seconds of playing with it.

Apple didn’t invent this, they took the idea from Xerox. But what Apple did was realise its significance and brought it to the world.

Place any computer in front of a three-year-old now and they will know how to use it.

That’s what Apple did.

Paul Marc Davis owns Apple Mac repair store MacSmith in Hackney, London

Below top: the Macintosh advert, showing how 1984 would not be like George Orwell’s dystopian vision for the future 1984. Below bottom: Steve Jobs launches the Macintosh in 1984