Apple Macintosh turns 30 and a party breaks out, sort of

So, the big day is finally here: The Mac’s 30th birthday.

Now, I’m not saying it’s a big day for everybody. Take Google for instance. I really expected to see a Macintosh tribute on its ever-celebratory home page. Maybe bad blood is thicker than water.

But the day is something like a national holiday in Silicon Valley. The Mac unveiling was huge, at the time, and because of what’s come after. And I don’t mean just the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad and iEverything else. But think of the graphical user interface, now universally used. (OK, so Xerox Parc came up with the thing. Apple deployed it widely.) And the mouse (also not an Apple original), which has become like an extension of our hand.

What the Mac really did was change the concept of computing for the masses. Computers became something you could have in the house; something that could get stuff done; something that could help you become more creative.

So, is it any coincidence that today — Jan. 24, 2014 — is also the day that the Mavericks surf competition is raging off the Northern California coast? Well, yes, it is. But it’s also kind of cool, because the Mac’s latest operating system is called (wait for it) Mavericks. Slate ran a funny piece about Apple’s new naming conventions awhile back, FYI.

Seemed like a dumb idea at the time, but it’s working out pretty good today. Here’s a look at the latest OS’s namesake.

In other Mac Day festivities, Apple is giving you a chance to to write about your first Mac, which face it, is the digital equivalent of your first bike or your first car. No question, buying that first Mac was an emotional experience for many, as I wrote in the San Jose Mercury News.

The Cupertino computer-maker (and so much more) is also taking out double-truck ads in newspapers to wish the mighty Mac happy birthday.

And the company also put out a very Appley video tribute to the machine that helped make the company what it is.

And lastly, Tim Cook, the man who runs the Mac maker today, will appear tonight on ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and no doubt say nothing revealing at all.

(1984 Photo of the Mac assembly line by Paul Sakuma of the Associated Press)


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