The original Macintosh 128K turns 30 on 24 January - thirty years after Steve Jobs ushered in the home computer revolution. To celebrate this prestigious event, we visited the Cambridge Centre for Computing and unboxed a Macintosh computer. See what was inside the box of a Macintosh Classic with our Apple Mac unboxing.
[Read more of our 30th Anniversary of the Mac coverage here]
The first Macintosh computer, known then as simply the Apple Macintosh, sparked a revolution in computing. The original design by Apple’s Jeff Rankin was sketched out according to his aim to turn a computer into a true consumer appliance. Most home computers at that time were either cheap educational and entertainment machines, like the Sinclair Spectrum, or business machines costing well in excess of $10,000. Rankin wanted to create a radically different computer: one that was designed to be easy to use from the start, and would cost around $1,000.
His plan caught the eye of Apple’s Steve Jobs who got involved in the project and the rest, as they say, is history.
The first ever Macintosh cost $2,495, but Apple continued to refine and perfect the machine driving it down its cost. The Macintosh Classic realised that dream costing around $1,000 when it was launched in 1990. This was the first ever Apple computer to cost less than £1,000.
We got our hands on a boxed Macintosh Classic - a similar looking model to the original Macintosh that launched in 1984. Our unboxing of this breakthrough Macintosh computer will be a trip down memory lane for some of our long-standing readers, and an eye-opener for people who never used an original Macintosh.
We found this Mac at the Cambridge Centre for Computing History, where many classic computers are restored, renovated and kept available to the public. They allowed us backstage access to their archive where found this Macintosh Classic in its original box. Let's take a look inside...
Come with us as we unbox a Macintosh Classic.
- Why Apple should launch new Macs for the 30th Anniversary of the Macintosh
- The Mac at 30 Latest updated 10:38am, 20 January 2014
- 5 Macs that changed everything: the best and boldest Macs Apple ever made
Unboxing the Macintosh Classic
1: The Macintosh Classic box
Our box is showing the signs of age. It’s also interesting to compare the packaging with more modern Apple boxes. It’s very much a cardboard box although Apple has printed high-resolution graphics on the side.
2 Polystyrene trays in the Macintosh box
We open the box to reveal a polystyrene tray holding the accessories. It’s a far cry from the recent unboxings like this iPad Air unboxing.
3. The Macintosh accessories
Looking at the tray holding the keyboard, mouse, power cable, keyboard cable, manuals and installation disks. There’s a lot more supplied with this Apple Mac than any computer we’ve purchased in recent years. Because it pre-dates the Internet any manuals and support documentation would have to be supplied with the machine.
4. Revealing the Macintosh inside its box
Below the polystyrene tray is the Macintosh computer itself. It sits upright in another polystyrene tray. There’s much more empty space in this packaging than in recent products, presumably this was to protect the Macintosh from knocks, but it’s a far cry from today’s space efficiency packaging.
5. The Macintosh ADB Keyboard and Mouse
This is the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) keyboard and ADB Mouse supplied with the Macintosh Classic. It only had the single button, which kept it simple for users, but was a decision derided in the long run. Apple didn’t introduce the right-click (or Control-Click) until System 8 in 1997. The original Macintosh Mouse (M0100) was chunkier and similar to the mouse supplied with the Apple Lisa.
6. Macintosh Classic manuals and user guides
All the manuals and user guides supplied with the Macintosh. Sadly the colourful Apple stickers are missing though.
7. The Macintosh Getting Started manual
This Getting Started manual helped users get the Macintosh up and running. But the time People had moved to the iMac it was replaced with a simple sheet showing people how to plug in and turn on their Mac.
8. Two Macintosh Cables
Only two cables included. One connects the Mac to the Apple Desktop Bus (ADB) keyboard. The other is the power supply.
9. The Macintosh Classic computer unboxed
And here we have the Macintosh Classic itself out of the box. It’s still a design classic after all these years. One of the greatest computers ever made.