Why 1984 didn’t feel like 1984 (not to me, anyhow)

Macintosh computer sideways

RECENTLY I CAME AROSS online images of the original Macintosh computer and I was stunned to realize the revolution this clunky, beige box incited when first released in January of 1984. (Sing it “happy birthday to you” in just five months.) What I remember most about its debut is how quickly I was ready to look the gift horse in the mouth.

Maybe it’s inherent in advancements of any kind, since every step forward seems to make us want more and begs the question, “What if…”. I’d barely pulled my spanking new Macintosh out of it’s heavily padded, kaki-colored tote bag before I became disillusioned with it’s tiny screen.

As a young graphic designer working mostly in the world of print advertising, this 9-inch monitor made the vertically oriented ads and posters I was creating feel like they were across the room from me. After making some calls (back then you could actually get somebody in Cupertino on the phone), I learned no harm would come to my Mac if I turned it on its side. There. Much better.