Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inside that bag

The primeval Macintosh computer was taken out of its bag exactly 25 years ago.

The following video shows us the historic moment when this happened:



That instant was the start, not only of the Mac era, but of the ascension of Steve Jobs into the role of a superstar. I'm convinced that the gasps of awe and the applause, on 24 January 1984, were for the machine, more than for its maker. In any case, it was the Macintosh itself that started the myth of Steve Jobs when it referred to him as "a man who's been like a father to me".

At almost the same moment, there was a grand unveiling of the new machine in a cabaret on the Champs-Elysées... to which I was invited, accompanied by my 17-year-old daughter. Shortly afterwards, the French Apple company provided me with my first machine, and I was able to bring out my book a few months later.

Today, I'm amused to discover that Google Books with the argument "william skyvington" provides a reference to my book. It's a 1986 issue of the periodical of the Apple University Consortium called Wheels for the Mind (which still exists today).

The reference to my book is brief but firm:

The machine that Steve Jobs pulled out of a bag a quarter of a century ago has accompanied me non-stop ever since then, day in, day out, in evolving versions. And that state of affairs has nothing whatsoever to do with my being, or not being, a fan of the man in a black turtle-neck sweater. It's simply a matter of my having encountered the most friendly computer that has ever existed.

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