A 1985 TV Show Introduces the Macintosh

A 1985 episode of the Computer Chronicles offers a look back at the enthusiasm that greeted the Macintosh and the graphics programs that were so groundbreaking at the time. 

The host, Stewart Cheifet begins, "The Macintosh has certainly been a big success by any measure ... it's interesting though, in that the Mac didn't really reperesent technological innovation so much as an innovative use of graphics, certainly, and a user-friendly interface." Apple of course went on to become industry standard for designers, visual artists, and eventually the digital video industry, so it's interesting to see that from day one, the focus was as much on the visual as computational. 

Steve Jobs, in a 1990 interview for the WGBH series The Machine That Changed the World, explains that this was a goal all along:

I think the Macintosh was created by a group of people who felt that there wasn't a strict division between science and art. Or in other words, that mathematics is really a liberal art if you look at it from a slightly different point of view. And why can't we interject typography into computers. Why can't we have computers talking to us in English language? And looking back, five years later, this seems like a trivial observation. But at the time it was cataclysmic in its consequences. And the battles that were fought to push this point of view out the door were very large.

The interview is available in its entirety with a transcript at WHBH.org.

To watch tthe rest of this episode, visit the Internet Archive

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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