• Vintage Macintosh 128K unboxing
  • What was inside the box with the original Macintosh
  • Read the Macintosh manuals and listen to the original Macintosh audio cassette

It has been thirty years since this adorable computer, the Macintosh 128K, first went on sale. Thirty years ago the Macintosh was a breakthrough device that redefined what a home computer was.

The Macintosh was the first popular computer to feature a mouse and GUI (graphical user interface). Steve Jobs once said of the Macintosh 128K “It didn’t just change Apple. It changed the whole computer industry”.

The pride that the team at Apple felt upon developing and releasing the Macintosh is apparent when you first glance at the box. The whole Macintosh package is clearly a labour of love. There is a seemingly endless array of manuals, disks, tapes and artwork inside the Macintosh box. The Macintosh didn’t just come in any old brown box either: oh no, Steve Jobs showed his flair for packaging all those years ago. He wanted the Macintosh to be an experience nobody would ever forget. It’s exquisite.

[Read our History of Apple]

We recently unboxed a Macintosh Classic ourselves (see: Vintage Macintosh Classic unboxing). But this is the original, and first ever, Macintosh. We can only imagine how exciting it must have been to buy one of the first Apple Macs in the country. Stephen Fry famously claims to have owned the first ever Macintosh in the UK, although we know of at least one editor who disputes this claim. Both of them will have felt the joy of unboxing this amazing machine.

Sadly we know of no original Macintosh still in its box. The only one we have ever seen sold on eBay several years back. It was a private listing by GDavis6610. Who said of the listing, “This Macintosh has been professionally cleaned, inspected, tested, and serviced to ensure you receive a fully functional 1984 Macintosh 128k! Many of these you see will have non functioning disk drives or keyboards. Not this one! The computer has been fully inspected, tested, serviced and cleaned!”

This Macintosh sold on Mar 29, 2012 for $3,519.84, over $1,000 more than the original launch price. We think this was a good deal for such a rarity. GDavis6610 is still selling classic Apple equipment on his eBay page, and fortunately he takes pretty detailed photographs of his eBay kit. Here are some photos from his memorable unboxing of the original Macintosh 128K.

See also

1 Unboxing the Macintosh 128K: The box

Here it is. The first every Macintosh in all its glory. Well, in its box at any rate. Don’t worry, it’ll soon be on display.

Macintosh 128K Unboxing: the box

2 A closer look at the Macintosh 128K box

The box is surprisingly colourful for a computer box from 1984. We like the way Apple has suggested the playful creativity of the Mac right from the start.

Macintosh 128K Unboxing: the box

3 Opening up the Macintosh 128K box

Inside the box, we can see a polystyrene tray containing a case for the disks and manuals.

Macintosh 128K Unboxing: inside the box

4 The Macintosh 128K

Underneath the manuals is the Macintosh 128K computer itself.

Macintosh 128K Unboxing: the computer

See: The Mac in numbers: As Apple celebrates Macintosh's 30th birthday, we take a look at the stats

5 Macintosh 128K contents

Here is the keyboard and other items all laid out on display. We’re surprised at how much paraphernalia came with the Macintosh.

Macintosh 128K Unboxing: components

6 The Macintosh box

We also like this stylish box that contains the disks and manuals.

Macintosh 128K Unboxing: manuals

7 The Macintosh 128K manual

The manual itself is full-colour and includes dazzling lifestyle photography.

Macintosh 128K Unboxing: manuals

8 Macintosh 128K introducing Macworld

Our fine publication was included with the first ever Macintosh. A letter asking readers to subscribe to Macworld.

Read also: What Steve Jobs wrote in the first issue of Macworld

Macintosh 128K Unboxing: Macworld letter

9 Macworld subscription

If you returned this letter, you’d get two free copies of Macworld and the next issue free. We’re glad this one wasn’t filled out though, but many people did.  You can still subscribe to Macworld today.

Macintosh 128 unboxing: Macworld letter

10 Macintosh disks

The system and program disks included inside the Macintosh.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: disks

11 Macintosh 128K manuals on display

All the different manuals on display.

Macintosh 128k unboxing: everything laid out

12 A close look at the Macintosh manuals

The manual shares the same stylish design as the Macintosh box.

Macintosh 128k unboxing: manual

13 Inside the Macintosh 128K manual

Inside we can see more lifestyle photography. We're not sure how he’ll get anything done with that working posture.

Macintosh 128k unboxing: lifestyle photography

14 The MacWrite manual

The MacWrite manual.

Macintosh 128k unboxing: MacWrite manual

15 How to use the Apple Mouse

It seems strange that you’d need guidance on how to use a mouse; obviously it could be confusing for people who’ve never seen one before.

See: Who's the Mac daddy?

Macintosh 128k unboxing: how to use the Mouse

16 The MacPaint manual

The MacPaint manual. The drawing, done in MacPaint, was by Susan Kare. She also designed many of the Macintosh elements.

Macintosh 128k unboxing: MacPaint

17 The Macintosh Audio Cassette

An audio tape that describes how to use the Macintosh.

Macintosh 128k unboxing: Audio Cassette


18 Macintosh 128K: A guided tour of the Macintosh

This audiotape gives a guided tour of the Macintosh. You can read a transcription of “A Guided Tour of Macintosh” here. Click Play below to hear the tape playing.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: audio cassette

19 Macintosh 128K stickers

Apple stickers with the original Apple Macintosh.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: stickers

20 The Macintosh 128K keyboard box

Even the box for the keyboard inside the Macintosh is eye-catching.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: keyboard

21 Opening up the Macintosh 128K keyboard

Seeing the original Macintosh Keyboard for the first time.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: keyboard

22 Look ma, no arrow keys…

Steve Jobs wanted to ensure everybody used the mouse so ordered the keys removed. They were eventually put back onto the keyboard.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: keyboard

23 The Macintosh Mouse box

The Macintosh Mouse box shares the same design as the keyboard and computer.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: mouse

24 Open up the Macintosh Mouse  box

Opening up the Mouse box reveals the Apple M0100 mouse.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: mouse

25 The Apple M0100 Mouse

The Apple M0100 Mouse remains a design classic even after all these years. This was the first mouse that many people ever used.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: mouse

26 Out of the box: the Macintosh 128K

And here it is. Out of its box. The 30-year-old Apple Macintosh computer.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: computer

27 Look at the back of the Macintosh computer

In the rear, you can see the design of the Macintosh computer.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: computer

28 The Macintosh 128K serial numbers

Here we can see a close up of the Apple Macintosh serial number.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: computer

29 Powering up the Macintosh 128K

Here is the Macintosh powered up to prove that it’s still in working conditions.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: computer powered up

30 Apple Macintosh team Signatures

On the inside of the Macintosh computer, you will see the signatures of everybody who worked on it.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: signatures

31 Steve Jobs’s own signature

So here is Steve Jobs’ signature. They were all clearly very proud of the Macintosh 128K, and rightly so, it’s one of the best computers ever made.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: signatures

32 Final look at the Macintosh 128K

Here is the final look at the Macintosh 128K and all of the items that were included in the box.

Macintosh 128K unboxing: everything on display

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