Apple "Classic" Macintosh Personal Computer

Description
The Apple Macintosh introduced a graphic user interface (GUI) to the Apple line of computers. The idea had originated at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center in the 1970s, but Xerox was slow to commercialize it. Apple proved far more successful when it introduced the Macintosh in January 1984, with a splashy television advertisement during the Superbowl. The original price was around $2,500.
Instead of typing out names of programs on command lines, users with a GUI could click "icons," or pictures that represented the programs they wanted to run. They could also execute functions like saving, moving, or deleting files by clicking and dragging the icons around the screen with a pointing device called a mouse. Apple's version of the mouse had a single button, which became an Apple standard. The first Macintosh had only 128K RAM, and users quickly found this insufficient. The Macintosh 512 KB, nicknamed "Fat Mac," was introduced in September 1984. It gave users four times as much memory, and allowed them to keep several major programs open simultaneously. The vertical processor case and 9" monochrome screen were distinguishing features of all the early Macintosh line.
The Macintosh 512 KB contained a Motorola 68000 microprocessor which ran at 8 MHz. It contained 512 KB of RAM and 64 KB of ROM and initially had a 400 KB Floppy disk drive. Applications included MacWrite, a word processor, and MacPaint, a drawing program that turned the mouse into a paintbrush. Shortly after the 512 KB appeared, Apple also introduced a LaserWriter printer, which enabled desktop publishing for individuals and small businesses. Over time, Apple computers would appeal most strongly to artists and designers, while the IBM/DOS line of computers sold better in business markets.
After selling hundreds of thousands of units, Apple discontinued the "Mac Classic" line of computers in April 1986.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
microcomputer
Date made
1984
maker
Apple Computer
Physical Description
manufactured (overall production method/technique)
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 13 1/2 in x 16 in x 20 in; 34.29 cm x 40.64 cm x 50.8 cm
Place Made
United States: California, Cupertino
ID Number
1985.0118.01
catalog number
1985.0118.01
accession number
1985.0118
subject
Family & Social Life
Work
Computers & Business Machines
Macintosh
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Computers
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Apple Computer
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.