Apple celebrates 30 years of Mac innovation with gorgeous timeline, video and interactive poll

Apple 30 years of Mac

On this day thirty years ago, Steve Jobs presented the new Macintosh to a roomful of Apple investors.

Apple’s computer would go on to put the power of technology in everyone’s hands, all the while changing the face of personal computing for decades to come, upending whole industries, challenging the status quo and eventually leading to the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Today, the company has taken over its own homepage with a gorgeous visual timeline of the thirty years of Macintosh innovations, paying tribute to the computer with a nicely done video, an interactive poll and other goodies…

Apple’s boss Tim Cook tweeted this from his iPad.

The homepage has been redesigned with a nice teaser graphics replacing the rotating product banners and the four thumbnail sections alongside the bottom.

The message reads:

Happy Birthday, Mac.

In 1984, Apple introduced the world to Macintosh.

It was designed to be so easy to use that people could actually use it.

And it came with a promise — that the power of technology taken from a few and put in the hands of everyone, could change the world.

That promise has been kept.

Today, we create, connect, share, and share, and learn in ways that were unimaginable 30 years ago.

Imagine what we can accomplish in the next 30 years.

And here’s Apple’s video, celebrating some of the pioneers and the “incredible impact they’ve made”, including musician Moby whom Apple also featured in early iPod videos.

Clicking the teaser leads to a special page of offering a visual timeline of the Mac’s thirty-year history, ranging from the very first 1984 Mac to the PowerBook, the original iMac and its subsequent redesigns to the latest Retina MacBook Pro and the radically redesigned Mac Pro.

Apple 30 years of Mac (timeline)

This is from the first pane of the timeline:

The one that started it all — the original Macintosh — wasn’t just a computer. It was a declaration that the power of the computer now belonged to everyone. At the time, most people didn’t even know how to use one.

But thanks to the simple graphical interface of the Macintosh, they didn’t have to. It was approachable and friendly, starting with the smiley face that greeted you. There were folders that looked like file folders and a trash can for throwing things away.

And with the click of a mouse, you could suddenly do the unimaginable. You could move things around on the screen, change the way they looked, combine words with images and sounds, and create like never before. A new era had begun.

Each clickable section reveals a story behind that era’s Mac model and offers a detailed overview of how it changed specific aspects of personal computing and what creative people like musicians, writers,  architects and filmmakers did with it.

Apple 30 years of Mac (iMac lamp)

There’s also a scrollable timeline at the bottom with a bunch of circles depicting various Mac uses morphing as you scroll through the 30 years of Mac.

Apple 30 years of Mac (What They Did With It)

Finally, a Your First Mac section invites fans to tell a story of their first Mac:

Maybe you used it in grade school. Maybe your college roommate had one. Or maybe your first Mac came with your first job. Tell us how you discovered Mac and how you used it. And see the big, 30-year picture of its place in the world.

First, you’ll pick your Mac model. Then, Apple will ask you to choose a country where you lived at the time, followed by your picks of the predefined ways you were using it.

As a result, you’ll receive a congratulatory message saying ‘Thanks for being part of the Mac story for x years’. Coolio!

Apple 30 years of Mac (Your First Mac)

Last but not least, Apple Stores seems to have joined the celebration with some pretty nicely done Mac-themed window displays, have a look below.

Apple 30 years of Mac (Apple Stores window displays)
Photo via 9to5Mac.

And the Mac App Store has a new ‘Happy Birthday, Mac’ section highlighting some of the apps and games that “capture the spirit of what makes this computer so extraordinary”.

Mac 30 anniversary (Mac App Store)

So there you have it – grab yourself a bottle of champagne and start your day with a toast to the Mac’s 30th anniversary.

Here’s to 30 more years to come!

Signing off, here’s Steve’s legendary Mac unveiling thirty years ago.

‘Never trust a computer you can’t lift’ stuck in my mind forever.

Remember that this was thirty years ago when personal computing was in its infancy and people knew nothing about the graphical user interface or something called a mouse. And of course nothing could have prepared the general public for the shock and awe which ensued after Apple had aired that ‘1984’ ad.

For more goodies, check out a playlist of eighteen Mac-focused videos by EverySteveJobsVideo on YouTube. And for memorable Mac advertising, including the iconic ‘Mac vs. PC’ and ‘Get a Mac’ ad series, head over to EveryAppleAds on YouTube.

Oh, and don’t forget to tune in to Good Morning America for a preview of a rare television interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, who will discuss the Mac legacy on ABC at 6:30PM EST.