Tech Hunters: Rediscovering the Macintosh

It changed the way we use computers, but what is the original Mac worth today?

Matt Brian, @m4tt
May 30, 2017
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    Apple may now be the world's biggest technology company, but in the eighties, its position wasn't so secure. The PC was market was small, albeit growing fast, and IBM's perceived dominance had Cupertino worried. Back then, computers were clunky and demanded a steep learning curve. Apple knew things had to change. "Insanely great" were the words Steve Jobs used when he introduced the first Mac, the Macintosh 128K, at the company's annual general meeting on January 24th, 1984. Not everyone agreed with Jobs' declaration at the time, but there's absolutely no denying that the computer helped define the PCs of today.

    The Macintosh 128K stood out for many reasons. From a technical standpoint, it was one of the first mass-market personal computers to popularise the use of a mouse and the graphical user interface (or GUI), shifting away from command-line inputs utilised by other PCs at the time. But many will also remember it for its now famous "1984" Super Bowl ad, which cost $1.5 million to produce and was directed by Ridley Scott.

    With the passing of Steve Jobs, paraphernalia from the formative years of the company can reach eye-watering amounts for collectors. Julia Hardy tracks down one enthusiast in Hackney, London, to find out why everyone is still in love with Apple.


    Tech Hunters is a 10-part video series that uncovers the devices we were once obsessed with, looking at how they disrupted the tech industry, and what they're worth today. From the pocket pet obsession with the original Tamagotchi, to mix-tapes and Sony Walkman, Tech Hunters explores the audio, visual, interactive and transport innovations that have shaped today's culture.

    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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