Happy 7th Xavier, happy 25th Macintosh!

Today is Xavier's 7th birthday. He had a great day, playing hockey in the morning, bday party in the afternoon, then a concert in the evening. Happy Birthday Wavy!

But today is also the 25th birthday of the Macintosh, probably the most transformative piece of technology ever created.

Dave Winer has a list of things that made the Mac different.

I've got a few more to add:

1. A mouse! Sure, mice were available before, but (IIRC) this was the first consumer computer to require a mouse for normal operation.

2. 3.5" floppy discs. So much better and more reliable than those truly floppy 5.25" and 8" discs.

3. Forked files with resources in the secondary (resource) forks. Applications could be modified by anyone using ResEdit.

4. No config files. You configured your OS by choosing which files were in the System Folder.

5. Easy networking. I honestly don't know if LocalTalk/AppleTalk networking and PhoneNet was standard from the first Mac, but it made networking so easy.

6. The LaserWriter. Again, I'd have to check the history books to see when it arrived, but it was huge.

7. MacPaint. What an amazing application.

I also remember the first time I ever saw a Macintosh. I was in the computer section of the Bay (Hudson's Bay Company) in Southgate Mall in Edmonton, Alberta. I was in such awe. This was before I even had my first computer, a C64. I loved my C64, but all I ever wanted was to go to the Bay to play with the Macs. I used to ride my bike there just to look at them.

Written on January 25, 2009