by January 12, 1999 0 comments

The Mac is not the first computer that Apple built. Nor is it the first one with a GUI. So, what’s so special about the Mac? We’ll come to that, but a bit of history first.
The first computer that Apple built–the Apple I–doesn’t look like any computer that you would’ve seen. This 1 MHz machine was introduced in April 1976. For $666.66, you got the circuit board, and had to build the cover yourself. No keyboard, no mouse, not even a screen! There were also the Apple II and the Apple III, with some variations.

The original Lisa, at 5 MHz was Apple’s first machine with a GUI. The Lisa at $9,995 was aimed at businesses, and wasn’t a success. The Macintosh evolved from this machine.
This was the first Macintosh. Its immediate success can probably be attributed to the launch ad that was aired just once on TV, during the Super bowl of 1984. This 8 MHz machine incorporated the 9” monitor and originally sold for $2,495.

The first Macintosh capable of displaying in color, the Mac II made its appearance in 1987. It was the first 32-bit Mac, had a 16 MHz processor, and sold for $3898 for the basic version.
There have been many Macs since then, including notebooks and servers, but none set the markets on fire like the iMac did in 1998. Much like the original Mac, this one too had the monitor built into the main body. The iMac revived the Mac mystique and went on to create marketing history, while reviving the sagging fortunes of the company. It’s since gone into version 2, with a DVD drive et al, and has even been brand-extended to the
iBook.

The current Mac is the G4. The G4, and its predecessor–the G3 follow the iMac’s styling. The G4 hits a cool 1 megaflop of computing power, a long, long way indeed from the 1 MHz circuit board that was the
Apple I.

Visuals and statistics reproduced
with permission from 
www.Apple-history.com

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