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January 24, 2002: the Mac is of age

A path of growth and maturation that has brought the computer from a mammoth professional apparatus to a highly sought after and delicate object of technological design, a "digital hub" of everyday life for all of us. "By MS Malone who remembers how it came to that day and reports the announcement. Curious to note how 18 years after the Mac became an adult and its competitor manufacturer of those days, IBM decided to abandon the personal market computers after the negative balance sheets reported in a sector undermined by wild competition.

The text is obviously in English …

"It is 1958. IBM passes up the chance to buy a young, fledgling company that has iust invented a new technology called xerography. Two years later, Xerox is born, and IBM has been kicking itself ever since.It is ten years later, the late 1960s. Digital Equipment Corporation and others invent the minicomputer. IBM dismisses the minicomputer as too small to do serious computing and, therefore, unimportant to its business. DEC grows to become a multi-hundred-million dollar corporation before IBM finally enters the minicomputer market.It is now ten years later, the late 1970s. In 1977, Apple, a young fledgling company on the West Coast, invents the Apple II, the first personal computer as we know it today. IBM dismisses the personal computer as too small to do serious computing and therefore unimportant to its business.

"The early 1980s-1981. Apple The bas become the world’s most popular computer, and Apple has grown to a $ 300 million corporation, becoming the fastest-growing company in American business history. With over fifty companies vying for a share, IBM enters the personal computer market in November of 1981 with the IBM PC.

1983. Apple and IBM emerges as the industry's strongest competitors, each selling approximately $ 1 billion worth of personal computers in 1983.

"… The shakeout is in full swing. The first major firm goes bankrupt, with others teetering ori the brink. Total industry losses for 1983 overshadoweven the- combined profits of Apple and IBM for personal computers.It is now 1984. It appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers, initially welcoming IBM with open arms, now fear an IBM-dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom.

Jobs paused, as if steeling himself for the enormity of the task ahead. He looked out at the audience, as if asking them to join him at the battlements of computing freedom. Then his voice dropped a half octave, as if at the sheer magnitude of corporate evil. Oh the humanity. . .

IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control, Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry, the entire nformation age? Was George Orwell right? "

"No!" shouted the audience. "No!" shouted the first five rows, filled with the Apple team. "No!" shouted the other Apple employees and the analysts and the distributors and dealers and retailers and shareholders. No! said the assembled journalsts secretly to themselves. Steve Jobs smiled. Enough with that Zen bullshit about the "journey being the reward." Ths was the reward.He walked over to a table bearing an ominous-looking bag. With a flourish, Jobs unzipped it. . . and there, the color of brown stone, like a little primitive totem, a friendly phallus, was the Macintosh.An appreciative murmur went up from the crowd. It was instantly drowned out by the amplified theme from the movie Charots of Fre. It was comy, but nevertheless spinetingling. 'Today, "intoned Steve Jobs," for the first time ever, I'd like to let Macintosh speak for itself. " That couldn't be true: Apple had never actually tested speech synthesis on the Mac until this moment.But what the hell, go with the flow. It was all too exciting to quibble. Jobs touched a key, and in a quivering little voice-its very crudeness perfect in its antithesis to Big Brother-the Mac announced:

"Hello, I am Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag. Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I like to share with you a thought that occurred to me the first time I met an IBM mainframe. Never trust a computer you can’t lift. But right now I'd like to sit back and listen. So it is with considerable pride that I introduces a man who has been like a father to me, Steve Jobs. "