The Mac’s 25th Anniversary — Founder’s Column, Part 1

25 years ago this past weekend, an upstart development team within Apple Computer brought to market a cheaper, faster, better alternative to Steve Jobs’ pet project the “Lisa” (named after his daughter).

Though Jobs’ own feelings about the Macintosh were mixed, he undertook a famous event to introduce it to the world with a unique, historic advertisement (“1984”) and a demonstration that blew away the crowd: the very first Mac 128K seen in public spoke to the crowd that day, using a first-of-its-kind speech synthesizer technology developed specifically for that first Mac — a technology that has been a unique strength of the Mac platform ever since.

This weekend, even as the moment of the announcement event’s anniversary passed us by, the Rumors team was watching an amazing film called Welcome to Mac. It was a real trip, packed to the rafters with nostalgia-inducing moments for us….not the least of which was the section on Apple rumors which included a post from early 2008 on this site on-screen for a few moments.

If I hadn’t been so sick around this time last year, perhaps the fine folks who produced this excellent film — Rob Baca and Josh Rizzo — might have elected to include interview footage that I would have been only too happy to take the time to do with them, but of course as with many lost opportunities in the past few years, we’ll never know what might have been.

In a recent conversation, Rob kindly/politely expressed an interest in possibly doing such an interview — probably by iChat AV and/or as part of one of our first video blogs/podcasts, since I’d hardly expect these fine folks to go to the trouble of coming out to Maine in the dead of winter! — in the near future. As one of my many other lines of work has been as a videographer and TV news anchor/reporter/cameraman myself, I can appreciate the value of socking away footage for future projects and would certainly love to participate in a sequel or other Baca Productions project in the ways I wasn’t able to with Welcome to Mac….but it can be painful to see so many things about which I either bore witness to first-hand or wanted to be able to share some special insight about in the movie and know that I will have to wait in order to share them.

Of course I have this site, these columns, my other media/publishing projects and the forthcoming expansion projects here on Rumors like our podcasts and video blogs that we’re beginning work on this week. But just as Steve Jobs is now entering a period of similarly devastating health distractions from the life that he has known….I am only just now emerging from a time of many years during which I was on the outside looking in when it came to the world that I had been so intensely plugged into. I still knew all the same sources and heard plenty of interesting “insider” reports but simply wasn’t able to participate in the process of rumor-mongering and writing as I once did.

I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity now to work on these new projects, write this column and speak my mind in the extended-format video blogs & interviews that I’ve missed out on because of my illness. But watching Welcome to Mac, seeing Steve Jobs enter that long dark tunnel that I have just fought my way out of….and bearing witness to the 25th Anniversary of the birth of the computer that has made all of this possible has unavoidably made this a period of almost painful nostalgia & reminiscence about all that has taken place in those 25-plus years.

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  • david shortle

    Good to see macosrumours back on the news treadmill. Looking forward to seeing new news about all things Apple.