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Thursday, January 24, 2013, 09:10 am PT (12:10 pm ET)

Apple celebrates nearly three decades of Macintosh

Thursday marks exactly 29 years to the day since Apple co-founder Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh — a computer that would forever change the world of computing.



Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook acknowledged the anniversary in his company's quarterly earnings call on Wednesday. The CEO took the opportunity to make opening remarks in which he marked the nearly three decades since the Macintosh "revolution" began.

"On January 24, 1984, Steve introduced the first Macintosh right here at a shareholder meeting in Cupertino," Cook said. "On the evening news that night, they said it was supposed to be one of the easiest computers to use, and thanks to the new mouse, you hardly had to touch the keyboard.

"We've come a long way since 1984, but we rely on the same spirit and drive that brought the original Mac and other revolutionary products like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad into the world."

The now-iconic presentation from company co-founder Steve Jobs given in 1984 featured the Macintosh 128K cloaked within a bag, adding an element of mystery to the proceedings. Jobs then removed the Macintosh and its accompanying mouse from the bag, and pulled a 3.5-inch floppy disk from the inside of his jacket pocket to boot the machine, drawing laughs and applause from the audience.

Upon starting, the Macintosh began to play the theme song from "Chariots of Fire" and scrolled the word "MACINTOSH" across the screen. The demonstration also had Jobs's signature phrase, "insanely great," written out in cursive on the Macintosh display.

Other features demonstrated showed word processing, fonts, graphics editing, a calculator, and a chess game. But the biggest surprise came at the end of the presentation.

"Now we've done a lot of talking about Macintosh recently, but today, for the first time ever, I'd like to let Macintosh speak for itself," Jobs said before the computer's text-to-speech functionality was showcased.

"Hello, I'm Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag," the machine read aloud, drawing huge cheers from those in attendance at the shareholder meeting.

Macintosh


The presentation also featured a jab at IBM, the company that was then Apple's chief rival, as the Macintosh told the audience to "never trust a computer you can't lift!"

Now, almost 30 years later, Apple's current CEO vowed that his company is still focused on making the best possible products for consumers. Cook said on Wednesday that the most important thing to Apple is that customers love the products the company makes.

"Everyone at Apple has their eyes on the future — a future driven by the incredible hard work and dedication of the most talented and creative team on earth," he said, "who all share a common purpose of continuing to create the world's best products, and in doing so enrich the lives of our customers."