On 24 January 1984, Apple Computer introduced the Macintosh. Thirty years later, it’s hard at first to see what is so special about this computer. It doesn’t look much different to other competing products of the time. Housed in a squat gray box, the original Macintosh has a tiny black and white screen, no built-in storage and limited processing capabilities. It was expensive too – costing $2,495 ($5428 today) — and had very few pieces of software available. Plus it was a flop, selling way below Apple’s original expectations.

But the first graphical personal computer changed how we thought about computers, and arguably, set the course for much of the late twentieth century. The Internet, graphical design, photography, film making, music, smartphones, tablets — all of these were created or disrupted thanks to the boundaries broken by the Macintosh. For the first time, the user experience became more important than raw functionality, achieved by the novel concept of using a mouse to push objects around the screen.

The release of the first Mac came after a huge amount of hyperbole, seen best through the $1 million ‘1984’ advert directed by Ridley Scott. With Orwellian overtones, Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs saw the Macintosh as a flashpoint in technology and his tool for changing the world:

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