It was the year that Torvill and Dean won Gold at the Winter Olympics dancing the Bolero, the Miners went on strike and the pound note was taken out of circulation. Right at the beginning of that year, 1984, Apple unveiled the Macintosh, the computer that would go onto revolutionise the world of personal computing.

The Macintosh was launched 30 years ago on 24 January 1984, and this week we are celebrating 30 years of the Mac. To give you an idea of what the world was like that year, here are thirty other things turning 30 in 2014.

[Read more of our 30th anniversary of the Mac coverage over at our Mac at 30 channel.]

Band Aid

After seeing widespread Famine in Ethiopia Bob Geldoff gathered 36 pop musicians together to form Band Aid and recorded the song Do They Know It's Christmas in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. When the track was relesed in November it sold one million copies in a week.

The Bill

UK TV police drama The Bill was first broadcast on 16 October 1984. When the series stopped in 2010 it had been the longest running police television show in the UK.

The Cosby Show

The first episode of American sitcom The Cosby Show aired in September 1984. Staring Bill Cosby, the show was based on family life and many sitcoms since have followed the same format.

Cisco Systems

Networking equipment company Cisco was founded in December 1984 by two members of Stanford University computer support staff. Cisco has recently rebranded itself and is pushing the theme: Internet of Everything.

Computer Viruses

University of Southern California professor Fred Cohen published ‘Computer Virus - Theory and Experiments' a paper in which he warned about computer viruses.

Dell Computer

In 1984 Michael Dell created PC's Limited while a student at the University of Texas. He sold IBM PC-compatible computers built from stock components from his dorm room.


The musical staring Kevin Bacon hit the silver screen in February 1984. Thirty years later Kevin Bacon is the star of EE’s ad campaign.


Fujio Masuoka invented flash memory when he was working at Toshiba. Having received no recognition for his work, Masuoka quit to become a professor at Tohoku University and sued Toshiba, settling in 2006 for a one-time payment of ¥87m (around £500,000).


Staring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis as ghost catchers in New York City, Ghostbusters was released in June 1984. It made $291,632,124 at the Box Office.


Produced by Steven Spielberg with screenplay by Chris Columbus, Gremlins warned us not to get mogwais wet or feed them after midnight.

Hello, Lionel Richie

Released in February 1984, Hello went to number one in the UK chart and is considered to be Richie’s signature song.

Prince Harry

The second son to the Prince and Princess of Wales was born on 15 September 1984. Prince Harry will be celebrating his 30th birthday this year.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Harrison Ford reprised his role in the second Indiana Jones film, which hit the silver screen in May 1984. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and took $333,107,271 at the box office.

IBM Portable

Apple’s sworn enemy at the time, IBM introduced its first portable computer, the IBM Portable.  It weighed 30 pounds, so wasn’t really ‘portable’ in today’s terms. IBM also introduced the AT computer in 1984. AT stood for Advanced Technology but the computer was beset by problems including an unreliable hard disk drive.

The Karate Kid

Another big film from 1984 was The Karate Kid, charting the progress of Daniel LaRusso as he is tutored in karate by Mr. Miyagi. “Wax on, wax off”.

Like a Virgin, Madonna

Like a Virgin was the second album by Madonna. It was first released in November 1984 and tracks included Like a VirginMaterial Girl and Into the Groove.

Mark Zuckerberg

In the same year that Apple launched the Mac another technology was in its infancy, literally. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, was born on 14 May 1984.

Neuromancer, William Gibson

This 1984 novel by William Gibson included the first use of the word cyberspace.

HP LaserJet

The world’s first desktop laser printer, the HP LaserJet was introduced in May 1984. It cost $3,500.

The Neverending Story

Bastian reads a book about the fantasy world of Fantasia and discovers that he is part of the story in this film that made $100,000,000 in the box office.


The tile matching puzzle game was released in the USSR on 6 June 1984.


The first TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference was held as a one-off event in 1984. Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online. There is a TED app for the iPad and iPhone and you can also watch the lectures on the Apple TV.

Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends

This British children’s TV series first aired in September 1984. Back then it was narrated by Ringo Star. More recently (in 2008) it was narrated by Pierce Brosnan.

The Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as The Terminator, sent back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor. The film was released in October 1984. It made $78,371,200 at the box office.

Scarlett Johansson

Like Prince Harry, Lost in Translation actress Scarlett Johansson is turning 30 this year.

Spitting Image

This political puppet show first aired in February 1984. The show featured caricatures of celebrities and political figures of the time.

I Just Called to Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called to Say I Love You was at the top of the UK charts for six weeks in 1984.

This is Spinal Tap

This rock music mockumentary satirised the behaviour of rock bands. It made $4,736,202 in the box office and has become a cult classic.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Wham

This was the first number one hit for George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley. It was released on 5 May 1984.

Wide Awake Club

This was Saturday morning entertainment for kids of the eighties. When it broadcast for the first time in October 1984 it was the first kids programme to be filmed live. It was presented by Timmy Mallett.