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Apple commemorates Macintosh's 30th birthday

8:18 PM, Jan 24, 2014   |    comments
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(CBS NEWS) Apple's homepage is paying respects to a computer that's credited with revolutionizing personal computing 30 years ago.

The Macintosh was introduced to the world by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at a press event on Jan. 24, 1984. There were about 2,500 in attendance that day at the Flint Center in Cupertino, Calif.

The computer featured an easy to use graphical user interface, 9-inch screen and 3 1/2 inch floppy drive. Inside the cream-colored exterior, the Mac had a 32-bit Motorola processor, 128 kilobytes of random access memory (RAM) and a 400-kilobyte disk drive. 

"The main advantage of the Macintosh is that it's very easy to learn and use," technology journalist Larry Magid wrote in his original review for the Los Angeles Times. "Apple claims that novices can learn to use the Mac in as little as 30 minutes. The company is banking on the machine's simplicity and modest price to attract 'millions' of users over the next few years." 

Many may cite the iconic 1984 commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl that year, as the first time they heard of the Mac. What they may not know is that the commercial almost didn't air. According to CNET, Apple's board of directors did not want to air the commercial and pushed to have the airtime sold.

But it did air to about 100 million viewers and made front-page news the following day. The rest, as they say, is history. Over the years, Apple fans saw the Mac evolve into several iterations that include the iconic candy-colored iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro.

Read more about the Mac's incredible journey at CBS News' sister siteCNET, where Apple executives reflect on 30 years of the Mac, Larry Magid posts his original L.A. Times review and former CEO John Scully recalls the Mac launch.

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