Video of Steve Jobs’ first public Mac demonstration surfaces

By , Jan 26, 2014

steve mac

On January 24, 1984, Steve Jobs demonstrated the original Macintosh for the first time at an Apple shareholders meeting in Cupertino. You’ve probably seen a video of the presentation; it’s the one where Jobs is introduced by a joke-telling Mac.

But what many people don’t know is that the Apple co-founder gave another presentation for the computer less than a week later at a meeting of the Boston Computer Society. And that presentation has remained largely unseen until this weekend…

Time’s Harry McCracken (via MacRumors) managed to track down a video of Jobs’ first public Macintosh demonstration, which was shot by a local videographer. It has been tucked away for nearly 30 years, stored on a media format called U-matic.

Here’s the clip, which is surprisingly high-quality for a 3 decade-old amateur job. It’s about 96 minutes long.

And here’s McCracken with a little bit of background information on the presentation, and the video itself:

“The Cupertino and Boston demos may have been based in part on the same script, but the audience, atmosphere and bonus materials were different. In Cupertino, Jobs spoke before investors, towards the end of a meeting which also included dreary matters such as an analysis of Apple’s cash flow. In Boston, he presented to the kind of people who Apple hoped would buy Macs. You didn’t even have to pay the BCS’s $24 annual membership fee to get in, which meant that the meeting was the closest thing the computer had to a launch event intended for the general public. […]

As presented here, the video — which is a rough cut of the version which the Computer History Museum will preserve — has a few moments which have been reconstructed. The slides which Jobs shows are the same ones he presented in Boston, but they’re borrowed from the video of the Cupertino event.”

The entire Times piece is worth a read, and if you have time, the video is pretty good too. Although Steve Jobs is very young here, he looks almost as comfortable on stage as he did when he presented the iPad—smiling, cracking jokes, and of course selling.

In all, this seems like a fitting way to cap off a weekend of celebrating the Mac’s 30th anniversary.

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  • Tommy Welle Jacobsson

    Video is not showing up on iPhone.

    • MachOSX

      Same

      • sharp44MAG .

        It is because the video is in Flash format and iOS does not support Flash.

      • Dan

        It does if you have puffin browser.

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        2014, and there are people who still use exclusively Flash Player instead of a dual player (Flash and HTML5) for mobile phones…?

        I don’t who is he… don’t know where he lives, but im going to find him to insert and old VHS cassette in the middle of his f…. a…

      • Hussain Alsanona

        Why the heck flash still exciting ?

      • butterfield

        Exciting?

      • Hussain Alsanona

        Oops Existing!!!
        Misspelling

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Weird it plays on my Mac in a HTML5 video player although I do have the ClickToFlash extension installed…

      • http://twitter.com/int3nsive Int3nsive

        I think that the ClickToFlash has his own HTML5 player and every time the extension detect some flash player he grabs the video source (usually mp4 or flv) and play it on the HTML5 player instead.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        If that’s the case someone should make a tweak that does the same thing and if it can’t play it natively provide an option to download it to watch in a player such as VLC…

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Here’s the mp4 video that should play on iOS:

      timeinc.brightcove.com.edgesuite .net/rtmp_uds/293884104/201401/3530/293884104_3106072393001_BCS-January-1984-640×480.mp4

  • andyr354

    somebody needs to capture this and repost. Lots of technical detail in the second half. Their plans on networking, sales, ect..

  • Prasoon Singh

    Flash is old.

  • Martynas Linkevicius

    Right before the video “It’s about 96 minutes log” long*

  • Andres

    It’s about 96 minutes log —> long*