Tag Archives | Macintosh

Aldus Pagemaker: The Mac’s Savior?

Guy Kawasaki claims that a single piece of software was responsible for saving the Macintosh platform — a claim that while seemingly a bit outlandish may actually make sense. That piece of software was Aldus Pagemaker, one of the first visual page-layout programs.

Speaking at the Ad:Tech conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, the former chief evangelist at Apple said that the original Mac did not do tasks such as spreadsheet creation or database management all that well. But desktop publishing was a natural fit.

Indeed, Mac aficionados will tell you that one of the platform’s biggest strengths is that it is visually driven — which is exactly what you need for a task such as what Pagemaker did. Kawasaki was frank: “Desktop publishing — it saved Apple.”

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Happy 25th, Apple Macintosh

macintosh_128k_transparencySaturday, January 24 marks the 25th anniversary of the computer that arguably changed the PC forever: the Apple Macintosh. That winter day in 1984, a much younger (and healthier) Steve Jobs ignited the PC revolution with a computer that was easy to use, featured the first consumer computer GUI, and a mouse.

Macintosh’s introduction was heralded by what many consider one of the best commercials of all time, a spot which aired during Super Bowl XVIII two days before its release.

The first Mac was not light on the pocketbook: it set the consumer back $2,495 (in today’s dollars, that would be around $5,000). The rest of its stats by todays standards would be laughable: a 8MHz Motorola processor, 128KB of DRAM, a 9-inch black and white CRT screen, a 3.5-inch floppy drive, and no internal hard-disk storage.

In fact, to run programs, you first had to load the OS onto RAM, then eject and run whatever disk containing the program you desired. MacPaint and MacWrite came bundled with the product: Microsoft Word was also available.

One thing killed the first Macintosh, and that was its lack of memory and inability to be upgraded. This problem would eventually all but orphan the original Mac, as Apple moved on to a 512KB memory model and the Plus, which could run more advanced programs.

Essentially one year after its launch, the Macintosh 128K was already obsolete.