Celebration planned for 30th anniversary of the Macintosh

The January 25 event at the Flint Center in Cupertino will feature many members of the original Macintosh development team, previously unreleased video and "surprise" guests.

Dan Farber
2 min read

Mac 30th

The Macintosh was launched to great fanfare on January 24, 1984. It was a new kind of personal computer that would show why 1984 wouldn't be like the 1984 of George Orwell's dystopian novel, as portrayed in the famous Macintosh ad that aired during the Super Bowl two days before launch. As Steve Jobs explained the situation, Apple had to save the world from IBM.

"It is now 1984. It appears that IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers, after initially welcoming IBM with open arms, now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future and are turning back to Apple as the only force who can ensure their future freedom," Jobs said just prior to introducing what he called the "insanely great" computer.

Jobs and his band of pirates didn't save the world from the IBM PC and Microsoft's operating systems at that time (it took another 23 years to introduce the iPhone that set the computing world on a new path), but they managed to change the face of personal computing with the graphical user interface and mouse.

In its 30 years, the Macintosh has had its ups and downs, but it has aged well and maintains its reputation as a design icon and trend setter. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Mac and the team that created it, a celebration will be held at the Flint Center in Cupertino near the Apple campus. It was at that venue 30 years ago that Jobs took the stage to introduce the Mac to the world.

All Planet Studios, the Computer History Museum, and Macworld/iWorld are hosting the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh on January 25.

The event will feature many members of the original Macintosh development team, previously unreleased video from the early days of the Mac, and "surprise" guests, said Gabreal Franklin of All Planet Studios. The event will include several panels discussing the birth of the Macintosh with original team members and early third-party software developers.

The Macintosh at 30 celebration follows an event at the Computer History Museum in September this year where prototypes of the pre-birth Mac with a "Twiggy" drive -- a 5.25-inch floppy drive rather than the 3.5-inch, 400K drive that shipping in the machine -- were shown.

Ticket prices range from $109.75 to $140.80 via Ticketmaster. Profits will be donated to charities dedicated to promoting computer and Internet literacy.