When the original Macintosh was introduced by Steve Jobs in 1984 it was an extraordinary machine that changed the way people interacted with computers. If you aren’t old enough to have owed one of the original beige Macs, it’s difficult to explain what an incredible impact it had. Prior to the Mac, computers were all about punch cards or keyboard command inputs. While personal computers, like the Apple II, brought computing power to the desktop, in the early years they were just smaller, slower versions of the big mainframe devices owned by corporations. Anyone running one was expected to have an understanding of computer programming languages. Every new program required reading a manual and learning a new interface. You were constantly reminded that you were working on a “computer” that responded to a series of logical commands and mathematical calculations.
The great science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And the Macintosh was the first computer that truly seemed like a magic box. Apple fans have become used to seeing that kind of magic, from the iPod to the iPhone, but it’s hard for anyone who wasn’t there at the time to understand how amazing it was when we first saw Steve Jobs, and the Macintosh team, pull off that very first magic trick with the introduction of the Mac.
Back in 1984 I was lucky enough to have one of those magic boxes of my own. I remember feeling like I was being transported to another world through that tiny black and white window. The Mac was a great tool, a great teacher, but also a great pal. Having one in my apartment was like living with a fun cartoon character with it’s own personality. One of the most incredible programs included with it was MacPaint, a magical program that made drawing fun. I had to do something with it, so I started creating a series of cartoon strips illustrating my thoughts about my new pal. I named them MacToons. I recently dug them up and thanks to the wonders self-publishing I’m going to offer the short series of 30 comics as a 99 cent illustrated ebook.
If you remember that time and want to take a little trip down memory lane, or if you’re an Apple fan that would like a laugh or two from a bygone era, the ebook is available for preorder now on Amazon Kindle. Below are a couple samples from the book.