25 years of the Apple Mac

Whatever your feelings about Apple, it's hard to deny that the Apple Mac has helped define the personal computer industry since it was first introduce

Whatever your feelings about Apple, it's hard to deny that the Apple Mac has helped define the personal computer industry since it was first introduced 25 years ago. Here are the major steps along the road of Mac.

The beginning - Macintosh

It all began at a keynote presentation back on January 24 1984. A young Steve Jobs unveiled to the world his vision of the future of computing. Listening to the reaction of the crowd it's clear to see what a revelation the Mac was going to be. The images being displayed were nothing like what people expected from the computers of the day. 25 years on it looks simplistic and decidedly retro - at the time, it was the future and it was extremely exciting.

The Macintosh portable hit shelves in 1989. It was the first laptop style Mac and while its 16Hz processor sounds insanely slow by today's standards at the time it was a revelation. It was hardly something you'd want to lug around on your daily commute - but it laid the groundwork for today’s super–sharp MacBooks.

Apple and the Mac finally got a reboot in 1998. Jobs proudly swaggered onstage and unveiled one of the iconic iMac. A million miles away from the tonnes of beige boxes that filled the PC market, it was built with the internet in mind, killing off the old-school floppy disk in the process. Apple shifted 800,000 in the first 139 days.

Mac’s have changed beyond recognition in the past ten years – from the super slim MacBook Air to the all–new 17in MacBook Pro, the slimmed down aluminium iMac to the sharp Mac Mini. Apple’s innovation has changed the game when it comes to how we use our home computers – even Windows 7 pays homage to OSX and HP’s excellent Touchsmart takes its cue from Apple’s mighty all–in–one iMac.

With a touchscreen iMac, 15in MacBook Air and new Mac Mini all pinned for release in 2009, it looks as if the Mac, despite Jobs’ recent abdication, is set to push the boundaries for another 25 years. Here's to you Macintosh, you old codger.